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Get to Know The Top Up-And-Coming Rising Stars at MLG!

Five of our attorneys at Matern Law Group, PC were recently selected to the 2020 Southern California Rising Stars list. Dalia and Tagore additionally made the Up-and-Coming 50 Women and Up-and-Coming 100 lists! Read more about them below.

Dalia Khalili

Dalia_Khalili-portrait Dalia Khalili has been selected to the 2020 Southern California Rising Stars list. She has made the Rising Stars every year since 2015. This year, Dalia was additionally selected to the Up-and-Coming 50 Women list, ranking in the top of the list in the 2020 Southern California Rising Stars nomination, research and blue ribbon review process.

Why did you become a lawyer?

From an early age, my family members often told me that they thought I should be a lawyer, so it was probably ingrained in my head that I would end up being one.  But as I got older and was figuring out what direction I wanted my career to head in, based on my interests in civil rights, child advocacy, and international relations, the common thread through them all was the law.

Why employment law?

In law school, I gravitated more toward litigation and trial advocacy.  In my last semester, I was a law clerk for the San Francisco Unified School District, working on issues including complaints against and potential termination of teachers and other employees of the District.  This piqued my interest in employment law, particularly employee-side representation.  So many workers spend close to 1/3 of their lives at work, yet don’t know what rights they are entitled to and are frequently taken advantage of by their employers, with a fear of retaliation if they speak up.  And many cannot afford to lose their jobs as they need to work to support themselves and their families.  It is satisfying to be able to advocate on behalf of these individuals and be their voice in what often times can be a scary process.

What do you like most about litigation?

I enjoy how fast paced it is and how every day is different from the last.  My work includes meeting with clients, legal research, writing briefs, appearing in court before judges, taking and defending depositions, attending settlement conferences and mediations, and even going to trial or working on appeals, among many other things.  I enjoy the collaboration with my colleagues and learning from their experiences as well as brainstorming about how to deal with new challenges we face, whether it’s with evolving case law or addressing creative arguments from our opponents.

What’s the most memorable case you’ve worked on?

There’s been a lot, but probably the last case I took to trial.  We represented a minimum wage factory worker who was sexually harassed by her supervisor, complained and then was terminated shortly thereafter. The defendants did not put much value on our case, which pushed us to go to trial.  Shortly before the trial, we had a number of other women who came forward and let us know that they had also been sexually harassed or observed our client being sexually harassed.  The company ended up calling many rebuttal witnesses that we had never heard of and who had never been disclosed in discovery, so we were in the dark as to what they would say about our client.  We ended up finding many of their facebook profiles which were kept public, and were able to use a lot of information they had posted to impeach them and undermine their credibility. After 13 days of trial and over 20 witnesses, the jury awarded our client both compensatory and punitive damages.

IMG_2394-daliaWhat’s your greatest fear?

Losing a close loved one.

Which living person do you most admire?

My mother.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I don’t think I really have any!  But prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I would frequently treat myself to a manicure/pedicure.

What is your favorite journey?

Currently, motherhood!

Which talent would you most like to have?

While I speak a little bit of 3 languages other than English, I wish I had more of a natural talent of speaking and understanding other languages.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My curly hair.

What is the quality you most like in others?


Who are your heroes in real life?

Ruth Bader Ginsberg (is that cliché for a female attorney to say?!)


Tagore Subramaniam

Tagore-Subramaniam-portraitTagore Subramaniam has also been selected to the 2020 Southern California Rising Stars list. He has made the Rising Stars every year since 2016. This year, as with last year, Tagore made the Up-and-Coming 100 list, ranking in the top of the list in the 2020 Southern California Rising Stars nomination, research and blue ribbon review process.

Why did you become a lawyer?

Everything we do as a society can be viewed through a legal lens. I like to think of the law as the study of what happens when things go wrong. Every car accident, every broken contract, every botched construction job is governed by a system of laws, intended to help guide us to a fair and just result.

Unfortunately, not everyone has the resources to navigate the legal system. As an attorney, it’s incredibly rewarding to help guide people through the legal process.

Why employment law?

Most working Americans spend half of their waking hours at their job. It’s how people earn their livelihoods, feed their families, get healthcare, and find purpose in their life. When things go wrong in the workplace, it has a profound impact on a person’s life and our economic system at large.  For me, practicing employment law is about making a difference.

What’s the most memorable case you’ve worked on?

One of the first cases I worked on was a class action on behalf of approximately 800 factory workers. After five years of litigation, multiple failed mediations, and over 40 depositions across the state, we were able to secure a settlement of $8,500,000. The settlement ended up being recognized as one of the top settlements in the country that year. After settling the case, I remember getting a phone call from one of the class members. The class member was a former employee going through a difficult financial circumstance, who was calling to thank us for the settlement check she received. I remember hearing her hold back tears of joy when she described receiving the check. I’ll never forget that phone call.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?


2015-05-04 14.52.24-2What is your greatest extravagance?

My new office chair.

What is your favorite journey?

Hiking Rainbow Mountain in the Andes of Peru.

Which living person do you most despise?

I don’t despise anyone.

What is the quality you most like in others?


Who are your heroes in real life?

Abraham Lincoln and my parents.

What is your motto?

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

Is It Illegal, or Just Unfair?

Legal cases can be lengthy, complicated, and confusing, but you don’t have to take on the system all by yourself. If you believe someone has violated your individual rights, or the rights of a large group of people in your community, we can help you find the right course of action.

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