Justine Michaelynn Phillips



Justine Phillips is a partner in both Data Privacy & Security and Labor and Employment Practice Groups in the firm's San Diego office.

Areas of Practice

Justine focuses her practice on cybersecurity, data privacy, employment litigation and counseling, and commercial litigation. Her representations involve every aspect of cybersecurity from information governance, diligence in acquisitions/investments, incident preparedness and response, drafting incident response plans and conducting breach simulations, to advising on California Consumer Privacy Act, responding to regulators, and defending companies in litigation relating to cyber events. Justine takes a practical and thoughtful approach to assist multi-national and emerging companies on everyday issues related to electronically stored information including: privacy/security by design, cyber risk management and mitigation; eWorkforce policies; compliance with data regulations; retention/destruction policies and protocols; information-security and data privacy; crisis management and forensic investigations for data breaches; business email compromises; developing policies/protocols/trainings within an organization to create a culture of cyber-awareness; electronic discovery; and social-media issues. Justine also founded Women in eDiscovery-San Diego, Mother Attorney Mentoring Association-San Diego, and frequently publishes and speaks on cyber-related issues.

As an employment attorney, Justine handles commercial litigation for clients in the following public and private industries: cybersecurity and technology, healthcare, tribal, sporting enterprise, insurance, medical device, education, defense, cybersecurity, manufacturing, retail, non-profit and for-profit industries. Justine also regularly advises clients on issues relating to: classification; leave policies; defense of ADA and FEHA disability discrimination claims; interactive process and reasonable accommodation; wage and hour matters; information management; social media; employment agreements; and employee handbooks. Justine has defended companies in both state and federal court against claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful dismissals.


•San Diego Rising Star by Super Lawyers, 2015
•Selected as a Lawyer on the Fast Track by The Recorder, 2013
•Awarded the State Bar of California Wiley Manuel Award for pro bono legal services, 2012
•Named as one of the San Diego Daily Transcript's Young Attorneys in 2007, 2008 and 2010


•Incident response and investigations related to loss of sensitive data or access by unauthorized users
•Prepare insider threat protection program and incident response policies/plans
•Handle high profile data breaches involving financial data, personally identifiable information and intellectual property
•Advise clients regularly on how to securely manage and store sensitive data
•Represent clients in B2B litigation related to Business Email Compromise
•Liaise with federal law enforcement related to client investigations for information security issues


•California employers face tougher rules on how to classify workers
Business Insurance , May 15, 2019
•Star Struck
Navigating Reasonable Security Under California's Consumer Privacy Act
Information Governance World , March 2019
• Survey of California Employment Privacy Law, MLRC Employment Survey, 2013-2015
• White House Aims to Protect 'Critical Infrastructure', Daily Journal, February 27, 2013
• General Counsel's Highest Concern? Cybersecurity, Daily Journal, 2012
• Is America Loving Same-Sex Couples? American College of Forensic Psychiatry, 2005

Labor & Employment Law Blog Posts

• The Future of Independent Contractors: Ninth Circuit Applies Dynamex Retroactively and the DLSE Issues Opinion Letter Expanding Its Scope, May 7, 2019
• Complicating Simplicity: Ninth Circuit Requires Separate Stand-Alone Documents for Employment Background Checks, February 6, 2019
• It’s High Time to Update Your Marijuana Policies, April 20, 2018
• California Governor Approves Three More Employment Laws: “Ban The Box”; Expansion of Sexual Harassment Training; and Contractors Liable for Subcontractors’ Wage and Benefit Obligations, October 17, 2017
• 5 New Laws: California Governor Approves Employee-Friendly Laws, October 13, 2017
• Now in Effect: California Employers Must Provide New Hires with Written Notice of Victim Rights, July 28, 2017
• Beware of Email Requests from the C-Suite to Transfer Employee Data, March 21, 2016

Media Mentions

•New State Law Gives Californians More Rights When it Comes to Protecting Their Data Online
Consumer Privacy Act goes into effect in 2020
ABC News , July 17, 2018
•New Calif. Data Breach Law May Fall Short
Law360 , October 3, 2014
•Calif Smart-Meter Data Law Hints At Privacy Bills To Come
Law360 , January 24, 2014

Speaking Engagements

•Speaker, GDPR - Not Just an EU Concern, Epiq Lunch & Learn, December 11, 2018
•Speaker, Cyber Risk, Law and Policy Symposium, University of San Diego Symposium in Cyber Law, November 15, 2018
•Speaker, Workplace 2019: Dynamic Employment Laws: Outlook for 2019 & Spotlight on Independent Contractor Classification, SDEAC, October 18, 2018
•Moderator, Workplace 2019: The Big Four: Trending Issues for EEOC, EDD, DFEH and DLSE, SDEAC, October 18, 2018
•Speaker, The Tortoise & the Hare: The Intersection of Law and Cyber, Wall Street Journal Cybersecurity Small Business Academy, October 16, 2018
•Moderator, The Anatomy of a Cyber Attack: A Case Study in Protecting Your Tribe, NAFOA, October 3, 2018
•Panelist, Project 20/35 Managing Cyber Risk: Teaming with Your Outside Counsel, Women’s In-House Counsel Leadership Institute, September 25, 2018
•Panelist, Breakfast Discussion: Incident Response - Staying Out of the Headlines, PwC San Diego, September 12, 2018
•Participant, Fall 2018 FBI Citizens Academy Program, FBI San Diego, September 11- November 6, 2018
•Panelist, Cyber-Privacy & Security Issues, Public Interest Law Foundation, September 7, 2018
•Speaker, Managing a Cyber Incident and Mastering the Media, ACC, June 14, 2018
•Speaker, Anatomy of the Breach Teaching Course, University of San Diego Cyber Security Program, April 20, 2018
•Panelist, Creative Compensation Strategies from Startup to Exit, The San Diego CFO Leadership Council, April 12, 2018
•Speaker, Breakfast With Your Labor Lawyer, Sheppard Mullin Annual Conference, April 4, 2018
•Speaker, Anatomy of a Breach, California District Attorneys Association’s High Tech and Digital Evidence Symposium, March 20, 2018
•Panelist, Managing and Mitigating Cybersecurity Risks for Your Clients & Your Practice, ABTL San Diego, November 16, 2017
•Panelist: Cyber and Data Security for the GC: How to Stay Out of Headlines and Crosshairs, SoCal eDiscovery/Information Governance/Cybersecurity Retreat, October 30, 2017
•Panelist, CyberFest 2016: Surviving a Cyber Disaster, CyberTECH, October 27, 2016
•Speaker, Workplace 2017: Elephant in the Room - Employee Privacy vs. Business Necessity, SDEAC, October 26, 2016
•Speaker, Workplace 2017: Employment Law Update Preparing for 2017, SDEAC, October 26, 2016
•Panelist, Law & The CFO Role, The San Diego CFO Leadership Council, October 20, 2016
•Speaker, The Wild West: Cyber for the Legal Professional - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, San Diego County Bar Association, October 6, 2016
•Speaker, Labor Update 2016 Fall Presentation: Happy Hour With Your Labor Lawyer, BWYLL, October 4, 2016
•Speaker, Cyber Security for Legal Professionals: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, Association of Corporate Counsel, September 28, 2016
•Panelist, Signature Series: IoT: TMI? Smart Cities, Smart Devices and San Diego’s Smartest #IoT Influencers, Athena, September 20, 2016
•Panelist, Blackhat Conference: Securing the Internet of Things Masters Forum, August 3, 2016
•Panelist, Blackhat Conference: Healthcare Security: Patient Health v. Patient Data, CyberTECH, August 2, 2016
•Speaker, The Force Awakens: Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, May 31, 2016
•Speaker, Speed Mentoring, San Diego Legal Secretaries Association and Paralegal, May 23, 2016
•Speaker, Cybersecurity and IT Acquisition Threats, Laws and Best Practices, Fed Pub Seminars, May 18, 2016
•Moderator, Oh DEAR!! Reasonable Accommodations & The Interactive Process under ADA and FEHA, L-3 Corporate Workers' Compensation Group, May 18, 2016
•Speaker, Breakfast With Your Labor Lawyer, Annual Conference, May 4, 2016
•Speaker, Art of Public Speaking, High Tech High, April 25, 2016
•Speaker, Corporate Cyber Espionage, Small & Midsize Businesses, April 21, 2016
•Speaker, Cyber Investigations - Incident Response, San Diego ESI Forum, April 14, 2016
•Speaker, Cyber Awareness and Education, Red Cross, April 12, 2016
•Moderator, Conquering Your IT and Security Objectives, California IT Technology Summit’s 4th Annual Summit, March 16, 2016
•Moderator, Securing the Internet of Things Masters Speaking about Head in the Cloud, Literally? Life of IoT and Emerging Technologies in the Cloud, Cybertech, February 29, 2016
•Panelist, Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on Discovery and Case Management, San Diego ESI/Women in eDiscovery, December 10, 2015
•Panelist, Change is Here: Amendments to the Federal Rules, San Diego ESI Forum and Women in eDiscovery, December 10, 2015
•Speaker, The Only Constant in Life is Change: Year in Revew, Workplace 2016 - San Diego Employer Advisory Council Annual Seminar, October 21, 2015
•Panelist, Litigation Technology: The nEXT Step in Your Legal Career, UCSD Extension, October 10, 2015
•Moderator, Protecting Your Personal and Professional Brand, Cyberfest 2015, October 8, 2015
•Panelist, Decade of Discovery Screening and Panel, University of San Diego, October 1, 2015
•Speaker, “Trending Data Breaches & Cybersecurity,” Nuix User Exchange 2015, September 29, 2015
•Panelist, “Can Bitcoin Pay for IoT?” Internet of Things (IoT) Meetup, September 17, 2015
•Co-Chair, San Francisco Bar Association Data Privacy & Security Seminar, General Counsel Institute, May 20, 2015
•Speaker, Securing Our eCity, 2015 Payroll Fraud Prevention Group Annual Meeting, April 15, 2015
•Panelist, “The New Unduly Burdensome Objection: How to Fend Off or Embrace Proportionality and Cost Considerations in Discovery,” San Diego ESI Forum, March 12, 2015
•Speaker, “Mitigating Liability Before the Inevitable Breach: Prepare for the Worst and Hope for the Best,” InfraGuard San Diego IT and Communications Sectors Joint Meeting, February 26, 2015
•Speaker, HR Legal Updates for 2015, CONNECT HR Roundtable, January 29, 2015
•Moderator, Privacy Divide: Real or Perceived, Data Privacy Day 2015: Securing the Internet of Things, January 28, 2015
•Panelist, eDiscovery & Information Governance Think Tank, January 27, 2015
•Speaker, Labor & Employment End of the Year Legal Update, Western Pension & Benefits Council San Diego Chapter, December 9, 2014
•Speaker, Workplace - 2015 Preparing Today for Tomorrow, October 22, 2014
•Moderator, IoT: War on Privacy, Cyberfest 2014, October 1, 2014
•Speaker, Managing the e-Workforce, Women in eDiscovery, Los Angeles Chapter, September 17, 2014
•Panelist, Computer and Network Forensics, San Diego ESI Forum, July 24, 2014
•Speaker, Cyber Liability: What to do if your company becomes a victim of a cyber security incident and how to handle the triage, San Diego Chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals, July 23, 2014
•Panelist, You Asked What!? Interviewing 101 for Non-HR Professionals, CONNECT HR Roundtable, May 8, 2014
•Speaker, Discovering & Using Social Media Evidence, California Judges Association Mid-Year Conference, May 2, 2014
•Speaker, “The Hitchhiker's Guide to Cyber Law,” San Diego IEEE Cyber Security Entrepreneurial Workshop, March 28, 2014
•Speaker, Data Breaches: Prepare for the Worst and Hope for the Best, ACC San Diego Chapter MCLE Program, March 20, 2014
•Moderator, Data Privacy Day: Mobile Devices & Privacy Issues, January 28, 2014
•Speaker, General Counsel Today Los Angeles, The Cyber Workforce & E-Discovery, December 10, 2013
•Sedona Conference on Cyber Liability, Setting Best Legal Practices in Data Breach Investigations, October 24, 2013
•Speaker, WORKPLACE 2014 - The Ultimate HR Booster Shot, San Diego Employer Advisory Council Annual Seminar: Oh DEAR! Avoiding Disability Discrimination Claims and Effectively Managing Accommodation Requests, October 16, 2013
•Speaker, WORKPLACE 2014 - The Ultimate HR Booster Shot, San Diego Employer Advisory Council Annual Seminar: Protect the Palace: Employee Monitoring and Workplace Privacy in the Cyber Era, October 16, 2013
•Speaker, WORKPLACE 2014 - The Ultimate HR Booster Shot, San Diego Employer Advisory Council Annual Seminar: Employment Law Update 2014, October 16, 2013
•Speaker, CLE on How to Use a Computer Forensic Expert in Civil Litigation, October 11, 2013
•Speaker, CyberFest 2013, Cyber-Apocalypse: Mitigating and Shifting Risk Relating to Data Breaches, October 10, 2013
•Panelist, Employment & Labor Law Society, Sex in the Courtroom: Practice of Sexual Harassment Law, October 9, 2013
•Moderator, CyberHive - Internet of Things Forum, Moderator on Privacy Issues Related to Internet of Things: When Smart Devices Create Big Data, October 2, 2013
•Speaker, Obtaining and Using Social Media Evidence, San Diego ESI Forum, July 18, 2013
•Speaker, Carmel Valley E-Discovery Conference in Del Mar, July 2013
•Speaker, Privacy Piracy, KUCI Radio, March 4, 2013
•Speaker, The Art of Multi-Tasking: Developing Business while Maintaining a Balanced Life, Lawyers Club of San Diego, February 5, 2013
•Speaker, Privacy, Cyber Security & Hackers: What Every Employer Needs to Know, MLA Labor & Employment Seminar, 2012
•Speaker, An Ounce of Prevention: Employment Laws in 2012, Presented to JH Cohn, 2012
•Speaker, Employment Law Updates for Total Rewards, San Diego Breakfast Counsel, 2012
•Panelist and Moderator, Technology, Smart Phones & Tablets: Helping You Balance Your Act, Lawyers Club of San Diego, 2012
•Legal analyst on KUSI News television explaining current cases and other legal issues of interest, 2010-present
•Moderator, Utilizing Vendors and Cost Containment for e-Discovery, Women in eDiscovery Program, 2011
•Speaker, E-Discovery Protocols: Global & Domestic Collection and Review, North America Regional Practice Group Annual Seminar, 2011
•Speaker, Propounding & Responding to ESI Requests under California's Electronic Discovery Act, 22nd Annual California Alliance of Paralegal Associations Educational Conference in San Diego, 2010
•Moderator, Boot Camp Basics for Litigators: California's Electronic Discovery Act, Women in eDiscovery CLE in San Diego, 2009
•Speaker, American College of Forensic Psychiatry Annual Symposia, 2005, 2007, 2009
•Speaker, University of San Diego Career Services Panel, 2007 & 2009
•Speaker, Externship Lunch Program, California Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit, 2007


•Breakfast With Your Labor Lawyer - San Diego
Spring 2019 Seminar Series
April 30, 2019
•Native American Finance Officers Association Conference
April 16, 2019
•Impermanence in Forensics & eDiscovery: Collection of Ephemeral Messaging, Social Media & Other Emerging Media
Techno Security & Digital Forensics Conference
March 11-13, 2019
•GDPR - Not Just an EU Concern
December 11, 2018
•Cyber Risk, Law and Policy Symposium
November 15, 2018
•Wall Street Journal’s Cybersecurity Small Business Academy
October 15-16
•Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour - San Diego
Fall 2018 Seminar Series
October 11, 2018
•PwC Profit Workshop: Cyber Incident Response
September 12, 2018
•Breakfast With Your Labor Lawyer - San Diego
Spring 2018 Seminar Series
April 4, 2018
•Managing and Mitigating Cybersecurity Risks for Your Clients & Your Practice
San Diego, CA
November 16, 2017
•Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour - San Diego
Fall 2017 Seminar Series
November 2, 2017
•Workplace 2018
Connect: Communicate, Educate, Participate
October 18, 2017
•Beating Mr. Robot: How to Protect You and Your Company from Hackers
Presented by Sheppard Mullin, GroupSixty & Berkeley-Haas Alumni Network
Sheppard Mullin San Diego , October 18, 2017
•The New Cyber Security Threats and How to Mitigate Risk as a CFO
Hosted by The CFO Leadership Council
KPMG , October 11, 2017
•Labor & Employment Law Update & Happy Hour - San Diego
Fall 2016 Seminar Series
October 4, 2016
•Got A Cyber Problem?
We've Got This And Other Business Problems Covered!
September 29, 2016
•Breakfast With Your Labor Lawyer - San Diego
Spring 2016 Seminar Series
April 21, 2016
•Corporate, Fraud, Theft, Embezzlement & Extortion Luncheon
It's not a matter of IF, it's a matter of WHEN
April 21, 2016
October 21, 2015
•Breakfast With Your Labor Lawyer - San Diego
Spring 2015 Seminar Series
May 14, 2015
•March Madness: Cyber Liability & Mitigating Risk
March 19, 2015
•HR Legal Updates for 2015
Presented by CONNECT Human Resources Roundtable
January 29, 2015
•Data Privacy Day 2015: Securing the Internet of Things
January 28, 2015
•Labor & Employment Legal Update & Happy Hour
Fall 2014 Seminar Series - San Diego
October 28, 2014
Prepare Today for Tomorrow's Emergencies
Crowne Plaza Hotel, San Diego , October 22, 2014
•Breakfast With Your Labor Lawyer - San Diego
Spring 2014 Seminar Series
April 3, 2014

Areas of Practice (26)

  • Labor and Employment
  • Labor and Employment Counseling
  • Employee Hiring/Discipline/Termination
  • Employment Agreements
  • Handbooks and Personnel Policies
  • Harassment Investigation and Training
  • High-Technology Employment
  • Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets
  • Wage and Hour Regulations
  • Workplace Violence
  • Labor and Employment Litigation
  • Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation
  • Employee Privacy and Defamation
  • Wrongful Termination
  • Litigation
  • Privacy and Cybersecurity
  • White Collar Defense and Corporate Investigations
  • Panama Papers
  • Aerospace and Defense
  • Construction
  • Education
  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Nonprofit
  • Retail

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
619.338.6619  Phone
619.515.4109  Fax
University Attended:
University of San Diego, B.A., 1999
Law School Attended:
University of San Diego Law School, J.D., with honors, 2005
Year of First Admission:
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California; U.S. District Court for the Central District of California; 2005, California


•Lawyers Club of San Diego Life & Law committee - Founding Co-Chair (2018-current)
•American Bar Association, Subcommittee for Technology for the Litigator - Chair of New Products
•American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties - Board Member
•California Women Lawyers - Member
•Couture for a Cause - Committee Member (2008-2010)
•CyberCalifornia - Advisory Board Member
•Cybersecurity Institute of San Diego - Board Member
•Kawasaki Disease Foundation - Board Member
•Lawyers Club of San Diego - Chair of Endorsement Committee and Balance Committee
•Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - Woman of the Year Candidate (2014)
•Mother Attorney Mentoring Association of San Diego - Founding Member/Board of Directors (2007-2010) and Past President (2010)
•Project Concern International, Development Committee - Board Member
•San Diego County Bar Association, Children at Risk - Member
•San Diego County Bar Foundation - Member
•San Diego ESI Forum - Board of Directors (2015) and Steering Committee Member
•San Diego Society for Human Resource Management - Member
•Scripps Mercy Auxiliary - President
•Scripps Mercy Foundation - Board Member
•Securing Our eCity Foundation - Co-Chair of Policy Committee (2014)
•State Bar of California - Member
•Women in eDiscovery San Diego - Board of Directors (2015-2016) and Founding President (2009)


Peer Reviews

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San Diego, California

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