Lorraine P. Ocheltree practices in the area of federal and California employment law and civil litigation. She has represented clients in state and federal court and has served as trial counsel in jury and bench trials, resulting in defense verdicts, as well as matters that went to mediation and arbitration. She has also successfully pursued and defended appeals.

Ms. Ocheltree has defended employers in both state and federal court from a variety of claims including wrongful discharge, race, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, and disability discrimination, as well as racial and sexual harassment, retaliation, ADA-compliance, Labor Code violations, defamation, interference with contract, wage and hour disputes, and unfair business competition. She has defended claims brought before the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the California Labor Commission, the Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Ms. Ocheltree's practice includes providing advice to employers on all aspects of the employer/employee relationship, including the areas of employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation (FEHA, Title VII, ADA, ADEA), family, medical and pregnancy disability leave (FMLA, CFRA, PDL), reasonable accommodation and the interactive process, wage and hour law (exempt/nonexempt, employee/independent contractor, meal and rest periods, overtime), reductions in force (WARN), background checks (FCRA), workplace investigations, drug and alcohol issues, progressive discipline, workplace violence, recruiting and retention of executives and employees, and employee terminations. She frequently drafts employee handbooks, agreements (employment, confidentiality, arbitration), injury and illness prevention programs (IIPP), severance agreements, and releases. She has counseled and litigated claims involving mandatory arbitration, non-competition, anti-solicitation, and the protection of company trade secrets. She has trained employees, supervisors, and business owners on how to prevent claims from arising in the workplace and routinely provides mandatory anti-harassment trainings. She has also been involved in numerous stock option disputes and has substantial experience defending companies against Title III (public access) ADA claims.

Ms. Ocheltree represents both large and small employers in matters pertaining to the telecommunications, retail, education, food service, manufacturing, staffing, legal, architecture, financial services, accounting, insurance, recreation, healthcare, engineering, construction and automotive industries. She also has substantial maritime, insurance, and general business litigation experience.

A member of the American Bar Association, Northern California Human Resources Association, and Queen's Bench, Ms. Ocheltree is a 1990 graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law and a graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles.

Areas of Practice

  • Employment Counseling and Advice
  • Employment Litigation
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Restrictive Covenants


  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • 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 Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California


  • University of San Francisco School of Law, J.D., 1990
  • University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., 1985


  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Partner, 2006-present
  • Hancock Rothert & Bunshoft LLP
    - Partner, 1997-2006 (Head of Employment Practice Group)
    - Associate, 1995-1997
  • Derby Cook Quinby & Tweedt LLP
    - Associate, 1990-1995

Professional Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Northern California Human Resources Association
  • Queen's Bench

Selected Publications

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "What to Expect in 2017 Under President Trump: Employment and Immigration Practice," San Francisco, January 26, 2017
  • Speaker, "What's Percolating! Recent Employment Developments That Impact Every Business," San Francisco, November 9, 2016
  • Speaker, "Holiday Party Law," National Business Institute Teleconference, September 21, 2016
  • Speaker, Duane Morris' Developments in Workplace Law and Practice 2016, San Francisco, California, May 12, 2016
  • Speaker, "New Employment and Immigration Laws For 2016 and Cases To Watch This Year," San Francisco, February 11, 2016
  • Presenter, "The Rise of Retail Workers' Rights: California and Beyond," Professional Retail Stores Maintenance Association (PRSM), November 4, 2015
  • Presenter, "Bullying in the Workplace: Awareness, Prevention and Response," National Association of Professional Women, October 13, 2015
  • Speaker, Duane Morris' Developments in Workplace Law and Practice 2015, San Francisco, California, May 21, 2015
  • Speaker, "Human Resource Law From Start to Finish," National Business Institute Seminar, San Francisco, May 6, 2015
  • Speaker, "New 2015 Employment & Immigration Laws & Trends," Duane Morris Employment, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group, San Francisco, January 22, 2015
  • Speaker, "Employment Update 2015; Looking Forward and Looking Back," Sierra Human Resource Association & North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, Truckee, CA, January 15, 2015
  • Speaker, "Other Employment Laws You Need to Know: Everything But the Kitchen Sink—WARN, OWBPA, FMLA, ADEA, ADA, Title VII, PDA, USERRA" and "The Three Ds of Dealing with Problem Employees: Discipline and Discharge—Necessary Documentation," National Business Institute's Human Resource Law From Start to Finish Conference, Oakland, November 5, 2014
  • Speaker, "Horrible Headlines: Lessons from Employment and Immigration Law Controversies in the News This Year," Duane Morris Employment, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group, San Francisco, October 15, 2014
  • Speaker, "2014 Developments in Workplace Law and Practice," Duane Morris Employment, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group, San Francisco, May 22, 2014
  • Speaker, "Discrimination and Harassment," National Business Institute Conference on "Human Resource Law: What You Need to Know Now," San Francisco, May 14, 2014
  • Speaker, "Berkeley Chamber of Commerce's New California Labor Laws Luncheon," Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, Berkeley, CA, March 5, 2014
  • Speaker, "New 2014 Employment and Immigration Laws and the Most Talked About Litigation Trends," Duane Morris' Employment, Labor, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group Breakfast Briefing, January 15, 2013
  • Speaker, "Horrible Headlines and Employment Lessons They Teach," Duane Morris Employment, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group, San Francisco, October 9, 2013
  • Speaker, "Social Media Networking Sites and Employment-Related Decisions" and "Privacy and Other Workplace Issues," Sterling Education Services, 10th Annual Labor and Employment Law 2013, San Diego, April 16, 2013
  • Speaker, "New Labor Law Luncheon," Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, March 6, 2013
  • Speaker, "Navigating Employee Leaves of Absence," Duane Morris Employment, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group, San Francisco, October 17, 2012
  • Speaker, "Internal Investigations: A Step-by-Step Approach," Duane Morris Employment, Benefits and Immigration Practice Group, San Francisco, July 18, 2012
  • Speaker, "Sensitive Issues: Substance Abuse and Leaves of Absence" and "Internal Investigations: A Step by Step Approach," National Business Institute "Employment Laws Made Simple" Seminar, San Francisco, May 2, 2012
  • "Social Media and Technology in the Workplace," Bay Area General Counsel Group, June 7, 2011
  • "Social Media in the Workplace: OMG! TMI at Work," County Counsel Association of California, November 4, 2010
  • Speaker, "Planning for the Future: Protecting Your Current Business," Duane Morris' Developments in Workplace Law & Practice 2010, San Francisco, May 18, 2010
  • Speaker, "Weathering The Recession: Employment Dos and Don'ts In A Bad Economy," Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, Berkeley, California, Thursday, March 12, 2009
  • "What's New in California: A Review of Employment Law Developments in 2006," Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, January 24, 2007
  • Speaker, "What You Should Know Before You Hire and The Hiring Decision," advanced continuing education workshop sponsored by Sterling Education Services, San Diego, California, January 17, 2007
  • "The Perfect Storm: Navigating Health Related Leaves of Absence Laws," Conference on Labor and Employment Law, San Francisco, September 29-30, 2005