Dawn M. Ross - Partner


Practice Focus

Labor and Employment Law, Business and General Civil Litigation, Trial Work.


Bachelor of Arts, California State University, Fullerton 1985
Juris Doctor, School of Law, University of California, Davis 1989


Dawn Ross leads CMPR’s employment group and commercial litigation team.  Ms. Ross has represented employers successfully in state and federal litigation and administrative proceedings.  Ms. Ross serves as counsel to some of the leading wineries, along with many other clients in the public and private sector.  She assists clients in preparing employee handbooks, employment agreements, counseling on layoffs and terminations, and conducts workplace HR investigations.   Ms. Ross also acts as trial counsel in intellectual property and commercial litigation matters such as breach of contract, real estate transfers, fraud, trade secret, trademark violations and construction defects. Ms. Ross works hard to control litigation costs without compromising the case.  Ms. Ross has a reputation as an aggressive, detail oriented advocate, who has great success at trial.  Ms. Ross was an associate at Bronson, Bronson & McKinnon and a partner at Marron, Reid & Sheehy prior to founding Carle, Mackie, Power & Ross LLP in 1998.

Awards and Associations

  • Ms. Ross is rated AV (the highest rating possible) by the Martindale-Hubbell nationwide attorney rating service.
  • Ms. Ross has been selected as a Northern California Super Lawyer three consecutive years. The selection process includes peer nominations based on ballots to 47,000 attorneys in Northern California, a blue ribbon panel review, and independent research on candidates.
  • Women in Business Award (2011)
  • Sonoma County Bar Association, Past President (2003)
  • Labor & Employment Law Section, Sonoma County Bar Association, Past Chairperson (2000)
  • Sonoma County Women in Law, Past President (1997)
  • Sonoma County Young Lawyers' Association, Past President (1996)
  • Volunteer Center of Sonoma County, Board Member (2010-Present)
  • Summerfield Waldorf School, Board Member (2014-Present)
  • California Parenting Institute, Board Member
  • Association of Workplace Investigators, Member


  • Top Ten HR Risks, North Bay Business Journal, 2015
  • Employment Law Update, North Bay Business Journal, Annual
  • When Layoffs Become Unavoidable, North Bay Business Journal, 2009
  • Misclassifying Workers as Hourly, Salaried Carries Risks, North Bay Business Journal, 2008
  • Name, Rank & Serial Number - the Rules on Reference Checks, 2004
  • Wrongful Demotion - How to Protect Your Organization, 1996
  • Labor Code § 970 - The Ramifications of Overselling the Job, 1995

Speaking Engagements

  • PASCO - Monthly Updates, 2014-Present
  • Sonoma County Bar Association - Discovery Seminar, 2015
  • Volunteer Center of Sonoma County - The Top Ten HR Risks & How to Avoid Them, 2015
  • Sonoma County Bar Association - Mandatory Paid Leave: Understanding & Complying with California’s Groundbreaking Sick Leave Law, 2015
  • Women in Winesense - Employment Law Update, 2011-2015
  • AgSafe - HR Basics, 2014
  • Agwise - Wage & Hour - Agricultural Employers, 2014
  • Sonoma State University, California Employment Laws, 2014
  • Sonoma County Bar Association and Volunteer Center of Sonoma County - Hiring to Termination - Best Practices, 2014
  • Sonoma County Bar Association - HR Basics, 2014
  • Sonoma County Bar Association and Women in Winesense - 1099 v. W-2 Employees, 2013
  • Santa Rosa Junior College - Alphabet Soup of Employment Laws, 2013
  • Women in Winesense - Hiring to Termination, 2011
  • Cal CPA Foundation – Changes in the HR Environment, 2010
  • Barristers - Mediation Presentation, 2010
  • Sonoma County Bar Association, Civil Litigation Update, 2009
  • PASCO, California’s Employee Class Action Epidemic, 2009
  • Sonoma County Bar Association, Employee Privacy, 2008
  • Sonoma County Bar Association, Wage and Hour Compliance, 2008
  • HR Matrix, Employment Law Update, 2007
  • HR Matrix, Managing Risk and Compliance in California, 2007
  • Sonoma County Bar Association, Deposition Skills Workshop, 2004 & 2006
  • Sonoma County Bar Association, Labor & Employment Law Section, Witnesses in Employment Cases, 2001
  • Lorman Education Services, HR Audits in California, 2001
  • Telecom Valley Alliance, Attracting & Retaining Key Employees, 2001
  • Legal Secretaries Association, Organizing Complex Cases, 1999
  • Sonoma County Bar Association, Recent Developments in Employment Law, 1998 & 1999
  • Engineering Contractors Association, Employment Law Overview, 1998
  • Department of Social Services, Sexual Harassment Seminar, 1998


The Firm

"The firm commitment to higher standards is the distinguishing characteristic of the quality of legal services we provide".