Fern M. Steiner
Practice Areas: Labor & Employment Law
Phone: 619-756-7007, Ext. 201
Northwestern University (B.A., 1971);
John Marshall Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1977).
Admitted To Bar
1978, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois and U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit;
1985, California, U.S. District Court, Southern District of California and U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit;
1987, U.S. District Court, Northern and Central Districts of California.
Fern M. Steiner got her start in labor law while working at a hospital in Illinois while attending Northwestern University. Her mother was involved in social justice issues while she was growing up in New York and New Jersey and instilled in her daughter the values she has continued to use throughout her working life. The hospital was not paying employees overtime pay to which the employees were entitled. Ms. Steiner met with the Hospital Administration and successfully obtained proper overtime for the employees. When she went to law school she was able to clerk at the National Labor Relations Board where she gained experience in labor law in the private sector. Ms. Steiner practiced representing labor unions in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa from 1977-1984 when she moved to San Diego. She expanded her labor representation to public sector employment when she joined her present law firm Smith Steiner Vanderpool in 1987. She has been a shareholder in the firm since 1993.
She works on water issues for the region and leads tours of the State Water Project and the Colorado River to help educate people on where their water comes from.
- American Bar Association
- Industrial Relations Research Association
- AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee
- National Lawyers Guild and its Labor & Employment Committee San Diego Bar Association
- State Bar of California
“Interference with Rights of Employees,” Labor Law for the General Practitioner, Chapter 4, 1984.
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1986 (Employment and Labor); Chosen as a Southern California SuperLawyer since 2007 (Employment and Labor); Named Southern California Lawyer of the Year Employment Law – Individuals in 2012; Named in Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers in 2013; Elected to the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in 2011; Member of the Board of Directors of San Diego Youth Services working with at risk youth; Appointed to the Board of Directors of San Diego County Water Authority in 2003 and Metropolitan Water District in 2009; 2005 Honored as a Voice of Justice by the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice; 3/9/2002 Presenter for CEB on Employment Law Practice; 11/6/2008 Presenter to the County Counsels of California Association; 1/16/2013 presenter at San Diego Labor Employment Association; 5/25/2011 presenter at the National Academy of Arbitrators; 9/21/2011 presenter to the American Constitution Society; 7/19/2012 presenter at the NLRB Division of Judges Conference; Annual presenter to the California Association of Labor Relations Officers; Annual presenter at the Orange County Labor Employment; Association Annual Meeting in Conjunction with the NLRB and FMCS; Annual presenter at CTA UCLA Training Session; Presenter to the California State Bar 2008 and 2011; Presenter to the Teamsters International Lawyers Conference 2009; Trainer for stewards, site representatives and business agents.