Dianne Baquet Smith is a partner in the Labor and Employment Practice Group at the Los Angeles office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, an AmLaw 100 firm with more than 600 attorneys in 14 offices. Prior to joining the firm in 1991, Ms. Smith was senior labor and employment counsel with Sears, Roebuck and Co.’s Regional Law Department, where she litigated cases and provided advice to facilities in 14 western states.
Ms. Smith has extensive experience representing management in litigation of wrongful discharge, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour, breach of contract, ERISA, and other types of employment cases, through trial. She has handled traditional labor issues (grievance arbitrations, union representation proceedings, unfair labor practices, strikes, contract negotiations, lockouts, handbilling, picketing, etc.) and has trained and advised clients on personnel matters and other subjects. Ms. Smith has handled a broad range of administrative matters regarding business practices, including wage and hour claims and employment discrimination charges with state and federal agencies and proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board, OSHA, and the California Department of Industrial Relations. As a trial attorney with the National Labor Relations Board from 1980 through 1982, she investigated and tried unfair labor practice cases and handled representation matters and injunction proceedings.
Ms. Smith is Chair of Sheppard Mullin’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, which is responsible for internal and external initiatives designed to enhance the recruiting, retention and advancement of diverse lawyers. Initiatives include affinity groups for Sheppard Mullin’s attorneys of color, women and LGBT attorneys, and attorneys in parental roles; mentoring and sponsorship programs; and diversity pipeline partnerships.
Ms. Smith serves on the Los Angeles County Bar Association Diversity Committee, is Vice President of the California Bar Foundation, and is a past president of the Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Foundation.