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Barbara Lawless and her staff worked with me on a very difficult legal matter having to do with my rights as an employee who had been in my opinion wrongfully terminated from a rather large corporation. This was a very complicated matter, not the least because of the emotional difficulties I was experiencing because of the way it had happened to me, but certainly because of the many aspects of the event of my termination and the nasty and humiliating way they had unfolded around me in that corporation — where I have to say that Age Discrimination was a significant factor.

Barbara and her staff worked diligently with me to help me understand my rights, to build my legal case, to understand the processes involved in my Action against my former employer and some individuals who I believe had caused it all to happen, and most of all to help me through the emotions I was experiencing not only from the reason for which I had sought her help but from the events that necessarily had to take place as my case unfolded. I really did feel I was in the best hands I could have found for this. Barbara and her staff were incredibly understanding and knowledgeable in every aspect of my case. They were kind to me in the best possible ways. They worked with me as we read the (it seemed) tons of documentation that seemed to pour forth from everywhere, all relevant to the case, all a part of the whole thread of events and attitudes that had brought me to seek them out. I particularly appreciated their kindness and support during my very long and challenging depositions under the opposing counsel.

I have no hesitation at all in recommending Barbara Lawless, nor in recommending Lawless, Lawless & McGrath in general with all its excellent staff. I cannot think of better, more highly qualified people in these difficult legal areas.


I hired Barbara Lawless to represent me in my sexual harassment and retaliation case. Barbara was not intimidated by my employer’s attorney. She fought hard for me. She got me a settlement which was much higher than what my employer initially offered. She was supportive throughout. Barbara and her assistant Debby were always available to answer my questions. I would definitely recommend her!

Former Client

I retained Lawless, Lawless & McGrath firm to assist me with employment termination issues and they filed a discrimination and breach of contract lawsuit for me.

My experience with Barbara Lawless and her team has been incredibly amazing. They are experts in their field, committed, genuinely caring, and went over and above in every area! I was so touched by how they truly looked out for my best interest, provided emotional support, and did whatever was necessary to accomplish the best outcome possible.

I am indebted to them for being there for me when I really needed them.


I was lost and desperate at a white-male-dominated work field because of my pregnancy and ethnic background.

Therese sat down with me and listened to all my stories in the office. Tears came down when I told her how my boss discriminated me during my pregnancy, how rude he was when he named my baby in public to some very disgusting names, how he tried to make my doctor visits very difficult, how he assigned me new jobs just one day before my expected due day and how he substantially cut my pay and bonus while I was at maternity leave. Therese offered her advice in such a kind way. She gave me strength by telling me to hang in there and continue working hard and things will unfold themselves.

After the talk with Therese, I was able to continue my job even though it was painful. And I filed complains at HR against my boss. Unfortunately, my complaints did not help. On the contrary, I was treated even worse ever since. Therese was once again there to give me strength. She told me to do what I felt right for myself. And I did until the company laid me off.

It was then in the mediation that I truly realized how much strength and power Therese had given me. She was so smart and sympathetic during the settlement, and that combined with her professional experience and reputation made a true heroine in the mediation. It is interesting how I felt at the end of the battle when I walked out from the mediation room, I did not even care about the results anymore, I just felt right regardless of what the outcomes are. I am so glad that I did what I did and on top of that, we gained the upper hand in terms of the mediation results. The company had to eventually pay a high price for what they did to me. To my knowledge, they started treating pregnant women in the firm with more justice.


In 2007, my former employer denied my request for a temporary leave of absence from my job. I requested the leave in order to care for my father as he began emergency chemotherapy for leukemia and lymphoma. He was divorced and lived in another state; I was his only child. I had 18 years of service with this corporation, a Fortune 500 company and a giant in the transportation industry with over 50,000 employees. In my position, I was responsible for managing $37 million in annual revenue. This was the first time I had asked my company — widely known for its ‘family’ culture — to grant a leave in accordance with requirements outlined in the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). I needed to be able to care for my father during three months of his medical treatment. My employer denied the request.

My gut reaction was that my employer either knew their actions were wrong or didn’t know they were wrong. Either scenario was bad. I gave two weeks’ notice and left my position. After 15 months of filing formal complaints and requests for information with the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), I realized that my former employer would never respond — nor be forced to respond — to my inquiries. I contacted the offices of Lawless, Lawless & McGrath by phone. In less than three weeks, Therese Lawless and I met in person to discuss my situation during an initial consultation at no cost to me. Therese asked pertinent questions but spent an inordinate amount of time simply listening to me present the facts in my case. For the first time since my departure from my company, I finally felt heard and understood. She immediately came across as possessing disparate characteristics that I’d assumed would be hard to find in just one trial attorney: dogged determination to correct injustices, coupled with genuine caring. Therese is unpretentious, approachable, infectiously cheerful, and realistic about setting expectations. I felt extremely fortunate to have her agree to represent me.

Several months after our initial meeting, she successfully negotiated and out-of-court settlement on my behalf. I was ecstatic and relieved. Had it not been for Therese, I would have continued believing that my rights had been violated and feeling completely helpless to rectify the injustice.

If you are considering hiring an employment attorney to assist you in resolving a labor dispute, having Therese represent you will make an enormous difference in your ability to negotiate the legal system and ultimately in the outcome of your case.


I was referred to Therese by another well-known attorney from a large firm with a very short comment “she is the best in the business and her awards prove it.” My case was for wrongful termination and age and ethnic discrimination. The case was litigated in the superior court and appeals court where Therese and her colleagues were very thoroughly prepared and did an excellent job in presenting the case. The entire team at Lawless, Lawless & McGrath are very professional, take their responsibilities seriously and were very good in communicating with the client. As a highly experienced, senior executive I concur that Therese and Lawless, Lawless & McGrath are the best in the business.


Working with Emily McGrath was an absolute game-changer for my legal situation. From our initial consultation to the final verdict, her dedication, expertise, and strategic approach were truly exceptional. Emily meticulously analyzed every aspect of my case, leaving no stone unturned. Her attention to detail and thorough preparation were evident throughout the entire process.

Not only did Emily demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the law, but she also displayed remarkable courtroom presence and persuasive advocacy skills. Specifically, her ability to articulate complex legal arguments in a clear and compelling manner was truly impressive. I felt confident and reassured knowing that she was representing my best interests.

The successful outcome of my case was a direct result of Emily’s unwavering dedication and relentless pursuit of justice. She and the firm fought tirelessly to protect my rights and achieve a favorable resolution. I am forever grateful for their exceptional representation and would highly recommend Lawless, Lawless & McGrath to anyone seeking a highly competent, tenacious, and persuasive attorney.

Thank you, Emily, for your outstanding legal expertise, professionalism, and genuine care for your clients. You truly made a significant impact on my life, and I am eternally grateful.


I cannot begin to thank the team at Lawless, Lawless & McGrath for all they have done.  From the first moment I came to the firm, Barbara was ready to stand up to a big corporation and take on my case. She heard my story and immediately took action on my behalf.

Emily has been not only my legal representation, but has also been my counselor, my inspiration and my guidance.  She held my hand and led me through this terrible process, often giving me the courage to continue.  I could not have done any of this without her.  Her kindness, sternness 🙂 and poise have been an incredible thing to experience.

The legal assistants have been just awesome at all the details and making sure I stayed on track!

The women at Lawless, Lawless & McGrath have changed my life forever.  The event itself changed my life forever, but more importantly, knowing that this wonderful team of women believed in me is something that has changed my trajectory in positive ways I am still uncovering.

Please know that I will hold you in my heart because you showed me that the good guys (women) do win.

I am teary eyed and emotional and forever indebted to you all.

From the bottom of my heart and soul, THANK YOU.