Kristen L. O'Connor Headshot

Kristen O’Connor


Ms. O’Connor is an associate in the San Diego office of Johnson Fistel and concentrates her practice on employment and complex securities litigation. Ms. O’Connor has particular expertise representing a diverse clientele in federal and state actions for sexual harassment and discrimination.

Prior to joining Johnson Fistel, she served as Managing Counsel at a life sciences contract research organization (CRO), where she negotiated clinical trial agreements with preeminent research institutions and provided market clearance submission development and support for global medtech and pharmaceutical industry clients.

Among prominent representations, Ms. O’Connor played an active role in securing an $18.75 million settlement on behalf of a proposed class of investors alleging the biopharmaceutical company, Chiasma, Inc., misled investors in its 2015 initial public offering about the prospects for regulatory approval of the company’s drug candidate, Mycapssa, in violation of §§ 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933.  She also acted as the lead attorney in procuring an $875k settlement against a grocery chain owned by a global investment firm on behalf of six plaintiff workers alleging sexual harassment and related claims.

Professional Qualifications and Activities:  Ms. O’Connor was admitted to the State Bar of California in 2015, and is currently admitted in good standing with the following courts:

  • All courts in the State of California
  • The United States District Courts for the Northern, Southern, and Central Districts of California

Ms. O’Connor is also a member of the following professional organizations:

  • American Bar Association
  • San Diego County Bar Association,
  • American Inns of Court—J. Clifford Wallace Chapter
  • Lawyers Club of San Diego

Education and Awards:  Ms. O’Connor holds an LL.M. in Securities and Financial Regulation from Georgetown University Law Center.  She holds a J.D. from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where she graduated summa cum laude and third in her class, received the CALI Award for Excellence in Legal Writing I, Legal Writing II, Civil Practice, Contracts I, Property II, Entertainment Law Transactions, and Wills and Trusts, and received the Jefferson Medal for Mediation and Negotiation.  During law school, she had the distinct honor of serving as both a faculty teaching and research assistant.  She also served as an editor for the Thomas Jefferson Law Review, where her work in intellectual property was published.

Ms. O’Connor received a Bachelor of Arts from California Lutheran University, where she received academic scholarships.  During her senior year, she studied Eastern European history and the Czech language as a visiting student at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic.

Ms. O’Connor was selected as a Thomson Reuters’ Super Lawyer in 2020.  She was also selected by the organization as a 2020 Rising Star, a designation awarded to no more than 2.5% of attorneys in each state.

Ms. O’Connor has been recognized as one of San Diego’s top lawyers by a number of third-party sources based upon peer reviews, including the following: