Janet Sommer is a partner in the law firm of Burke, Williams & Sorensen. She was previously a partner at Kay & Stevens. Ms. Sommer focuses on labor relations, employment, education, and other public law matters. She has worked in California public sector law and policy since 1984. Ms. Sommer worked with the California Legislature as Chief Consultant to the Assembly Education Committee. Before turning her focus to labor, employment, and education, Ms. Sommer represented public sector and political clients in education, election, and political matters.
Ms. Sommer acts as a negotiator and represents local agencies on a variety of employment, labor relations, education, and other public law issues.
She represents public agencies in all facets of negotiations, including planning and developing negotiations parameters, drafting bargaining proposals, leading negotiations at the table, and handling impasse procedures, including mediation and fact-finding. She advises public agencies in responding to grievance and unfair labor practice charges, and related hearings and arbitrations. Ms. Sommer also has substantial litigation experience on matters involving public agencies in state and federal court, and administrative proceedings.
Ms. Sommer conducts trainings in labor relations, employee evaluation and discipline, sexual harassment, and other public sector employment issues. She has presented trainings for the California Public Employers Labor Relations Association (CALPELRA), the League of California Cities (LOC), the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), the Labor and Employment Law Section of the California State Bar, the Center for Collaborative Solutions (CCS), the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), the California School Boards Association (CSBA), and for many public agency clients. Ms. Sommer is a co-author of the California Public Employee Relations (CPER) Pocket Guide to Factfinding, and a contributing author of Legal Trends.
Ms. Sommer earned her Juris Doctor at Stanford Law School, graduating as a member of the prestigious Order of the Coif. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley.