Wilson Turner Kosmo the largest certified women‐owned law firm in San Diego, continues to bolster its team of accomplished attorneys practicing employment and warranty law with the additions of Aimee Axelrod Parker, Simone M. Leonard, Rita M. Leong, David M. Middleton, Naomi C. Pontious and Morgan D. Stewart to its Employment, Class Actions and Warranties practice groups.
Senior counsel in the firm’s Class Actions and Employment Law practice groups, Axelrod Parker has over 12 years of experience representing, defending and advising employers of all sizes. A skilled trial lawyer who has defended and settled numerous individual, class and collective actions, Axelrod Parker also advises employers on creating and implementing legally compliant policies and procedures and provides workplace conduct, sexual harassment prevention and bias-elimination training.
Axelrod Parker received her J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law, where she served as editor-in-chief of the San Diego Law Review, and her B.A., cum laude, in International Studies and Spanish from Hollins University. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Axelrod Parker worked for the world’s largest corporate trademark licensing firm and studied performing arts with the American Ballet Theater and Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Leonard, a rising attorney with civil litigation and insurance defense experience, joins the firm’s Employment Law practice group, where she represents employers in a variety of employment disputes including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wage and hour litigation.
She earned her J.D. from the University of San Diego, School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science from Boston University. Leonard was a San Diego County Bar Association Diversity Fellow in 2017 and remains an active member of the Association. She is also a member of San Diego Defense Lawyers, Lawyers Club of San Diego and Earl B. Gilliam Bar Foundation.
An associate in the Employment Law and Class Actions practice groups, Leong represents employers in a number of workplace disputes, including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wage and hour litigation. Before joining WTK, Leong gained extensive experience as a plaintiff’s attorney, representing employees in employment and class action lawsuits in state and federal courts.
She earned her J.D. from California Western School of Law and B.A. in English and Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Outside of her practice, Leong is active in the San Diego County Bar Association as well as the Lawyers Club of San Diego.
Middleton joins the firm’s Warranty practice group, representing product manufacturers in breach of warranty claims. Prior to joining WTK, Middleton served for four years as a judicial law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California for the Honorable M. James Lorenz, the Honorable Robert N. Block, the Honorable David H. Bartick (late) and the Honorable John A. Houston.
He earned his law degree from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago and B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Michigan. Middleton, who is licensed to practice law in California and Illinois, serves on the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Foundation’s Board of Directors and as a bar process management coordinator and tutor for Minority Legal Education Resources, Inc. He also officiates recreational, youth and high school football and lacrosse across Southern California.
Pontious, a senior associate in the firm’s Employment Law and Class Actions practice groups, represents individuals, public entities and private corporations in high-stakes employment disputes. Prior to joining WTK, Pontious gained extensive experience in complex litigation, litigating multi-million-dollar class action and mass tort claims, before transitioning her practice to exclusively representing employers.
Pontious graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles with degrees in Anthropology and History. She earned her J.D. from the University of California, Davis School of Law and honed her employment practice while interning at the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.
Stewart, a member of the firm’s Employment practice group, represents employers against charges of discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wage and hour violations in state and federal courts, arbitration and administrative agencies. Before coming to WTK, she worked as a trial attorney with the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc., an associate at a premier U.S. law firm and as a law clerk for the Honorable Kathleen Cardone for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.
Stewart earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan School of Law and her B.A. from Reed College. She is an active member of the Lawyers Club of San Diego and has been honored for her volunteerism with the American Civil Liberties Union Pro Bono Award.
About Wilson Turner Kosmo
Wilson Turner Kosmo serves as California trial counsel for local and national companies and public institutions. The firm’s 41 lawyers provide litigation expertise in the areas of product liability, employment law, class actions and general business litigation. Established in 1991, Wilson Turner Kosmo’s attorneys are frequently honored for their commitment to the legal profession and the San Diego community. The firm is one of the largest women‐owned law firms in California and is certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms and The Supplier Clearinghouse for the Utility Supplier Diversity Program of the California Public Utilities Commission. For more information, visit www.wilsonturnerkosmo.com.