Eric Tate is co-chair of the firm’s Global Employment and Labor Group. He represents technology and other companies in trade secrets, employee raiding and mobility, whistleblower, wage and hour, and other employment litigation. He also counsels companies on employment law compliance and transactional matters, including enforceability of restrictive covenants throughout the United States, internal investigations of alleged executive misconduct and whistleblower activity, and employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions.
Eric is active in the American Bar Association (ABA) Labor and Employment Section and Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, currently serving as a chair of the 2015 ABA Labor and Employment Law CLE Conference and a co-chair of the Covenants Not to Compete and Trade Secrets Subcommittee, and also having served as a past co-chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution, Employment At-Will and Collateral Torts, and Worker Dislocation Subcommittees. He also served as past co-chair of the ABA’s Annual Meeting Committee and on the Planning Committee for the National Employment Law Council’s Annual Conference. Eric has been recognized by San Jose magazine as one of Silicon Valley’s Top 300 lawyers, as a Super Lawyer by Northern California Super Lawyers magazine, and as one of the Daily Journal’s “Top 20 Under 40.” He has also been listed in Legal 500 US and Best Lawyers in America.
Eric is a thought leader and on the Board of Review for leading BNA treatises Trade Secrets: A State-by-State Survey; Covenants Not to Compete; Employee Duty of Loyalty; and Tortious Interference in the Employment Context. He also is a contributing editor for Trade Secrets (Law and Business) and author of “Trade Secrets and the Activision Case: Lessons for Employers and Employees” in the IP Litigator; “Protect Your Investments: Recent Developments in California Law Regarding Non-competition Agreements and Other Restrictive Covenants” in NVCA Today; “Microinequities: Can Bad Behavior Be Actionable?” in The National Law Journal; and “The When, Who and How of Workplace Investigations” in The Practical Litigator. Eric also lectures on trade secrets misappropriation and employee raiding, social media issues in employment, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, bullying and implicit bias in the workplace, sexual harassment prevention, and other employment matters.
Eric serves as a mediator for the Northern District of California’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Program, handling trade secrets and employee mobility, wage and hour, discrimination, and related employment litigation matters.
Eric is active in community endeavors. He founded and is a former president of the board of directors of Hapa Issues Forum, Inc., a nonprofit community organization that addresses issues relating to persons of partial Asian descent. In addition, Eric is a past president of the board of directors of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California. He also is a member of the INROADS Alumni Association, the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, Inc., and has served as a mentor for students in the Level Playing Field Institute’s IDEAL Scholars Program.
Eric received his B.A. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, and his J.D. from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.
Representative Trade Secrets and Employee Mobility Litigation Matters
- Represented Fortune 50 corporation in trade secret and employee and customer raiding lawsuit against former co-founder and top executives who launched a competing business that achieved a nearly $1 billion IPO.
- Represented international virtualization software company in trade secret misappropriation and employee and customer raiding lawsuit against several former executives.
- Represented North American provider of IT solutions and services in series of lawsuits across the United States to combat alleged employee and customer raiding activities by competitor.
- Represented pharmaceutical company in trade secret misappropriation lawsuit against former finance employee.
- Represented international video game maker in trade secret misappropriation lawsuits against former executives and new competing business.
- Defended national mortgage company in trade secret misappropriation and employee and customer raiding lawsuit filed by competitor.
- Defended North American home furnishings retail chain in trade secret misappropriation and employee raiding lawsuit filed by competitor.
Representative Wage and Hour Litigation Matters
- Defended national construction company in purported class action for failure to comply with California wage laws.
- Defended international technology company in class action regarding alleged failure to accurately pay wages to technicians.
- Defended national restaurant chain in class action regarding alleged failure to comply with California wage laws for 10,000 employees.
- Defended international engineering and construction company in class action regarding alleged failure to comply with California overtime laws.
- Defended landscaping company in class action regarding alleged failure to comply with California meal- and rest-period laws.
- Defended individual directors of defunct technology company in lawsuit by former employees for unpaid wages.
Other Representative Litigation Matters
- Obtained complete defense award on behalf of technology company in lawsuit filed by former co-founder alleging that the company failed to repurchase upon termination restricted stock valued at more than $5 million.
- Defended leading corporate social responsibility company in whistleblower and employment discrimination lawsuit filed by former finance executive.
- Defended international laser and fiber-optics company in lawsuit alleging fraud regarding stock options.
- Defended international video game maker in whistleblower and employment discrimination lawsuit filed by former executive.
Representative Non-Litigation and Transactional Matters
- Represented publicly-traded pharmaceutical industry company in investigation and resolution of whistleblower claims by CFO.
- Represented publicly-traded technology company in investigation and resolution of alleged revenue and expense reimbursement irregularities involving top sales executive.
- Represented founder of private technology company in negotiation of employment agreement with board of directors.
- Represented board of directors of NASDAQ-traded technology company in negotiation of CEO employment agreement.
- Represented minority-shareholder executives in negotiation of employment agreements with foreign buyer of company.
- Represented Intel Corporation in the employment aspects of its $7.7 billion acquisition of McAfee, Inc., the world’s largest dedicated security technology company.
- Represented Intel Corporation in the employment aspects of its $1.4 billion acquisition of Infineon’s Wireless Solutions business, which involved employees in jurisdictions across Asia, Europe, and North America.
- Represented GREE in the employment aspects of its $104 million acquisition of OpenFeint, Inc., a California-based mobile social gaming network provider, including with particular regard to complex issues related to employment agreements and restrictive covenants for key employees.