Robyn A. Leonard


  • Office Contact Info
  • Biography

    Robyn Leonard is a Partner in the San Francisco office of GRSM and is a member of the Maritime Law, Employment Law, and Commercial Litigation practice groups.

    In her employment litigation practice, Robyn defends employers in a variety of legal claims including wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, wage and hour matters, employee classifications issues, retaliation, breach of contract, and other related matters.

    She has experience representing insurance carriers, third-party administrators, and self-insured employers in matters arising under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and the Defense Base Act. She handles all aspects of litigation, including discovery, motion practice, complex settlements, mediation, trial, and appellate work. Robyn has successfully defended cases brought before the Office of Administrative Law Judges and the Benefits Review Board. She began her legal practice defending workers’ compensation cases brought under the California Labor Code.


    • California
    • U.S. District Courts, Northern and Eastern Districts of California
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

    Community Involvement

    • Marina Chateau HOA, Board of Directors, 2023-Present
    • Little Trooper Ranch, Board of Directors, 2021-Present
    • Wingtip, Board of Directors, 2019-2022
    • International Paw Angels, Flight Volunteer, 2019
    • Slaughterhouse Survivors, Flight Volunteer, 2018
    • Animal Hope & Wellness Foundation, Flight Volunteer, 2017
    • Empire Mock Trial, Mock Trial Judge, 2016
    • University of California, Berkeley, Mock Trial Judge, 2016
    • Peninsula Humane Society/SPCA, Golf Committee Member, 2014-2015
    • San Francisco SPCA, Volunteer, 2011-2020
  • Practice Areas
  • Representative Experience

    Robyn's experience includes the following:

    • Successfully defended a summary judgment victory following an appeal to the Court of Appeal of the State of California, First Appellate District. Plaintiff had alleged discrimination, harassment, and retaliation against a school district and two of its employees. Trial court granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment, finding that defendants had met their burden of showing that no triable issue of material fact existed as to plaintiff’s claims and that no reasonable jury could find in her favor based on their evidentiary submission. Plaintiff appealed. Court of Appeals agreed that the plaintiff’s arguments were without merit and that her claims had been properly dismissed, affirming the judgment of the court below.
    • Obtained ruling in favor of the employer/carrier for occupational exposure claims for PTSD and Major Depressive Disorder brought under the Defense Base Act. Decision affirmed following opposing party’s appeal, challenging the denial of benefits.
    • Prevailed on appeal following award of benefits for PTSD and hearing loss, resulting in reversal of trial-level decision and denial of benefits.
    • Successfully litigated employer/carriers’ right to Special Fund relief at trial level and on appeal, limiting liability for permanent disability compensation to 104 weeks.
    • Settled exposure for future benefits on terms extremely favorable to carrier following fraud investigation, referral to district attorney, and resulting multiple felony charges of insurance fraud.
    • Negotiated numerous settlements for multiple clients through informal resolution, mediation, and judicial settlement conferences.
  • Publications & Presentations


    • Strategies for Early Resolution of Disputed Issues Without Litigation, United States Department of Labor West Coast Symposium, 2018
    • The Self-Executing Compensation Order, United States Department of Labor West Coast Symposium, 2014
  • Education


    J.D., University of Denver Sturm College of Law

    • Denver Journal of International Law & Policy
    • Kent Whitford Shelton Memorial Scholar
    • Studied at the Prague School of Economics in the Czech Republic

    B.S., Business Administration, The Ohio State University

    • Pi Beta Phi