COSTA MESA, California, March 3, 2011 – Attorney Maria Z. Stearns has joined Rutan & Tucker, LLP, California’s largest full-service law firm headquartered in Orange County, as Senior Counsel in the firm’s Employment Law Department. Ms. Stearns represents employers in litigation and transactional matters. She has extensive wage and hour class action experience, and has defended a wide variety of claims, among them allegations of meal/rest period violations, employee misclassification (exempt/non-exempt), improper bonus/commission plans, unpaid business expenses, etc. Ms. Stearns also defends employers in discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination litigation and administrative matters.
In addition to her litigation practice, Ms. Stearns counsels employers in all aspects of the employer/employee relationship (e.g., reduction in force programs; disability accommodation and leave issues; government audits; and employee investigations). Employers regularly engage Ms. Stearns for on-site sexual harassment and management training. Ms. Stearns has lectured and written on various wage and hour topics, including meal/rest periods and federal and state overtime exemptions. She is a member of the state bars of California, Missouri and Kansas. In 2010, Ms. Stearns was recognized as a Rising Star by Southern California Super Lawyers magazine.
Ms. Stearns is a member of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Bar Foundation, a non-profit committed to keeping at-risk youth out of jail, in school, healthy and drug free through education, counseling and mentoring. She has also served as advisory counsel to Working Wardrobes, an Orange County-based nonprofit organization dedicated to helping adults in crisis re-enter the workforce through career development services.
Prior to joining Rutan & Tucker, Ms. Stearns was Senior Counsel with Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis, LLP. Ms. Stearns received her undergraduate degree summa cum laude from the University of Kansas in 1999 and her law degree from Harvard Law School in 2002. She was a full-scholarship varsity tennis player at the University of Kansas where she was named NCAA Woman of the Year. Ms. Stearns is fluent in Spanish.
“We are delighted to have an attorney of Maria’s caliber and reputation join our firm,” said Ski Harrison, managing partner of Rutan & Tucker, LLP. “Her experience and expertise will be valuable assets for our clients.”
Ms. Stearns may be contacted at 714.338.1821 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Rutan & Tucker, LLP
Rutan & Tucker is California's largest full-service law firm headquartered in Orange County, California with offices in Costa Mesa and Palo Alto. Primary practice areas include corporate and securities law, business and real estate litigation, labor and employment law, intellectual property, real estate, government and regulatory law, land use law, bankruptcy, condemnation and property valuation, environmental law, and taxation and estate planning. Detailed information about the firm is available at www.rutan.com.