Council Member Olivia Valentine

Mayor pro tem, City of Hawthorne; Attorney, Mediator, Arbitrator, Consultant; Educator.

Work History Arbitrator and Mediator, self-employed, 2007-present; Adjunct Professor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 2008-present; General Attorney, Federal Aviation Administration, 1988-07; Senior Law Clerk, Office of the City Attorney of Los Angeles, 1985-88; Management Assistant, Community Development Department of Los Angeles, 1984-85; Staff Attorney, Bristol-Myers Co., 1980-82; Staff Attorney, Wells, Brown, Mason, Burns & Hall, 1976-77


Employment: Defended the FAA in many employment cases based on charges that the FAA had wrongfully terminated or suspended an employee, in that it had violated Title VII, other federal law, or its own policies.  These cases were brought under EEOC Regulations, Merit Systems Protection Board regulations, or the Whistleblower Protection Act.  The cases involved FAA personnel who were filing charges of discrimination against the FAA and/or its management.  In this capacity, answered complaints, and filed responsive pleadings, briefs, and memoranda. Defending these cases required thorough knowledge and preparation in Employment Law, Rules of Evidence, and FAA employment policies, as well as skill in negotiating settlements.  Preparation for trial required working extensively with FAA human resources, labor relations, and management personnel in order to gain thorough knowledge of the personnel policies and labor contracts as well as the requirements of the complainant’s employment position. Interviewing fact witnesses required a thorough understanding of their jobs and how they had interacted with the complainant in order to properly defend the agency by determining if policies had been violated or laws broken.  Interviewing expert witnesses required understanding the areas of their expertise in order to determine whether and how their testimony could bolster the FAA’s position that it had not violated any law or policy. 

Litigation: Represented the FAA as a prosecutor in many enforcement cases, based on alleged violation of the Federal Aviation Regulations by pilots, air carriers, airports, and maintenance personnel. Represented the FAA at all stages of the enforcement process: In this capacity, filed complaints, issued pleadings, briefs, and memoranda, and negotiated settlement of cases, where settlement was warranted. Appeared before the National Transportation Safety Board and the Department of Transportation, necessitating extensive knowledge of the Federal Aviation Regulations and the Rules of Evidence. Preparation for trial also required working extensively with FAA technical personnel, in order to gain thorough knowledge and understanding of the aviation systems involved in the litigation. In several instances, cases won by the FAA at the administrative level were appealed by the respondent to the U.S. Court of Appeals. These cases required extensive coordination with the United States Attorney, including preparation of a litigation report, and preparing the witnesses for direct and cross-examination.

Contract Law: Negotiated many contracts and leases on behalf of the FAA, requiring a thorough knowledge of the FAA’s regulations and procurement guidance, describing the process of reviewing government contracts.  Issued legal opinions in in response to public requests for clarification of FAA regulations.  Issues that were researched and for which opinions were issued involved, for example, personal service contracts, appropriations, construction issues, liability clauses, personal service contracts, and reimbursable contracts.

As a mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Court, I mediated many breach of contract disputes from 2000-2012.

Further, Contract Law was a significant part of the curriculum for the courses I taught at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. (See above).

Alternate Dispute Resolution Experience

Arbitration: 2008 to present: Arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association (AAA), on the Commercial and Employment panels. Further, Arbitrator for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.  Subsequently, arbitrated many cases for both agencies.   

September 2008 to 2012:  As-Needed Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

1993 to 1998: Hearing Officer for CDD; heard at least 10 cases in which complaints had     been filed against the City of Los Angeles under the Job Training Partnership Act. The complainants were generally trainees or applicants who had been denied a benefit and alleged discrimination based on race, gender, or disability.

Mediation: 2000 to present: In 2008, certified on the panel of Mediators for the United States Postal Service (USPS).  Subsequently, completed at least 100 mediations in which postal employees charged that the USPS had violated Title VII law or USPS policy in taking disciplinary action against them.

2014-Present: Conducted mediations for the United States Navy.

2001 to 2012 - In 2001, certified on the panel of Mediators for Los Angeles Superior Court. Subsequently, completed at least five enrichment courses provided by the court. Conducted at least 70 mediations for the court, involving contractual disputes, personal injury, breach of rental lease, breach of warranty, and workplace harassment.  The ADR program was terminated by the Court in 2013.

1999 to 2007, conducted pre-litigation mediations of cases in which FAA personnel had filed informal charges of discrimination and they were still in the investigatory stage.

In 2000, completed the 40-hour Dispute Resolution Course at the Office of the Los Angeles City Attorney, and conducted at least 100 hours of mediation at that office.

Alternative Dispute Resolution Training American Arbitration Association Expedited Commercial Panel Arbitrator Training, 2008; Department of Transportation of the City of Los Angeles, Hearing Officer Training, 2008; USPS, Arbitrator Training, 2007, 2010; FINRA, Arbitrator Training, 2007.

Professional Licenses Admitted to the Bar, New York State; Federal Bar, Eastern District, New York and Southern District, New York.  

Professional Associations New York State Bar Association; Rotary Club; Hawthorne Chamber of Commerce; LAX Advisory Committee, South Bay Association of Chambers of Commerce. 

Teaching 2013-Present, taught “Business Law,” at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (“Embry Riddle”), a 9-week course, providing management students with a foundation in the aspects of law which affect business.  Taught "The Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Environment of Business," at Embry Riddle, Spring Semester, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012, a 9-week course in which graduate students are required to understand how law and ethics affect the business environment.  In 2011, taught “American Constitutional Law,” at Embry Riddle, a 9-week course on the Constitution and how it influences each of the branches of government.    

Education   The City College of the City University of New York (BA; MA); Fordham University School of Law (JD).

Citizenship United States of America

Contact Info.: Email:

Council Member Olivia Valentine's photo Gallery