SHERRY M. PATTERSON
Ms. Patterson, Partner, represents insurance carriers, third-party administrators, self-insured employers, corporations, groundskeeping businesses, hospitals, restaurants, grocery stores, and food and beverage companies in all aspects of workers’ compensation defense, including Labor Code §132a claims.
Before joining Morgan Leahy, Ms. Patterson was Associate Attorney for a workers’ compensation defense firm representing insurance carriers, third-party administrators, self-insured employers, transportation companies, hospitals, colleges, and school districts. She advised employers and claim representatives, appeared before the WCAB, and successfully advocated at trial. As Associate Counsel for Hartford Fire Insurance in Brea, she represented the company in workers’ compensation litigation, including banking institutions, hotels, and entertainment and tech companies. She advised claims adjusters in coverage, legal issues and defense strategy, and was deeply involved in the review and analysis of evidence. She appeared before WCABs throughout Southern California. As a Summer Associate, and later as Associate Counsel for Travelers Insurance in Diamond Bar, Ms. Patterson also represented the company in workers’ compensation matters. In addition to conducting settlement negotiations, she advised claims adjusters, reviewed evidence, conducted research and depositions.
Ms. Patterson was a Summer Associate for Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass in San Francisco, working on a variety of legal matters involving taxes, real estate, land use, estate planning, criminal procedure, labor/employment and family law. She conducted research and drafted documents, and assisted pro se taxpayers navigating Tax Court. She assisted in settlement conferences and negotiations, and made presentations on various legal topics.
Before attending law school, Ms. Patterson was a Workers’ Compensation Payroll Auditor for the California State Compensation Insurance Fund in Santa Ana. Her duties included counseling employers on employee classification, payroll reporting and exemptions, policy endorsements, OCIP documentation, waivers of subrogation and SCIF compliance. She led meetings with policyholders, and audited and analyzed client payroll and accounting records.
Ms. Patterson received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, where she received the Merle Catherine Chambers scholarship. She served as Staff Editor and Treasurer for the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal, and was Class Representative and Treasurer of the Associated Students of UC Hastings. She was a Graduate Legal Assistant for the California Franchise Tax Board, and a Student Liaison for the California Association of Black Lawyers. She launched her educational career and commitment to community service at The University of Southern California (USC). While there, she studied mathematics and tutored children in the inner-city under USC’s Joint Educational Project. After rising to the occasion of school-family conflict, Ms. Patterson completed her undergraduate degree at the California State University, Long Beach, where she was a member of the Law Society.
Ms. Patterson is proficient in American Sign Language and speaks conversation French and Spanish. She currently serves on the executive board of Black Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, Inc. and is a member of African American Workers’ Compensation Professionals (AAWCP).