Morgan Lewis
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practice accolades

Labor & Employment

The American Lawyer Magazine's Litigation Department of the Year – Labor and Employment Law Finalist 2004, Winner 2006, Finalist 2008, Finalist 2010, and Finalist 2012

Listed in the highest tier for National Labor and Employment Practice in Chambers USA 2014

Ranked in the top tier by The Legal 500 for Labor and Employment Litigation, ERISA Litigation, Labor-Management Relations, and Workplace and Employment Counseling (2014)

Named Employment Practice Group of the Year by Law360 (2014)

Named a top 5 firm for employment in BTI's Litigation Outlook 2014 report

Ranked, National Tier 1: Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, and Litigation – Labor & Employment by U.S. News and Best Lawyers (2011-2012) 

Ranked #1 for "Most Prestigious" Labor and Employment Practice, Vault 2012 Associate Survey

Labor-Management Relations & Labor Disputes

Ranked, National Tier 1: Labor Law - Management, U.S. News and Best Lawyers (2010)

honors + affiliations

Finalist, The Recorder’s Litigation Department of the Year – Labor and Employment (2013)

Fellow, College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

Listed, California's Top Labor and Employment Lawyers, The Daily Journal (2010)

Listed, The Best Lawyers in America (2012)

Member, Board of Directors, Espwa Orphanage (Les Cayes, Haiti)

bar admissions

  • California
  • Washington
  • District of Columbia
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Clifford D. "Seth" Sethness

Los Angeles
300 South Grand Ave, 22nd Fl.
Los Angeles, CA 90071-3132
United States
Phone: +1.213.612.1080
Fax: +1.213.612.2501

Clifford D. "Seth" Sethness is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Labor and Employment Practice and has been practicing exclusively labor and employment law for more than 30 years. He is the practice group leader for the Labor and Employment Practice in Los Angeles. Mr. Sethness handles and oversees the labor and employment law litigation and advice for the West Coast shipping industry through his wide-ranging representation of the Pacific Maritime Association.

A former staff attorney at the National Labor Relations Board, Mr. Sethness has an active litigation practice representing shipping, trucking, retail, hospitality, and transportation industry clients in wage and hour and other types of class actions and discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuits.  He has tried more than two dozen employment law jury and bench trials in state and federal courts, including several for the shipping industry. He has tried the full range of employment-related claims, including wrongful termination, race discrimination, sexual harassment, failure to accommodate a disability, retaliation, wage and hour violations, California Business & Profession Code Section 17200, breach of employment contract, and noncompetition obligations, among others.

Mr. Sethness actively works with and, when necessary, litigates against labor unions; was involved in the historic Taft-Hartley labor injunction litigation during the 2002 West Coast shipping industry work slowdown; and was part of the recent 2008 West Coast ports labor negotiations.

Mr. Sethness was named one of California's "Top Labor and Employment Lawyers" by The Daily Journal in 2010.

Mr. Sethness is also actively involved in community service. In past years, he has coached an inner city boys' Little League baseball team and an inner city boys' basketball team, as well as coaching girls' basketball and softball teams. Mr. Sethness has also volunteered to build homes with impoverished families in Tanzania, Honduras, and Guatemala, and has volunteered to teach at orphanages in Nepal and, most recently, Haiti. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Espwa Orphanage in Les Cayes, Haiti, one of the largest non-government orphanages in Haiti.

Mr. Sethness is admitted to practice in California, Washington, and the District of Columbia.


  • Georgetown University Law Center, 1983, LL.M. (Labor Law)
  • George Washington University National Law Center, 1981, J.D.
  • Denison University, 1977, B.A.