Lafayette & Kumagai LLP

MBE WBE

  • MBE

Firm Size

  • 6-10

Willing to Act as Local Counsel

  • Yes

Lafayette & Kumagai

Called a “Big Gun” and “High Profile” by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Recorder, and a “Top Law Firm” by the National Law Journal, Lafayette & Kumagai LLP is a minority-owned boutique litigation firm that specializes in business torts, employment, complex litigation and trials. The twenty-three-year-old firm has earned a reputation for excellence and for providing strong advocacy.  Lafayette & Kumagai received the 2011 Minority-Owned Law Firm Client Service Award, presented by the California Minority Counsel Program for outstanding client service.  The firm has been listed in “Litigation Kings” for 2012 and in “Who Represents America’s Biggest Companies?” for 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015, in Corporate Counsel magazine’s annual report on the law firms most used by the Fortune 100. Alameda City Manager (and former Oakland City Attorney) John Russo noted to the Recorder, “… political players involved in a case may dictate which firm is chosen.  Mayor [and California Governor] Jerry Brown, for example, likes to use San Francisco’s Lafayette & Kumagai.”

Contact

Oakland, CA

1300 Clay Street, Suite 810

Person of contact: Gary T. Lafayette

Practice Areas

  • ADR/Arbitration
  • Banking and Finance
    • Litigation
  • Corporate
    • Internal Investigations
  • Energy
    • Oil & Gas
  • Insurance
    • Employment Practices
    • Extra Contractual/Bad Faith
    • Life, Health, Disability/ERISA
    • Litigation
    • Product Liability
  • Labor & Employment
    • Class Actions / MDL
    • Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
    • ERISA Immigration / I-9 Compliance
    • Investigations – Internal/Agency
    • Labor /Union
    • Leave and Pay Acts (e.g. FLSA / FMLA / Service Contracts Act / Davis Bacon Act / Walsh-Healey)
    • Litigation
  • Litigation/Trials
    • Class Action
    • Consumer and Product Liability Litigation
    • Corporate/Commercial (Shareholder Derivative Suits, Securities, FINRA, Antitrust, Banking, Bankruptcy, etc.)
    • Employment (HR, Discrimination, ERISA, Labor, Workers Comp, etc.)
    • Insurance
  • Products Liability
    • Litigation
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation (Railroad, Other)

Firm Bio

Lafayette & Kumagai LLP is a boutique litigation firm located in Northern California.  Established in 1994, the firm has earned a reputation for excellence with a proven track record of successfully representing its clients in all aspects of litigation.  We take pride in the recognition we receive from our clients and the legal community for our litigation and trial skills.  We have extensive experience in both state and federal courts throughout California and have a distinguished record for motion practice, jury trials and appeals.  Lafayette & Kumagai is one of few minority-owned firms to argue before the United States Supreme Court.  Clients trust our handling of high-profile cases with media exposure.

Lafayette & Kumagai received the 2011 Minority-Owned Law Firm Client Service Award, presented by the California Minority Counsel Program for outstanding client service.  The firm was listed in “Litigation Kings” for 2012 and in “Who Represents America’s Biggest Companies?” for 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015, in Corporate Counsel magazine’s annual report on the law firms most used by the Fortune 100.  For 2013 and 2015, Lafayette & Kumagai was recognized as a “Go-To Law Firm for the Top 500 Companies” for our Labor & Employment practice. Over the past two years we have continued our history of successful litigation strategies.  In addition to settling a number of cases, we obtained a defense decision in a pregnancy discrimination arbitration on behalf of a Fortune 500 retailer; prevailed in Motions for Summary Judgment in 5 employment matters; and won an appeal on behalf of a Fortune 100 company in an employment discrimination and retaliation case. In the latter, the court clarified what is required to show pretext and temporal proximity in cases where an employee is terminated for poor performance, helping all California employers. The court’s discussion on the use of “me too” declarations is also most helpful for employers regarding pretext. All of this is on top of our track record of other recent victories:

  • obtaining a defense verdict in a constructive discharge trial in San Francisco;
  • obtaining a defense verdict in a high profile whistleblower trial;
  • obtaining a defense verdict in a sexual harassment and retaliation trial involving three plaintiffs;
  • obtaining a nonsuit in an age discrimination/termination trial, in Contra Costa County Superior Court;
  • obtaining a Judgment as a Matter of Law before Judge Charles Breyer of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in a disability discrimination and failure to accommodate case;
  • defeating two Motions for Class Certification, thereby successfully resolving two major wage and hour class actions;
  • prevailing in a number of Motions for Summary Judgment, including two age discrimination cases brought on behalf of attorneys against the legal departments of two of our corporate clients; and
  • successfully representing the client on appeal in one such age discrimination case, resulting in a published opinion, Reeves v. MV Transportation, Inc., 186 Cal.App.4th 666 (2010).

Our practice also includes successful representation of clients in mediation, arbitration, other ADR procedures and hearings before administrative agencies.

Our clients include Fortune 500 companies and governmental entities.  The relationships with our clients are long standing and built upon a foundation of trust through open and honest communication and outstanding results.  We closely monitor the management of cases from their commencement and continuously re-evaluate them throughout the litigation process.  Our goal is to find the best solution for a successful outcome.  We place a high priority on superior work product and creative resolutions to cases at the earliest possible stage.

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