Karina B. Sterman, Partner

Hi, I’m Karina B. Sterman


Karina B. Sterman is a partner in the Litigation and Employment Law Departments of ECJ. A published author and frequent guest speaker on employment law and intellectual property matters, Karina maintains a Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating of AV Preeminent. She has also been recognized by her peers for many years as a Rising Star and most recently as a Super Lawyer in the Field of Employment Law, as published by LOS ANGELES magazine.  

A creative and ardent advocate for her clients, Karina defends companies in class action lawsuits as well as in single plaintiff discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination and other lawsuits. Karina also defends companies in administrative proceedings in front of the EEOC, Department of Labor, California Labor Commissioner and others.

Karina has significant experience in “behind the scenes” counseling on wage and hour and other employment law compliance, drafting employment related documents, and participating in business minded employment strategy to avoid litigation and costly long-term mistakes.

Karina also builds Trade Secret and Intellectual Property protection plans for companies to maximize the value of their investment in their intellectual property.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment Class Action and Single Plaintiff Defense Litigation
  • Appellate Litigation and Support
  • Trade Secret Litigation and Trade Secret Protection Plan Design
  • General and Complex Business Litigation

Representative Defense Matters

  • Obtained full summary judgment win for a Southern California parts manufacturer in a wrongful discrimination and harassment case which resulted in award of costs for the employer.
  • Defended and tried on behalf of several Beverly Hills luxury retail companies in multi-party employment contract lawsuit and won full defense jury verdict.
  • Obtained summary judgment win for California professional services company in a complex sex harassment, discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit.
  • Negotiated numerous speedy and very favorable class action settlements for hospitality and restaurant employers in complex, multi-location wage and hour lawsuits in which hourly workers alleged failure to pay wages and overtime.
  • Obtained full summary judgment win for international manufacturing company in reverse discrimination and wrongful termination case brought by two managers.
  • Participated in numerous “behind the scenes” counseling of employers in lawfully and strategically responding to employment complaints for harassment, discrimination, and wrongful retaliation with full satisfaction to employer and no compensation owed to employee.

Published Opinion


  • University of Southern California Law Center, Los Angeles, California, 1997
    Law Journal: Review of Law and Women’s Studies Journal, Staff Member
  • University of California at Los Angeles, 1993
    Honors: Magna Cum Laude
    Honors: Phi Beta Kappa
    Honors: Dean’s List
    Honors: Golden Key Society
    Major: English Literature
  • University of Exeter, Devon, England
    Study Abroad

Guest Speaking Engagements

  • Hiring Mistakes You’re Making and How to Stop Them for Accounting & Financial Women’s Alliance
  • Implementing a Trade Secret Protection Program for Bridgeport Continuing Education
  • Don’t Waste Time and $$ on a Bad Mediation: How to Maximize Success in Mediation for Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • Social Pressure: When is Employee Speech on Social Media Too Much? for West LegalEdcenter
  • Litigating Discrimination & Harassment Claims for Bridgeport Continuing Education
  • Introduction to Trade Secret Law and What Every In-House Counsel Attorney Needs to Know about Trade Secrets for Bridgeport Continuing Education
  • Motion for Summary Judgment and Dispositive Motions for Bridgeport Continuing Education;
  • Exempt v. Non-Exempt Employee Audits for the Professionals In Human Resources Association (PIHRA);
  • Sexual Harassment Training (compliant with CA mandatory training requirements) for numerous private organizations;
  • New Employment Laws for 2010 for the California CPA Education Foundation;
  • Nuts and Bolts of Employment Law for the Los Angeles County Bar Association;
  • Enhancing Your Balance Sheets: Protecting Your Trade Secrets for Executive Forums;
  • Managing Medical Leaves for California Employers for the California CPA Education Foundation
  • Employment Law Essentials for the Small Business Owner for the Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE);
  • Understanding the Paid Family Leave Act for the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce;
  • The Hiring Process for The Retail Council.

Published Works

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • California Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA)
  • California Women Lawyers
    Governor (Past)
  • National Employment Law Council
  • Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles
  • ProVisors (Professional Association of Trusted Advisors)


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