Sara A. McDermott

Sara A. McDermott

Sara McDermott (she/her) is a litigator in the Los Angeles office of Munger, Tolles & Olson.

Her practice focuses on high-stakes complex commercial litigation and business torts. She has experience litigating cases at all stages, including taking and defending depositions, writing dispositive motions, managing all aspects of discovery, examining witnesses at trial, and representing clients on appeal. She has argued motions and tried cases in state courts, federal courts, and arbitration tribunals.

Prior to joining the firm, Ms. McDermott clerked for Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and Judge A. Wallace Tashima of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Ms. McDermott maintains an active pro bono practice and presence in the community, with a focus on securing and protecting the constitutional rights of incarcerated youth and adults. She is a member of the Pacific Juvenile Defender Center’s Advisory Board. Ms. McDermott was also one of four authors of a letter, signed by nearly 700 law clerks, urging U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts to revise judicial guidelines related to reporting workplace misconduct. Within the firm, in 2020 Ms. McDermott was elected associate representative to the Management Committee. 


  • Calibrating the Eighth Amendment: Graham, Miller, and the Right to Mental Healthcare in Juvenile Prison, 63 UCLA Law Review 712 (2016)


Key Representations

  • A growth-stage medical apparel company in false advertising and unfair competition claims brought by one of its principal competitors.
  • Southern California Edison in complex-designated, mass tort litigation filed by over 100 plaintiffs claiming injuries based on exposure to stray voltage.
  • A security services provider in a complex employment class action, obtaining a victory that was recognized as a Top Defense Verdict of the Year by the Daily Journal.
  • A higher education client in writ petitions arising out of sexual misconduct hearings.

Pro Bono