Shayna Fernandez Watts
Shayna was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas. After graduating from Stanford University with a degree in Human Biology, she taught 6th and 7th grade history with Teach for America in Donna, Texas. Shayna earned a master’s degree in Education from the University of Texas while teaching and attended law school at the University of Arizona where she was an International Moot Court oralist, Law Women’s Association president, and Latino Law Student representative. While in law school, Shayna clerked for the Honorable Sarah Simmons and interned at the United States Department of Justice in the Civil Division in Washington D.C.
Shayna is an experienced civil and commercial litigator and labor and employment attorney. She manages all aspects of litigation in state and federal courts and has defended against and represented plaintiffs in claims of harassment and discrimination, hostile work environment and wrongful termination, unfair competition, breach of restrictive covenants, and other related claims including breach of contract, misrepresentation, fraud, and negligence.
Shayna is deeply involved with Los Abogados and serves on its Board. Shayna, her husband (former British military), and two children enjoy spending as much time outdoors as possible and exploring Arizona.
· Litigated and/or advised on matters involving Title VII, Title II, Arizona Paid Sick Leave, FLSA, FMLA, OSHA, ADA, NLRA, the First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments, restrictive covenants, trade secrets, intentional infliction of emotional distress, intentional interference with contract and business relations claims, breach of contract, defamation, and slander.
· Defended lawsuits involving claims against financial institutions and employers including insurance bad faith, fraud, HOA liens, title position issues, negligence, contract claims, libel, slander, TILA, RESPA, FCRA, quiet title, conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, and conversion.
· Prepared position statements in response to discrimination and retaliation claims with the EEOC and ACRD.
· Drafted employee handbooks, revised company policies, and ran internal company harassment trainings.
· Conducted onsite investigations and witness interviews.
· Defended and sought TROs and preliminary injunctions in state and federal courts.
· Successfully litigated to settlement or judgment well over 100 cases for Arizona business clients.
· Arizona (2009)
· U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona (2010)
· U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (2010)
· Stanford University – Bachelor of the Arts, Human Biology, 06/04
President of Senior Class; President of Junior Class; Vice-President of Sophomore Class; Alternative Spring Break Program – San Francisco (03/02) and New York (03/03); Academic Excellence Award, El Centro Chicano.
· University of Texas, Pan American – Master of Education, 06/06
· University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law – Doctor of Jurisprudence, 05/09
Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition – Oral Advocate, 2008; President (08/09), Law Women’s Association; Treasurer (07/08) and Representative (06/07), Student Bar Association; Representative (08/09), Latino Law Student Association; Dean’s Academic Achievement Award; Volunteer Lawyers Program Committee; Contracts and Criminal Law Tutor.
· Best Lawyers in America – Litigation – Labor and Employment (2021)
· Super Lawyer, Southwest Super Lawyers (2012 – 2021)
· Hispanic National Bar Association Top 40 Attorney Award (2019)
· Top 50 Pro Bono Attorney Award for Arizona (2018)
· Bar Leadership Institute, State Bar of Arizona (2017)
· Arizona District Court Local Rules Committee & Civil Practice Subcommittee (2019 – Present)
· State Bar of Arizona Appointment’s Committee (2018 – Present)
· Arizona Science Center, Trustee (2017 – Present); AZ Science Fair Committee (2019 - Present)
· Los Abogados Board of Directors (2017 – 2020), Executive Board and Treasurer (2020, 2021)
· MCBA Employment Law Section, Board of Directors (2017 – Present)
· The Balanced Eye of Justice. AZ Attorney Magazine. (6/19)
· Implementing Lawful Workplace Policies and Complying with the NLRA. APMA Magazine. (2/19) ACC Magazine. (8/19)
· Commercial Drones: Certification, Airworthiness, Safety. AZ Attorney Magazine. (12/17)
· A Practical Guide for Commercial Drone Use. BOMA Magazine. (2/17)
· Utilizing a Declaration of Independent Business Status for Independent Contractors. (6/20)
· Are Your Workers Independent Contractors or Employees? (6/20)
· Arizona Employer Response to COVID-19. (3/20)
· Mean Bosses, Bullies, and Bias. (8/19 & 2/20)
· Legal Changes in the #MeToo Era. (6/19)
· Restricting Employee Speech. (5/19)
· Marijuana: Beware of the potholes! (10/18)
· Earned Paid Sick Leave Pursuant to Proposition 206 - Comply by July! (2/17)
· The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): What Employers Need to Know. (11/16)
· Social Media: Risks and How to Avoid Them. (10/11)
· Creating a Social Media Policy as a Communications Executive. (6/10)
· What General Counsel Need to Know About Social Media Policies. (5/10)