Our People

Pilar Morin

Partner, Los Angeles

310.981.2004
pmorin@lcwlegal.com

Pilar represents public agencies and public and independent educational institutions, in such areas as personnel and student matters, and general business law, including contracts and trademark issues.

Pilar is experienced in all phases of trial practice, including litigation before state and federal courts, administrative bodies, and alternative dispute resolution procedures such as mediation and arbitration.  She represents our clients in all aspects of employment law including employee discipline, due process, wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation and privacy issues.

Pilar is also experienced in conducting and assisting with investigations pertaining to harassment, discrimination and employee misconduct.  Pilar advises and conducts training for clients concerning best practices and compliance with state and federal laws.

Pilar is also a contributing author to the firm's California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog.

Pilar is bilingual and conducts investigations and training in Spanish.

Representative Matters

Administrative Hearings

  • Joseph Salemi v. Los Angeles Unified School District (2012) - In an 11 day teacher termination appeal hearing, the Commission on Professional Competence upheld the Los Angeles Unified School District's termination of a permanent certificated math teacher due to unsatisfactory performance under Education Code section 44932, subdivision (a)(4). The Commission on Professional Competence found good cause for the teacher's termination upon the District's demonstrating that the teacher failed to meet minimum reasonable requirements for teaching as measured by the District and that he had a sustained history of poor teaching and failed to make significant progress towards improvement, despite specific recommendations, coaching and accommodations provided by the administration. The teacher merely went through the motions of teaching by making PowerPoint presentations before his class, but did not engage the students or guide them through the lessons with any meaningful exchange.

Appellate

Litigation

  • Breach of Contract (2012) - Obtained a victory for a private liberal arts and sciences college in a federal court case filled by a former student who after withdrawing, claimed the college breached contractual and other legal obligations. The college is located in Iowa and the case was filed in federal court in Los Angeles, in an attempt to "forum shop" and litigate the case in a forum more favorable to plaintiff for statute of limitations purposes. Prepared a motion to dismiss the case based on lack of personal jurisdiction, improper venue and forum non-conveniens, and met and conferred with the former students' lawyer, after which plaintiff outright dismissed the case. This is a victory for an out of state college that was the victim of forum shopping and an attempt to subject that college to litigation in California. A swift and comprehensive attack to the lawsuit saved the college from the burden of litigating a case half way across the county.
  • Liburd v. Los Angeles Unified School District (2011) - Successfully moved for judgment on the pleadings in favor of the District and individual defendants in a case involving various claims including failure to train and supervise, excessive force, and retaliation in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
  • Michael Wells v. Los Angeles Unified School District (2010) - Successfully defended the District and individual defendants in a case involving five Plaintiffs who were employees at three different schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District and sued alleging for various FEHA violations.  The court severed the cases finding they were not related and entered summary judgment against four of the Plaintiffs.
  • Yevnovkian v. Los Angeles Unified School District (2010) - Successfully represented the District against a petition for writ of mandate seeking reinstatement of a teacher who resigned and retired via a supplemental retirement program.
  • Coppi v. City of West Covina (2010) - Successfully obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial in the Los Angeles Superior Court in a case involving disability discrimination.  Prior to trial, we obtained summary adjudication on Plaintiff's claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act for failure to engage in the interactive process and retaliation.
  • Alice Johnson v. LAUSD (2009) - Summary judgment in favor of LAUSD and against a special education teacher's assistant alleging discrimination based on race, and failure to prevent discrimination under FEHA. Plaintiff claimed she was demoted and improperly and repeatedly disciplined due to her race. However, this plaintiff had a lengthy disciplinary history starting from 2000 and was repeatedly written up and disciplined for failing to adequately supervise her assigned student (who suffered from seizures), reporting late to her post after breaks, falsifying her time records, and insubordination, among various other performance issues.
  • Jessica Jackson v. Los Angeles Unified School District (2009) - won summary judgment in favor of the District in a case involving racial harassment, discrimination, failure to prevent and retaliation.
  • Paulette Jackson v. Los Angeles Unified School District (2009) - won summary judgment in favor of the District in a case involving racial harassment, discrimination, failure to prevent and retaliation.
  • Davis v. LAUSD (2006) - Obtained judgment in favor of the Los Angeles Unified School District in a case involving a petition for writ of administrative mandate where an employee claimed he was wrongfully separated him from his employment after he exhausted all available leave during his non-work related disability. The petitioner sought an order awarding him reinstatement, attorneys' fees and costs, full back pay, restorations of benefits, reimbursement of PERS taxes, and other monetary damages.

Affiliations

National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)

California Council of School Attorneys (CCSA)

Latina Lawyers of Los Angeles

Mexican American Bar Association

Los Angeles County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section

Awards

Selected for inclusion in Southern California Rising Stars 2006 - 2010

Presentations

Education

  • JD, University of California, Hastings College of Law
  • BA, University of California, Berkeley
To Contact Liebert Cassidy Whitmore:
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