Dave Carothers

Business Labor and Employment Law
Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger
4510 Executive Dr Ste 300
San Diego, CA 92121
(858) 646-0007

About Dave

Passionate, focused and untiring are the qualities Dave Carothers brings to the courtroom when defending claims brought against his clients.  Carothers is an experienced trial attorney having tried more than 75 cases to verdict in jurisdictions throughout California. He has successfully defended employers against claims of wrongful termination, sexual harassment, breach of contract, ADA, wage and hour violations and discrimination. Carothers has defended clients as lead trial counsel in large complex actions involving representative actions, class actions and coordinated actions involving hundreds of claimants.

Drawing upon his trial experience, Carothers advises management teams on how to be proactive, execute preventive strategies in the human resources area, and achieve positive and productive work place environments. His clients include educational institutions, national retail chains, religious institutions, hospitality, banking and technology companies.

Carothers is also frequently invited to address various groups as a speaker on issues related to trials of employment matters, employment law, and diversity in the workplace.

Areas of Practice

Wrongful Termination and Workplace Tort Litigation
Workplace Solutions, Advice and Training
Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets
Wage and Hour Issues
Class Actions
Traditional Labor Law - Unions and the NLRB


University of Southern California Law Center, J.D., 1985
National Labor Relations Board, Region 31, Law Clerk, 1983
California State University, Dominguez Hills, B.A., Public Administration, 1982
Served in the U.S. Navy, 1975-1979
Awarded the Navy/Marine Corp Expeditionary Medal for services related to Iran


"6 Calif. Employment Bills Employers Should Track" Co-Author, Law360, May 2017

"A Legal Roadmap for Wellness Programs,"  Today's General Counsel, August/September, 2016

"Avoiding Legal Traps Involving Employment References," San Diego Commerce, 1997

Written Opinions

Santos v. Kisco Senior Living, LLC (2016) 1 Cal.App.5th 862, 205 Cal.Rptr.3d 585

Employer operating residential community for the elderly has absolute immunity when reporting suspected financial abuse of elderly by employee against employee's claims of defamation, battery and damages resulting from false arrest.
Higgins v. Maher, 210 Cal.App.3d 1168, 258 Cal.Rptr.2d 763 (May 1989)

First Amendment right of Catholic bishop to make ecclesiastical based employment decisions.


"Masters in Trial," Participant in Mock Trial Program, American Board of Trial Advocates, November 2017

"Why HR is Important for All Restaurants - What do you need to know (from hiring to firing and everything in between) before it's too late?" California Restaurant Association - San Diego Chapter, July 2017

Keynote Address, Cal State Dominguez Hills Veteran Graduation Ceremony, May 2017

"The Rise in Retaliation & PAGA Claims, Arbitration v. Trials, and the Pros and Cons of EPLI Insurance," Panel Member, San Diego Chapter, California Restaurant Association, April 2017

"Seeking Civility? Eradicating Bullying at Work," CDF Webinar Series, May 2016

"What's Trending in the Inland Empire in California Employment Law," Riverside Employment Law Seminar, April 2015

"Bullying in the Workplace," University of San Diego Diversity Committee, April 2015

"Religious Institutions Employment Law Training," Religious Institution, May 2014

"Employment Law and The Provision of SLS Services," CSLN 2014 Leadership Conference, March 2014

Professional Affiliations/Leadership/Awards

Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent? Rated

Selected as one of San Diego's Top Attorneys in 2013 - 2016 by The Daily Transcript

Listed, Best Lawyers , Litigation - Labor and Employment, San Diego, 2013 - 2019

Listed, Best Lawyers , Class Action - Defense, San Diego, 2015 - 2019

Listed, San Diego Super Lawyers, 2012 - 2019

Commissioner to the Fair Employment and Housing Commission

Appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, November 2008
American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), 2005 - present

Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, 1999 - present  

San Diego County Bar Association, Diversity Fellowship Program

Committee member and founding Participant
Continuing Education of the Bar's CEB Annual Employment Law Update  

Frequent lecturer on litigation-related topics
Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP

Executive Committee, 2001 - Present
San Diego Office Managing Partner
Co-Chair, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

Civic Activities

Chairman of the Board, United Way of San Diego County, 2017

Past Board Memberships:

Mercy Hospital's Finance Committee
Inner-City Games Foundation
Neighborhood House Association
San Diego Police Review Board

Pro Bono

Provided counsel to Inner-City Games Foundation