Sarah Martoccia, has over two decades of experience working in public employment law. Her range of expertise includes negotiating and drafting Memoranda of Understandings for unions; preparing and trying disciplinary appeal hearings before various administrative bodies, including Civil Service Commissions, Personnel Boards, and arbitrators; and drafting, filing, and trying employment grievances on numerous issues before City Managers, City Councils, and other hearing officers. She has worked on matters involving the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, and other employment law issues. She has researched and drafted Petitions for Writs of Mandate and Appellate Briefs and argued motions before the Superior Court and the California Court of Appeal.
Ms. Martoccia began her legal career representing law enforcement unions and their employees. In that capacity, she represented hundreds of peace officers during the internal affairs investigation process. She has significant experience with the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act (POBRA), and has successfully argued violations of the Act both before hearing bodies and in court. Ms. Martoccia has represented officers during the Skelly process and at post-disciplinary appeal hearings. Having spent several years on the other side of the investigatory process, Ms. Martoccia now brings her unique experience to the management side. She is able to identify potential arguments that may be made by a public safety employee, as well as guide the agency through the entire disciplinary process while avoiding POBRA violations and other legal pitfalls.
Before joining AALRR, Ms. Martoccia owned and managed a private law firm, where she assisted clients in day-to-day operations with an emphasis on employment and labor law issues, unemployment cases, civil litigation collection cases and personal injury cases. She is familiar with all aspects of business litigation and disputes, as well as advising companies on employment practices, including but not limited to hiring and firing decisions, wage and hour issues, and investigation of employee complaints.
While in law school, Ms. Martoccia served as the Note and Comment Editor on the Southwestern Law Journal and as an advocate on the Interscholastic Trial Advocacy Program. During her last year, she was permitted by the California State Bar to make court appearances while still in school as a Certified Law Clerk for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office, Eastlake Juvenile District.
Honors & Recognitions
Ms. Martoccia was named a “Rising Star” by Southern California Super Lawyers in 2005, 2006, and 2010.
News & Publications
Events & Speaking Engagements
Ms. Martoccia is a frequent speaker at AALRR events, as well as for outside organizations related to her practice. Recent speaking engagements include:
Presenter, New Legislation Targets Law Enforcement: Senate Bill 1421 and Assembly Bill 748 Completely Reshape the Law Regarding Disclosure of Peace Officers’ Personnel Files, November 13, 2018 – Ontario Doubletree; November 14, 2018 – AALRR Cerritos office; November 15, 2018, Costa Mesa Center Club.
Trainer, Conducting Effective IA Investigations: A View from All Angles, March 15, 2018 – Tri County Fair Grounds | Bishop; April 12, 2018 – Cerritos Sheraton | Cerritos; May 2, 2018 – The Pacific Palms Resort | City of Industry; June 22, 2018 - Oakland Marriott; October 3, 2018 – Imperial County
- Presenter, FRISK Training, Inyo County, March 15, 2018
- Presenter, "Investigating Workplace Misconduct: He Said/She Said/They Said—But Who to Believe?" Professionals In Human Resources Association (PIHRA) North Orange County, February 15, 2018
Alerts & Articles
- California Appellate Court Rules that Certain Records Involving Peace Officer Misconduct Will Remain Public Regardless of When the Peace Officer Misconduct Occurred03.05.2021
- Governor Newsom Extends the Statute of Limitations for Peace Officer Misconduct Investigations by 60 Days Due to COVID-19 Pandemic04.03.2020
- California Supreme Court Unanimously Holds that Law Enforcement Agencies May Share Brady Alerts to Prosecutors Notwithstanding Pitchess Statutes09.03.2019
- Governor Brown Signs Senate Bill 1421 and Assembly Bill 748; Making Certain Peace Officer Records Subject to Disclosure Under the California Public Records Act10.09.2018
- Court of Appeal Issues Groundbreaking Decision Clarifying Statute of Limitations for POBRA Discipline06.26.2018
- Court of Appeal Defines “Fire Chief’ Subject to Removal Under Firefighters Procedural Bill of Rights Act03.28.2018
Community & Professional
- Los Angeles County Bar Association, Member