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Associate - Sarah A. Westby

Sarah A. Westby

Associate

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Sarah is a member of Shipman & Goodwin’s Employer Defense and Labor Relations practice group. She counsels clients on a wide variety of employment matters, including sexual harassment, discrimination, compensation, termination, severance, and workplace safety. Sarah also represents employers in labor disputes and employment-related litigation, with significant experience litigating cases in state and federal court, before administrative agencies such as the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, and through alternate dispute resolution. She manages an active caseload of discrimination and harassment lawsuits, conducting all phases of the litigation. This includes interviewing witnesses, collecting evidence, formulating and advising clients on legal and business strategies, taking and defending depositions, and negotiating resolutions.

She has written and conducted trainings for supervisors as well as line employees on sexual harassment prevention, termination best practices, and workplace safety. In addition, Sarah has spent significant time counseling clients, writing and presenting on issues surrounding paid leave under the FFCRA and state executive orders, as well as employer policies on return to work and refusal to work related to COVID-19.

Sarah takes a 360 degree view of each case, considering her clients' budget, business values, reputation, and concerns for precedent-setting action. While she is always prepared to try a case, Sarah recognizes that early dispute resolution is often in the best interests of her clients. She values collaborative work in all types of settings ranging from small teams to large "virtual" law firms. Sarah also has a strong background in complex litigation representing clients in antitrust, product liability, and medical malpractice cases. This experience includes trying several multi-million dollar cases to verdict and representing clients through post-trial proceedings.

Sarah’s practice also includes representing clients pro bono in immigration and child protection cases through partnerships with Lawyers for Children America and the ACLU. Specifically, she helped a young woman apply for asylum because she feared persecution in her home country for refusing an arranged marriage and rejecting her culture’s restrictions on women.

Outside of Sarah’s legal practice, she serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for Simply Smiles, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that builds villages of foster homes for children in Native communities. Sarah advises Simply Smiles on a number of legal issues, including child protection, employment, real estate, taxation, insurance, and general liability. She also engages in significant fundraising, budgeting, and strategic planning, and facilitates collaborative partnerships with other organizations.

Distinctions

  • Listed as a Connecticut Super Lawyer Rising Star®: Personal Injury - Products: Defense (2018-2020)
  • Brooklyn Journal of International Law, Executive Board
  • CALI Excellence Awards: Trial Advocacy; International Business Transactions
  • University of Iowa 2010 Trandafir International Business Writing Competition Award
  • International Economic Law Graduate Award
  • Phi Beta Kappa - Alpha Chapter of Delaware

Professional Affiliations

  • DRI, The Voice of the Defense Bar: Young Lawyers Committee; Women in the Law Committee; Medical Liability and Healthcare Law Committee
  • American Bar Association: Product Liability Section
  • Connecticut Bar Association: Litigation Section
  • New York City Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association

Community Involvement

  • Simply Smiles, Inc., Board Secretary (2016-2018), Vice Chairman of the Board (2019-present)
  • Connecticut Women's Council, Member
  • Fred D. Wish School Volunteer Tutor Program
  • Leadership Greater Hartford, Quest Class 2018; Hartford Summer Youth Employment Initiative, Member

Publications

September 3, 2020  Legal Limbo: The Current State of CBD Regulation and the Manufacturer's Conundrum
May 12, 2020  Governor Lamont Issues Guidelines for "Reopen Connecticut - Phase 1"
April 24, 2020  Expedited Review for COVID-19 Procompetitive Collaborations
March 29, 2020  COVID-19: USDOL Clarifies Exemptions to Paid Leave Provisions Under FFCRA for Healthcare Providers, Emergency Responders and Small Businesses
March 27, 2020  USDOL Issues Second Round of Guidance on COVID-19 Paid Leave
March 25, 2020  USDOL Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Paid Leave Provisions
March 19, 2020  Update: President Trump Signs Emergency Leave Law: What this Means for Your Business
March 18, 2020  Take Two: House Knocks Out Several Paid Leave Provisions in FFCRA Revision
March 16, 2020  House Bill Expands FMLA Leave and Paid Sick Leave Due to COVID-19
March 2020  Vertical Mergers Guidelines Updated to Include Safe Harbor From Enforcement Based on Market Shares
March 2020  Large Manufacturers Beware: DOJ's Request for Additional Antitrust Attorneys Portends Heightened Enforcement
November 2019  Not a Food, but Not Yet a Drug: Dietary Supplement Litigation and the Role of FDA
June 18, 2018  Federal "Right to Try Act" Becomes Law: What Your Risk Management Team Needs to Know
December 7, 2017  Asserting and Maintaining the Peer Review Privilege: Best Practices for Healthcare Institutions
June 20, 2017  SCOTUS Finally Ends Litigation Tourism In Product Liability Suits
November 4, 2016  The 510(k) Process Does Involve a Relevant Safety Review, Despite What You May Have Read or Heard
June 22, 2016  Connecticut's New "Right to Try" Law Provides Hope for Patients and Providers, but FDA Remains in the Driver's Seat

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Practice Areas

Industries & Featured Services

Education

  • Brooklyn Law School, J.D., 2011, cum laude
  • University of Delaware, 2008, magna cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Connecticut
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of NY
  • U.S. District Court, District of CT
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of NY
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