Dawn Sestito


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Dawn Sestito, honored by the Daily Journal as a “Top 20 Under 40” attorney in California, has experience in trials and administrative hearings, arbitrations, mediations, and all phases of business litigation across a wide swatch of industries. Her practice focuses on a broad range of commercial litigation, including matters involving unfair business practices, energy and the environment, natural resources, employment issues and Title IX, intellectual property, contract disputes, and damages issues.

In addition to her commercial litigation practice, Dawn also devotes a significant amount of time each year to pro bono matters, including substantial work on the Ninth Circuit’s landmark decision overruling the State of Nevada’s ban on same-sex marriage. Dawn also co-authored an amicus curiae brief in United States v. Windsor, in which the Supreme Court struck down portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional. In addition, she is the firmwide chair of the Associate and Counsel Review Committee.

Honors & Awards

  • Recommended by The Legal 500, Dispute Resolution - General Commercial Disputes (2018-2019)
  • Southern California “Rising Star” in annual surveys conducted by Law & Politics Media Inc.
  • Published in Los Angeles magazine
  • Published in the Southern California edition of Super Lawyers
  • O’Melveny Values Award recipient (2005)
  • Nominated as a “Rising Star” in Litigation by Euromoney Legal Media Group at the 2014 Americas Women in Business Law Awards


Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • US District Court for the Central, Eastern, Southern, and Northern Districts of California
  • US Court of Appeals, Ninth and Second Circuits
  • United States Supreme Court


  • University of California at Berkeley, J.D.: Order of the Coif
  • University of California at Berkeley, B.A.: Phi Beta Kappa; with high distinction

Professional Activities


  • Values Award Committee
  • Representing retail grocery chain in various actions involving consumer protection (including Proposition 65 claims), unfair competition, breach of contract, and interference with contractual and prospective economic relations
  • Representing major international oil and gas company in connection with various government investigations resulting from accidental release at refinery
  • Representing major international oil and gas company in class action lawsuit alleging antitrust violations and related government investigation
  • Representing major international oil and gas company in a contract dispute with a private party, including bench trial and two appeals to state supreme court
  • Representing various educational institutions regarding Title IX and Clery Act sexual assault issues, including investigations and audits by the U.S. Department of Education as well as litigation brought by current and/or former students and employees