Justine Phillips is a partner in both Data Privacy & Security and Labor and Employment Practice Groups in the firm's San Diego office.

Areas of Practice

Justine focuses her practice on cybersecurity, data privacy, employment litigation and counseling, and commercial litigation. Her representations involve every aspect of cybersecurity from information governance, diligence in acquisitions/investments, incident preparedness and response, drafting incident response plans and conducting breach simulations, to advising on California Consumer Privacy Act, responding to regulators, and defending companies in litigation relating to cyber events. Justine takes a practical and thoughtful approach to assist multi-national and emerging companies on everyday issues related to electronically stored information including: privacy/security by design, cyber risk management and mitigation; eWorkforce policies; compliance with data regulations; retention/destruction policies and protocols; information-security and data privacy; crisis management and forensic investigations for data breaches; business email compromises; developing policies/protocols/trainings within an organization to create a culture of cyber-awareness; electronic discovery; and social-media issues. Justine also founded Women in eDiscovery-San Diego, Mother Attorney Mentoring Association-San Diego, and frequently publishes and speaks on cyber-related issues.

As an employment attorney, Justine handles commercial litigation for clients in the following public and private industries: cybersecurity and technology, healthcare, tribal, sporting enterprise, insurance, medical device, education, defense, cybersecurity, manufacturing, retail, non-profit and for-profit industries. Justine also regularly advises clients on issues relating to: classification; leave policies; defense of ADA and FEHA disability discrimination claims; interactive process and reasonable accommodation; wage and hour matters; information management; social media; employment agreements; and employee handbooks. Justine has defended companies in both state and federal court against claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful dismissals.



  • Incident response and investigations related to loss of sensitive data or access by unauthorized users
  • Prepare insider threat protection program and incident response policies/plans
  • Handle high profile data breaches involving financial data, personally identifiable information and intellectual property
  • Advise clients regularly on how to securely manage and store sensitive data
  • Represent clients in B2B litigation related to Business Email Compromise
  • Liaise with federal law enforcement related to client investigations for information security issues



Women of Influence in Law, San Diego Business Journal, 2021

Cyber Leader in Law, San Diego Business Journal, 2019

Recognized by The Legal 500 US, 2019

San Diego Rising Star by Super Lawyers, 2015

Selected as a Lawyer on the Fast Track by The Recorder, 2013

Awarded the State Bar of California Wiley Manuel Award for pro bono legal services, 2012

Named as one of the San Diego Daily Transcript's Young Attorneys in 2007, 2008 and 2010



  • "Survey of California Employment Privacy Law," MLRC Employment Survey, 2013-2015
  • "White House Aims to Protect 'Critical Infrastructure'," Daily Journal, February 27, 2013
  • "General Counsel's Highest Concern? Cybersecurity," Daily Journal, 2012
  • "Is America Loving Same-Sex Couples?" American College of Forensic Psychiatry, 2005

Labor and Employment Law Blog Posts

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, "Roundtable: Fostering and Strengthening Relationships 'Attorneys and Litigation Support'," International Legal Technology Association, November 19, 2020
  • Speaker, "Implicit Bias and Diversity in the In-House Counsel Setting," California Lawyers Association Shelter In Place Institute, November 11, 2020
  • Panelist, "360 Degrees of a Ransomware Attack: Decision Points in Defense, Response and Mitigation," Infragard San Diego, November 10, 20020
  • Moderator/Panelist, "Protect the Privilege: Maintaining Attorney-Client & Work Product Privilege During a Cyber Incident," USD Cyber Law Risk & Policy Symposium, October 26, 2020
  •  Speaker, "2020 VIP Backstage Pass: Investigating Cyber Events & HR Matters During a Pandemic," County of Los Angeles, October 15, 2020
  • Panelist, "Cybersecurity Workshop: 'Do's and Don'ts of Incident Response'," North West Academic Computing Consortium, October 7, 2020
  • Recording Session, "Cybersecurity in the Age of Telemedicine – 'Lessons Learned'," National PACE Association, October 6, 2020
  • Speaker, "Girl Scouts Cybersecurity Workshop Sessions 'Cybersecurity Investigations'," Girl Scouts of America synED, September 26, 2020
  • Panelist, "Journey to the Cloud," InfoCgv for Legal Operators, September 16, 2020
  • Speaker, "Virtual Lunch With Leaders 'Mentorship' Webinar," San Diego Paralegal Association, August 20, 2020
  • Speaker, "Planning for a Safe Return to the Office in a Covid World," San Diego InfraGard Webinar, August 12, 2020
  • SynEdPanelist, Data Governance for Legal Operators Webinar, August 4, 2020
  • Speaker, "Cyber Instructors/Coaches Training: Wrap-Up National Collaborative Efforts," June 26, 2020
  • Panelist, "Data Privacy & Security | The New Litigation and Regulation Battleground," June 17, 2020
  • Speaker, "WITI OC Virtual Event: A Guardians of the Galaxy's approach to California’s Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)," Women in Technology International, June 11, 2020
  • Speaker, "Unique considerations in managing the risks of phishing and ransomware attack," Ernst & Young LLP, June 4, 2020
  • Panelist, "PrivacyConnect San Diego: Expert Panel Session, Q&A," One Trust, May 22, 2020
  • Speaker, "San Diego BOLD: Business Owners Leadership Discussion 'Workplace Considerations for Business Owners in the Era of Covid-19',"
  • Speaker, "Reasonable Security and the CCPA," WSJ Pro Cybersecurity, May 6, 2020
  • Speaker, "The COVID-19 Pandemic: Special FBI Briefing on Rising Cyber Crimes & Working From Home," Infragard San Diego, April 10, 2020
  • Speaker, "'Vision: Preparing for CCPA' Speaking Presentation Timeslot," 2020 Techno Security & Digital Forensics Conference, March 10, 2020
  • Speaker, "Get Smart 'Cyber-Intelligent Corporate Counsel Reduce Risks'," American  Bar Association 2020 Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar, February 15, 2020
  • Speaker, "VIP Backstage Pass "Ethical Issues in Responding to a Cyber Attack'," Association Corporate Counsel 2020 MCLE La-Law Pooza, January 29, 2020
  • Speaker, "Center for Real Estate Cyber Security: What It Means for Commercial Real Estate," The Paul Merage School of Business, January 28, 2020
  • Speaker, "Security is Mostly a Superstition 'Reasonable Security' Under the California Consumer Privacy Act," Wall Street Journal Cybersecurity Symposium, January 10, 2020
  • Speaker, "New Technologies and the Potential Privacy & Responsibility Challenges They Present," SDSC’s Annual Winter Forum on Data, December 11, 2019
  • Speaker, "GDPR and its implications," SDSC’s Annual Winter Forum on Data, December 10, 2019
  • Panelist, "Risk Management Considerations," Cybercon 2019 Conference, November 21, 2019
  • Moderator, "'Reasonable Security' Under the California Consumer Privacy Act," USD 2nd Annual Cyber Law Risk and Policy Symposium, November 7, 2019
  • Speaker, "Cyber Security Discussion," Coronado Rotary Club, October 23, 2019
  • Panelist, "CISO Coalition: California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) Discussions," Gartner, October 2019
  • Speaker, Happy Hour With Your Labor Lawyer, October 17, 2019
  • Panelist, Workplace 2020: "20/20 Vision in the Workplace," SDEAC, October 16, 2019
  • Speaker, "CCPA’s Legislative Updates & Amendments," Sheppard Mullin’s Cyber Law Roundtable webinar, October 15, 2019
  • Panelist, "Breakfast Panel Discussion: Automation & Compliance," PwC, September 30, 2019
  • Speaker, "Implications of the California Consumer Privacy Act and the Rapidly Changing Legal Precedents on Corporate Security," June 18, 2019
  • Speaker, "CCPA with ESET," Tech San Diego’s Cybersecurity Summit, June 12, 2019
  • Speaker, "CCPA & GDPR," OneTrust PrivacyConnect Roadshow, June 5, 2019
  • Speaker, "Cyber Law Roundtable – CCPA and The Three Questions," Sheppard Mullin’s Cyber Law Roundtable webinar, April 17, 2019
  • Panelist, "Tribes Are Prime Targets: Threats and Solutions for Cybersecurity & Criminal Activity," Native American Finance Officers Association, April 16, 2019
  • Speaker, "Collection of Ephemeral Messaging, Social Media & Other Emerging Media," 2019 Techno Security & Digital: Impermanence in Forensics & eDiscovery, March 12, 2019
  • Speaker, Southern California Tribal CFO Roundtable on the California Consumer Protection Act, March 6, 2019
  • Speaker, "Warrior One: Yoga & Meditation for Legal Professionals," Life & Law, January 29, 2019
  • Speaker, "Lost in Space: Navigating “Reasonable Security," ISACA's San Diego Chapter, January 24, 2019
  • Speaker, "GDPR - Not Just an EU Concern," Epiq Lunch & Learn, December 11, 2018
  • Speaker, "Cyber Risk, Law and Policy Symposium," University of San Diego Symposium in Cyber Law, November 15, 2018
  • Speaker, Workplace 2019: "Dynamic Employment Laws: Outlook for 2019 & Spotlight on Independent Contractor Classification," SDEAC, October 18, 2018
  • Moderator, Workplace 2019: "The Big Four: Trending Issues for EEOC, EDD, DFEH and DLSE," SDEAC, October 18, 2018
  • Speaker, "The Tortoise & the Hare: The Intersection of Law and Cyber," Wall Street Journal Cybersecurity Small Business Academy, October 16, 2018
  • Moderator, "The Anatomy of a Cyber Attack: A Case Study in Protecting Your Tribe," NAFOA, October 3, 2018
  • Panelist, "Project 20/35 Managing Cyber Risk: Teaming with Your Outside Counsel," Women’s In-House Counsel Leadership Institute, September 25, 2018
  • Panelist, "Breakfast Discussion: Incident Response – Staying Out of the Headlines," PwC San Diego, September 12, 2018
  • Participant, "Fall 2018 FBI Citizens Academy Program," FBI San Diego, September 11- November 6, 2018
  • Panelist, "Cyber-Privacy & Security Issues," Public Interest Law Foundation, September 7, 2018
  • Speaker, "Managing a Cyber Incident and Mastering the Media," ACC, June 14, 2018
  • Speaker, "Anatomy of the Breach Teaching Course," University of San Diego Cyber Security Program, April 20, 2018
  • Panelist, "Creative Compensation Strategies from Startup to Exit," The San Diego CFO Leadership Council, April 12, 2018
  • Speaker, "Breakfast With Your Labor Lawyer," Sheppard Mullin Annual Conference, April 4, 2018
  • Speaker, "Anatomy of a Breach," California District Attorneys Association’s High Tech and Digital Evidence Symposium, March 20, 2018
  • Panelist, "Managing and Mitigating Cybersecurity Risks for Your Clients & Your Practice," ABTL San Diego, November 16, 2017
  • Panelist: "Cyber and Data Security for the GC: How to Stay Out of Headlines and Crosshairs," SoCal eDiscovery/Information Governance/Cybersecurity Retreat, October 30, 2017
  • Panelist, CyberFest 2016: "Surviving a Cyber Disaster," CyberTECH, October 27, 2016
  • Speaker, Workplace 2017: "Elephant in the Room – Employee Privacy vs. Business Necessity," SDEAC, October 26, 2016
  • Speaker, Workplace 2017: Employment Law Update "Preparing for 2017," SDEAC, October 26, 2016
  • Panelist, "Law & The CFO Role," The San Diego CFO Leadership Council, October 20, 2016
  • Speaker, The Wild West: "Cyber for the Legal Professional – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly," San Diego County Bar Association, October 6, 2016
  • Speaker, Labor Update 2016 Fall Presentation: "Happy Hour With Your Labor Lawyer," BWYLL, October 4, 2016
  • Speaker, Cyber Security for Legal Professionals: "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly," Association of Corporate Counsel, September 28, 2016
  • Panelist, Signature Series: "IoT: TMI? Smart Cities, Smart Devices and San Diego’s Smartest #IoT Influencers," Athena, September 20, 2016
  • Panelist, Blackhat Conference: Securing the Internet of Things Masters Forum, August 3, 2016
  • Panelist, Blackhat Conference: "Healthcare Security: Patient Health v. Patient Data," CyberTECH, August 2, 2016
  • Speaker, "The Force Awakens: Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure," May 31, 2016
  • Speaker, "Speed Mentoring," San Diego Legal Secretaries Association and Paralegal, May 23, 2016
  • Speaker, "Cybersecurity and IT Acquisition Threats, Laws and Best Practices," Fed Pub Seminars, May 18, 2016
  • Moderator, "Oh DEAR!! Reasonable Accommodations & The Interactive Process under ADA and FEHA," L-3 Corporate Workers' Compensation Group, May 18, 2016
  • Speaker, "Breakfast With Your Labor Lawyer," Annual Conference, May 4, 2016
  • Speaker, "Art of Public Speaking," High Tech High, April 25, 2016
  • Speaker, "Corporate Cyber Espionage, Small & Midsize Businesses," April 21, 2016
  • Speaker, "Cyber Investigations – Incident Response," San Diego ESI Forum, April 14, 2016
  • Speaker, "Cyber Awareness and Education," Red Cross, April 12, 2016
  • Moderator, "Conquering Your IT and Security Objectives," California IT Technology Summit’s 4th Annual Summit, March 16, 2016
  • Moderator, "Securing the Internet of Things Masters Speaking about Head in the Cloud, Literally? Life of IoT and Emerging Technologies in the Cloud," Cybertech, February 29, 2016
  • Panelist, "Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure on Discovery and Case Management," San Diego ESI/Women in eDiscovery, December 10, 2015
  • Panelist, "Change is Here: Amendments to the Federal Rules," San Diego ESI Forum and Women in eDiscovery, December 10, 2015
  • Speaker, "The Only Constant in Life is Change: Year in Review," Workplace 2016 - San Diego Employer Advisory Council Annual Seminar, October 21, 2015
  • Panelist, "Litigation Technology: The nEXT Step in Your Legal Career," UCSD Extension, October 10, 2015
  • Moderator, "Protecting Your Personal and Professional Brand," Cyberfest 2015, October 8, 2015
  • Panelist, Decade of Discovery Screening and Panel, University of San Diego, October 1, 2015
  • Speaker, “Trending Data Breaches & Cybersecurity,” Nuix User Exchange 2015, September 29, 2015
  • Panelist, “Can Bitcoin Pay for IoT?” Internet of Things (IoT) Meetup, September 17, 2015
  • Co-Chair, San Francisco Bar Association Data Privacy & Security Seminar, General Counsel Institute, May 20, 2015
  • Speaker, "Securing Our eCity," 2015 Payroll Fraud Prevention Group Annual Meeting, April 15, 2015
  • Panelist, “The New Unduly Burdensome Objection: How to Fend Off or Embrace Proportionality and Cost Considerations in Discovery,” San Diego ESI Forum, March 12, 2015
  • Speaker, “Mitigating Liability Before the Inevitable Breach: Prepare for the Worst and Hope for the Best,” InfraGuard San Diego IT and Communications Sectors Joint Meeting, February 26, 2015
  • Speaker, "HR Legal Updates for 2015," CONNECT HR Roundtable, January 29, 2015
  • Moderator, "Privacy Divide: Real or Perceived," Data Privacy Day 2015: Securing the Internet of Things, January 28, 2015
  • Panelist, "eDiscovery & Information Governance Think Tank," January 27, 2015
  • Speaker, "Labor & Employment End of the Year Legal Update," Western Pension & Benefits Council San Diego Chapter, December 9, 2014
  • Speaker, "Workplace - 2015 Preparing Today for Tomorrow," October 22, 2014
  • Moderator, "IoT: War on Privacy," Cyberfest 2014, October 1, 2014
  • Speaker, "Managing the e-Workforce," Women in eDiscovery, Los Angeles Chapter, September 17, 2014
  • Panelist, "Computer and Network Forensics," San Diego ESI Forum, July 24, 2014
  • Speaker, "Cyber Liability: What to do if your company becomes a victim of a cyber security incident and how to handle the triage," San Diego Chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals, July 23, 2014
  • Panelist, "You Asked What!? Interviewing 101 for Non-HR Professionals," CONNECT HR Roundtable, May 8, 2014
  • Speaker, "Discovering & Using Social Media Evidence," California Judges Association Mid-Year Conference, May 2, 2014
  • Speaker, “The Hitchhiker's Guide to Cyber Law,” San Diego IEEE Cyber Security Entrepreneurial Workshop, March 28, 2014
  • Speaker, "Data Breaches: Prepare for the Worst and Hope for the Best," ACC San Diego Chapter MCLE Program, March 20, 2014
  • Moderator, Data Privacy Day: Mobile Devices & Privacy Issues, January 28, 2014
  • Speaker, General Counsel Today Los Angeles, The Cyber Workforce & E-Discovery, December 10, 2013
  • Sedona Conference on Cyber Liability, Setting Best Legal Practices in Data Breach Investigations, October 24, 2013
  • Speaker, WORKPLACE 2014 - The Ultimate HR Booster Shot, San Diego Employer Advisory Council Annual Seminar: Oh DEAR! Avoiding Disability Discrimination Claims and Effectively Managing Accommodation Requests, October 16, 2013
  • Speaker, WORKPLACE 2014 - The Ultimate HR Booster Shot, San Diego Employer Advisory Council Annual Seminar: Protect the Palace: Employee Monitoring and Workplace Privacy in the Cyber Era, October 16, 2013
  • Speaker, WORKPLACE 2014 - The Ultimate HR Booster Shot, San Diego Employer Advisory Council Annual Seminar: Employment Law Update 2014, October 16, 2013
  • Speaker, CLE on How to Use a Computer Forensic Expert in Civil Litigation, October 11, 2013
  • Speaker, CyberFest 2013, Cyber-Apocalypse: Mitigating and Shifting Risk Relating to Data Breaches, October 10, 2013
  • Panelist, Employment & Labor Law Society, Sex in the Courtroom: Practice of Sexual Harassment Law, October 9, 2013
  • Moderator, CyberHive - Internet of Things Forum, Moderator on Privacy Issues Related to Internet of Things: When Smart Devices Create Big Data, October 2, 2013
  • Speaker, "Obtaining and Using Social Media Evidence," San Diego ESI Forum, July 18, 2013
  • Speaker, Carmel Valley E-Discovery Conference in Del Mar, July 2013
  • Speaker, "Privacy Piracy," KUCI Radio, March 4, 2013
  • Speaker, "The Art of Multi-Tasking: Developing Business while Maintaining a Balanced Life," Lawyers Club of San Diego, February 5, 2013
  • Speaker, "Privacy, Cyber Security & Hackers: What Every Employer Needs to Know," MLA Labor & Employment Seminar, 2012
  • Speaker, "An Ounce of Prevention: Employment Laws in 2012," Presented to JH Cohn, 2012
  • Speaker, "Employment Law Updates for Total Rewards," San Diego Breakfast Counsel, 2012
  • Panelist and Moderator, "Technology, Smart Phones & Tablets: Helping You Balance Your Act," Lawyers Club of San Diego, 2012
  • Legal analyst on KUSI News television explaining current cases and other legal issues of interest, 2010-present
  • Moderator, "Utilizing Vendors and Cost Containment for e-Discovery," Women in eDiscovery Program, 2011
  • Speaker, "E-Discovery Protocols: Global & Domestic Collection and Review," North America Regional Practice Group Annual Seminar, 2011
  • Speaker, "Propounding & Responding to ESI Requests under California's Electronic Discovery Act," 22nd Annual California Alliance of Paralegal Associations Educational Conference in San Diego, 2010
  • Moderator, "Boot Camp Basics for Litigators: California's Electronic Discovery Act," Women in eDiscovery CLE in San Diego, 2009
  • Speaker, American College of Forensic Psychiatry Annual Symposia, 2005, 2007, 2009
  • Speaker, University of San Diego Career Services Panel, 2007 & 2009
  • Speaker, Externship Lunch Program, California Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit, 2007




Vice President, Infragard San Diego

Lawyers Club of San Diego Life & Law committee – Founding Co-Chair (2018-current)

American Bar Association, Subcommittee for Technology for the Litigator - Chair of New Products

American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties - Board Member

California Women Lawyers - Member

Couture for a Cause - Committee Member (2008-2010)

CyberCalifornia - Advisory Board Member

Cybersecurity Institute of San Diego - Board Member

Kawasaki Disease Foundation - Board Member

Lawyers Club of San Diego - Chair of Endorsement Committee and Balance Committee

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - Woman of the Year Candidate (2014)

Mother Attorney Mentoring Association of San Diego - Founding Member/Board of Directors (2007-2010) and Past President (2010)

Project Concern International, Development Committee - Board Member

San Diego County Bar Association, Children at Risk - Member

San Diego County Bar Foundation - Member

San Diego ESI Forum – Board of Directors (2015) and Steering Committee Member

San Diego Society for Human Resource Management - Member

Scripps Mercy Auxiliary - President

Scripps Mercy Foundation - Board Member

Securing Our eCity Foundation - Co-Chair of Policy Committee (2014)

State Bar of California - Member

Women in eDiscovery San Diego – Board of Directors (2015-2016) and Founding President (2009)


J.D., University of San Diego Law School, 2005, with honors

B.A., University of San Diego, 1999


  • California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California


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