Debra Ellwood Meppen is a litigation partner and the Chair of the Firm's National Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. She also heads the Firm's Women’s Initiative, the Firm’s women’s organization developed to support and encourage female attorneys on leadership and professional growth.
Ms. Meppen represents employers and management in all aspects of Federal and California employment matters. She has an active employment litigation and counseling practice defending both private and public entities against claims of discrimination, retaliation, FMLA, wrongful termination, defamation and harassment claims. In addition, Ms. Meppen has handled, and is currently handling, large scale class action litigation throughout California and nationwide. Her client list encompasses numerous industries including Hospitality, Retail, Pharmaceutical, Medical, and Entertainment.
Ms. Meppen has successfully handled all types of employment cases in both state and federal courts, as well as in administrative settings before the DFEH, EEOC, DLSE, and OSHA. She has tried numerous cases to successful verdict.
She regularly counsels employers on hiring practices, terminations, workplace investigations, reductions in work force issues, and litigation avoidance practices. Her counseling work further includes the negotiation of separation and executive employment agreements, and drafting industry-specific employment handbooks, policies, and procedures. Ms. Meppen is routinely called upon to speak on topics such as recent developments in employment law, cutting edge settlement techniques, and women's issues. She also conducts leadership training and sexual harassment prevention training.
Ms. Meppen is also actively involved with the Firm's Diversity Committee and chairs the Firm’s National Legal Education Conference Planning team. She is also a Co-Chair of GRSM’s Leadership Equality and Diversity Program (LEAD) which was developed to achieve the Firm’s objectives in areas of diversity and inclusion.
U.S. District Courts, California (Central, Eastern, Southern, and Northern District)
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
Los Angeles County Bar Association
Women Lawyers of Los Angeles Association, Legislation Committee
California Women's Lawyers Association
National Women's Political Caucus
Defense Research Institute
Society for Human Resource Management
National Association of Professional Women
Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue, Board of Trustees, (2019-present)
Los Angeles Superior Court, Settlement Officer
Operation Mend, UCLA (2010-present)
Valley Beth Shalom Day School Board of Trustees, Legal Vice President (2009-2013)
Bet Tzedek’s Justice Ball, Fund Raising Committee
Imagine LA, Volunteer
L.A. Family Housing, Volunteer