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About Sandy

Defending employers in the public and private sectors in labor and employment disputes

Sandy McDonough is an experienced litigator who also advises employers in all aspects of employment law and disputes. Representing both private and public sector clients — including the regents of the University of California, National University, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and the Board of Trustees of the California State University — Sandy focuses on:

  • Employment litigation, arbitration and mediation
  • Employment counseling

As a friendly competitor says, Sandy is an authority in employment law and keys in quickly to the true issues in a motion or matter, with an eye toward the end result. She takes a pointed, efficient and strategic deposition.

Sandy expertly identifies issues and potential defenses in cases and never takes her eyes off the ball during a case. She is at least one step ahead of her adversaries and effectively winnows down cases, including prevailing in pre-trial motion work.

Experience in Action

  • Representing employers in disputes, including wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination, class actions and union matters.
  • Advising employers on workplace issues, including employee discipline, terminations, leaves of absence, and wage and hour issues.


  • Has a favorable history of obtaining dismissals at the initial pleading stage and through summary judgment and has also obtained advantageous settlements in numerous matters, both within and outside the mediation process. 
  • Also has a favorable record in the appellate courts and significant experience representing large entities in matters brought to arbitration.

Professional Recognitions

  • San Diego Super Lawyers® (2018-present: Labor & Employment)
  • Best Lawyers in America® (2024: Employment Law – Management, Litigation - Labor and Employment)
  • San Diego Business Journal “Women of Influence in Law” ( 2023)

Professional & Civic Activities

  • California Public Employers Labor Relations Association, member
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, member
  • State Bar of California, Labor and Employment Law Section, member
  • Feeding America San Diego, board vice chair
  • WISH Circle, Make-A-Wish San Diego, member
  • IMPACT San Diego class of 2016, LEAD San Diego
  • Adjunct professor, Pre-Trial Advocacy, USC Gould Law School

    • Regularly taught masters-level students the legal aspects of human resources management at Webster University
  • Frequent lecturer on employment law issues for industry and human resources groups
  • Regular contributor to Matthew Bender’s publication entitled California Labor and Employment Bulletin for several years

News & Insights


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions

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