Jennifer A. Kearns

  • Duane Morris LLP
    750 B Street, Suite 2900
    San Diego, CA 92101-4681
  • Duane Morris LLP
    865 South Figueroa Street, Suite 3100
    Los Angeles, CA 90017-5450
  • Phone: +1 619 744 2242
    Fax: +1 619 923 2834

    Jennifer A. Kearns - LinkedIn Import to Address Book

Jennifer A. Kearns practices in the area of employment law, both in the transactional and counseling arena, and in the litigation context. Ms. Kearns has over two decades of experience in counseling and advising employers on all aspects of employment law under federal and California state law. She conducts training for management and assists employers, from startups to large companies, in developing and implementing policies and best practices. She has a particular interest in working with companies in analyzing and resolving matters involving nonsolicitation and noncompetition agreements (restrictive covenants). While Ms. Kearns' practice is primarily management-side, she also represents and advises individual executives in negotiating executive employment agreements and, on occasion, severance packages.

In addition to the counseling side of her practice, Ms. Kearns is an experienced litigator and trial attorney. She has tried to jury verdict several cases in which she defended employers against claims of wrongful termination, unlawful harassment, discrimination, and breach of contract. Ms. Kearns has experience in both bench and jury trials as well as appellate practice. Ms. Kearns has successfully obtained injunctive relief on behalf of clients seeking to prevent misuse and/or disclosure of their trade secrets.

While Ms. Kearns' primary focus is employment law, she also has substantial experience as a product liability litigator. She has tried to jury verdict cases involving claims of wrongful death and injury allegedly caused by exposure to various products.

She is a member of the American Bar Association, Section of Employment Law and Litigation; the State Bar of California, Labor and Employment and Litigation Sections; and the San Diego County Bar Association.

Ms. Kearns is a 1986 graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law, where she was a member of the Moot Court National Team. She is a 1983 graduate of the University of California at San Diego, where she received departmental honors with distinction in Experimental Psychology. Ms. Kearns has served as a member of the board of directors of Mama's Kitchen, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to daily meal delivery to clients with AIDS/HIV or cancer, and served as its president. She is an avid scuba diver and underwater photographer.


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


  • University of San Diego School of Law, J.D., 1986

Board Memberships

  • Mama's Kitchen, Inc., 2004-2011 and 2014-present (Board President, 2007)
  • United Through Reading
    -Trustee, 2011

Honors and Awards

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "Under the Microscope: Your Workplace" and "Lab Notebook: Friend or Foe?" 251st American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition, San Diego, California, March 16, 2016
  • Speaker, "Psychiatric Testing and Workplace Violence Avoidance," Duane Morris LLP Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration Group Spring Seminar Program, San Diego, California, May 19, 2015
  • Speaker and Moderator, "Protecting Your Workers When Nature Gets Nasty," LexisNexis Webinar, May 14, 2015
  • Speaker, "Everything You (N)ever Wanted to Know About Sexual Harassment (Or Were Afraid to Ask)," Duane Morris' Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration Program, San Diego, California, April 30, 2015
  • Speaker, "2014 Developments in Workplace Law and Practice," Duane Morris Employment, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group, Los Angeles, May 21, 2014
  • "Restrictive Covenants in California: Protecting Trade Secrets and Confidential Information," Duane Morris Institute Webinar, February 5, 2013
  • "Employment Law 101 - Getting It Right," CONNECT Frameworks Workshop, Sanford-Burnham Institute, La Jolla, California, June 26, 2012
  • "How to Protect Your Trade Secrets and Confidential Information," IOA CEO Roundtable, San Diego, July 11, 2012
  • Speaker, the Brinker Decision, Webinar, April 17, 2012
  • "Sexual Harassment Prevention for the C-Suite," Duane Morris Breakfast Briefing, San Diego, April 12, 2012
  • "Workers' Compensation 101," SDSU Entrepreneurial Management Center's Family Business Forum, San Diego, February 2, 21 and 22, 2012
  • "California's New Employment Laws for 2012," Duane Morris Institute Webinar, January 26, 2012
  • "Top Ten Ways to Lose Your Business Without Even Trying," American Association of Cosmetology Schools' Annual Meeting, Phoenix, November 4, 2011
  • "California Wage and Hour Issues and Class Action Litigation," Duane Morris Institute Webinar, October 20, 2011
  • "Disability Issues and Employer Obligations," Duane Morris Breakfast Briefing, San Diego, October 20, 2011
  • Speaker, "New Laws—New Interpretations," EMC Business Forum's Closely Held and Family Business Retreat, Rancho Santa Fe, California, April 15, 2011
  • "Employment Law Update," Presented to Oggi’s Restaurants Franchisees' Meeting, Irvine, California, May 24, 2011
  • Speaker, "Know the Building Code That Applies to You: The Legal Updates," Duane Morris' Developments in Workplace Law & Practice, San Diego, May 20, 2010
  • "Managing Employee Absences: The Legal Minefield, ” Duane Morris Breakfast Briefing, San Diego, March 16, 2010
  • Panelist, "Sex at Work: Right or Wrong?" "Tell Me More with Michel Martin" Radio Broadcast on National Public Radio News, October 8, 2009
  • "Employment in the Electronic Age," San Diego Tech Coast Angels, La Jolla, California, October 21, 2009
  • Quoted in "Your Career: A Lesson for Workplace Lovers,", October 5, 2009
  • "Conducting Internal Investigations: Is Your Organization Prepared?" Duane Morris Employment & Immigration Seminar, San Diego, September 24, 2009
  • "Developments in Workplace Law and Practice 2009," Duane Morris Employment & Immigration Seminar, La Jolla, California, May 20, 2009
  • "Disability and Reasonable Accommodation Issues," Duane Morris Employment & Immigration Breakfast Briefing, San Diego, April 17, 2009
  • "Five Employment Landmines to Sidestep," Presentation to the Annual Meeting of Franchisees of Oggi's Restaurants, Barona Resort & Casino, Lakeside, California, April 8, 2009
  • "Liabilities of Workforce Management in a Downward Economy," Presentation to the San Diego State University Entrepreneurial Management Center Business Forum, Family and Closely Held Business Retreat, Rancho Santa Fe, California, February 27, 2009
  • "Implementing the New FMLA Regulations in California," Duane Morris Workshop, San Diego, February 12, 2009
  • Speaker, "Best Downsizing Strategies for 2009," San Diego, February 4, 2009
  • "Top 10 Mistakes Employers Make During a Recession," Duane Morris Employment & Immigration Breakfast Briefing, San Diego, January 16, 2009
  • Speaker, "FLSA," Duane Morris' FLSA, Family/Military Leave, and Immigration Workshop for Healthcare Industry Leaders, Chicago, September 16, 2008
  • "Developments in Workplace Law and Practice 2008," Duane Morris Annual Employment, Benefits and Immigration Briefing, San Diego, May 20 2008
  • "FMLA Workshop: Implementing the New FMLA Regs in California" Duane Morris Breakfast Briefing, San Diego, February 12, 2008
  • Speaker, "Employment and Immigration Law in the Workplace," advanced continuing education workshop sponsored by Sterling Education Services, San Diego, California, January 17, 2007
  • Speaker, "Strategies to Solve Your Most Complex FMLA Challenges," advanced continuing education workshop, La Jolla, California, November 21, 2006