Overview

Sheila focuses her practice on catastrophic injury, employment, construction, professional liability and toxic tort litigation. Sheila also frequently handles complex actions involving sureties, including claims involving payment and performance bond claims, defaults on construction projects,  and mechanic’s lien release bonds. Bringing a powerful combination of experience as a partner at WSHB and a former active duty Judge Advocate in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps, Sheila has tried over 75 cases, including 20 jury trials. In the construction arena, she has successfully tried cases involving public works projects, residential construction, and landslide and subsidence claims. Sheila also counsels owners, builders and contractors on risk management issues in all phases of the construction process and assists them with drafting of contracts, securing approval of subdivision documents, and complying with right to repair laws.

As part of her employment litigation and consultation practice, she provides workplace training on risk management, as well as discrimination and harassment awareness initiatives. Bringing her Navy background to the table, she has experience in conducting compliance audits and overseeing internal investigations, as well as drafts, negotiates, and provides advice to clients on service and non-competition agreements. Her litigation practice includes defense of sensitive discrimination, harassment and wage claims for her clients. In this arena, Sheila frequently litigates disputed claims under Title VII, the ADA, FLSA, FMLA, FDCPA, FCRA and associated state and local laws.

Captain (O-6) in the Navy Reserve JAG Corps, she most recently held two key senior leadership roles in the Reserve Law Program. Sheila acted as the Reserve Deputy Inspector General, Office of the Judge Advocate General Inspector General, and as Special Assistant for Public Affairs to the Reserve Deputy Judge Advocate General. Previously, she served as the Deputy Force Judge Advocate (legal advisor) to Commander, Navy Reserve Forces Command, the Staff Judge Advocate for the Navy Region Southwest Reserve Component Command, the Commanding Officer for two units comprised of attorneys and paralegals, and the Staff Judge Advocate for the First Naval Construction Division (Forward). As part of her service and practice, she has been recognized for many awards, including:

  • Judge Advocate's Association, 2016 Outstanding Career Armed Services Attorney, Navy Reserve
  • The Gilbert Cup for the Best Navy Reserve Law Unit for her tenure as Commanding Officer
  • The Rear Admiral Hugh H. Howell Award for Best Junior Officer, West Coast
  • The San Diego Navy League Military Woman of Achievement

Experience

  • Pinnacle Museum Tower Assn. v. Pinnacle Market Development S186149
  • Promenade at Playa Vista Homeowners Association v. Western Pacific Housing, Inc., 2012 Cal.App. Unpub. WL 6052034

Credentials

Education

  • Southern Methodist University School of Law (J.D., 1987)
  • Bowdoin College (B.A., 1984)

Licensed to Practice in

  • California
  • Texas

Newsroom

Events, Seminars & Speaking Engagements

  • "Peace, Joy & Happiness: The Zen of Mediating Difficult Positions and Issues with Emotional Parties," CLM New York Conference
  • "Look Out: Impact of the Labor Crisis on Construction Claims and the Right to Repair," CLM Construction Conference
  • "Green Building Products – Can They Perform as Promised?," International Builders Show
  • "Meeting the Challenge of the Construction Defect Claim: A Pro-Active Risk Management Strategy," Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • "Going Green: Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side?," West Coast Casualty Construction Defect Seminar
  • "Meeting the Challenge of the Multi-Family Housing Construction Claim," National Association of Homebuilders International Builders Show

Community

Memberships

  • National Association of Home Builders Construction Law Attorney Forum
  • Building Industry Association of Southern California
  • Associated General Contractors of California
  • U.S. Green Building Council, Los Angeles Chapter

Honors & Recognitions

  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Judge Advocates Association's U.S. Navy Reserve Outstanding Career Judge Advocate Award (2016)
  • Named as a Top Attorney by Pasadena Magazine (2013 - 2017)
  • Rear Admiral Hugh H. Howell, Jr., Award of Excellence, Junior Officer, West Coast
  • National Merit Scholar
  • Navy League Military Woman of Achievement

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