Joan Smiles

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

$ $$$

Century Park East 2029
Los Angeles 90067 CA US

Joan E. Smiles is an attorney in the Los Angeles office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP. A member of the Labor & Employment Department, Ms. Smiles has represented clients in a broad range of disputes before state and federal courts involving employment matters. Ms. Smiles also has litigation experience in the areas of ADA Title III disability access and Unruh Civil Rights Act disability access claims.

Her employment litigation experience includes: actions for discrimination, including but not limited to disability discrimination, age discrimination and sexual harassment, under both the Fair Employment and Housing Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; wrongful termination in violation of public policy; breach of employment contract; wage claims; and other types of employment-related claims.

Ms. Smiles has also represented numerous employers in proceedings before various government agencies, such as the EEOC and DFEH, and has also represented employers in unfair labor practice cases before the National Labor Relations Board.

Additionally, Ms. Smiles provides legal counseling on employment and personnel issues, including: employee hiring; terms and conditions of employment; termination from employment; sexual harassment investigations; discrimination and wrongful termination; and the preparation of employee handbooks and personnel policies.

Ms. Smiles also provides legal counseling to various entities in the area of disability access under Title III of the ADA and the Unruh Civil Rights Act. In 2001-2002, Ms. Smiles was appointed to the Advisory Committee of the California Fair Employment Housing Commission.

Prior to entering the legal profession, Ms. Smiles worked for the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) for twelve years as an investigator, supervisor of a team of investigators, statewide technical specialist and finally as a District Administrator in the Los Angeles office. As Technical Specialist for the DFEH, Ms. Smiles co-authored the department’s Case Analysis Manual and trained investigators in analysis and investigative techniques statewide.

Ms. Smiles is a graduate of the University of Southern California Law Center (J.D., 1992; Order of the Coif).  Ms. Smiles has a Ph.D. and M.A. from Stanford University, a B.A. from Vassar College and was a Fulbright Graduate Fellow.


  • J.D., University of Southern California Gould School of Law (1992)
  • Ph.D., Stanford University
    • Fulbright Graduate Fellow
  • B.A., Vassar College


  • Board of Directors, Employment Round Table of Southern California (E.R.T.S.C.)


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Century Park East 2029
Los Angeles 90067 CA US
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Lina Stillman

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New York 10006 NY US