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Marissa M. Dennis

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Biography

Pragmatic and business-minded, Marissa Dennis is an effective advocate for her clients, excelling at both written and oral advocacy in contentious commercial matters. She is highly valued for her ability to put a strategy in play that considers all options for a successful outcome, including pre-dispute resolution, negotiated settlement, arbitration, or taking a case all the way through and winning at trial.

Marissa prides herself on balancing her legal practice with a commitment to giving back to the community through her involvement in the firm's Community Outreach, Diversity Committee, and pro bono programs. Through these efforts, Marissa works with other employees in the firm to help raise funds and awareness for a variety of non-profits and community programs throughout Los Angeles, and recruits, mentors, and actively pursues professional and business development opportunities for younger attorneys of diverse backgrounds. Marissa also serves as a board member for the California Minority Counsel Program, whose mission is to promote diversity in the legal profession by providing attorneys of color with access and opportunity for business and professional development. 

Practice Scope

In real estate matters, Marissa represents landlords, tenants, and developers in a variety of breach of contract and tort actions. She handles unfair competition and false advertising claims for multinational technology companies and complex consumer finance litigation for national lenders and loan servicers.

An experienced trial attorney in jury and bench trials in federal and California state courts, she also argues before the California Court of Appeal, tries cases in arbitration, and adeptly navigates the nuances of practical deal making in settlements.

Where settlement can achieve a client’s business goal, whether that means negotiating contract terms the client wants, getting an amendment to an agreement, or reaching a financial number, Marissa understands the importance of timing in presenting their position and terms. She stays focused on her client’s objectives and provides an experienced, steady hand in all manner of sophisticated negotiations.

In litigation, Marissa is deeply invested in the outcomes for her clients and their businesses. She places a high value on creating efficiencies and thinking outside of the box when preparing their arguments. She becomes fully knowledgeable about all the underlying facts, takes control of the process, ensures that appropriate resources and right-sized staffing are in place, and keeps her clients informed at all times.

In both negotiations and trials, her attention to detail and clarity of thought and purpose have netted positive results over the years and earned her many loyal client relationships.

Professional Background

Marissa currently leads the Allen Matkins FinTech Litigation Initiative. She has also temporarily served in-house at a national financial company which provides her both the perspective on the structure and skillsets in-house counsel need to operate within, but also the organizational inner-workings of running a large financial institution.

Prior to joining the firm, Marissa served as a judicial extern for the Honorable A. Howard Matz of the U.S. District Court, Central District of California, and interned at the White House, Office of Media Affairs, and at the Los Angeles Regional Office of United States Senator Barbara Boxer. Before becoming a lawyer, Marissa was a social worker serving abused and neglected children and the homeless population in South Los Angeles.

MEMBERSHIPS

  • Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance (APAWLA)
  • California Minority Counsel Program, Board Member
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers
  • Thai American Bar Association

Accolades

  • Named to Los Angeles Business Journal's “Most Influential Women Attorneys in Los Angeles” (2018)
  • Named to Los Angeles Business Journal's “Most Influential Minority Attorneys in Los Angeles” (2018)
  • Recipient of the National Diversity Council’s “Southern California Most Powerful and Influential Women Award” (2016)
  • Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers' Southern California Rising Stars (2014 - 2016) 
 Rated by Super Lawyers

Education

As an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles, Marissa completed her bachelor's degree with a major in political science and minor in public policy. She went on to obtain her Master of Social Welfare degree from UCLA and received her J.D. degree from Loyola Law School where she was on the Dean's Honor List. While at Loyola, she served as a senior note and comment editor on the Loyola of Los Angeles International & Comparative Law Review and as a board member of the St. Thomas More Law Honor Society.

Bar Admissions

  • California

Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California