Eric Tate co-chairs the firm’s Global Employment and Labor Group. He has represented technology and other companies in the biggest and most highly-publicized trade secrets and employee mobility cases across multiple industries. Eric also represents companies in whistleblower, wage and hour, and other employment litigation. In addition, Eric counsels companies on employment law compliance and transactional matters, including enforceability of restrictive covenants throughout the United States, #MeToo and other sensitive internal investigations of alleged employee misconduct, employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions, and collective bargaining and traditional labor relations.
Eric recently represented Uber in its diligence investigation as part of its acquisition of Ottomotto, the autonomous vehicle start-up founded by former Google engineers. He then helped lead Uber’s defense of the subsequent patent infringement and trade secrets misappropriation suit filed in 2017 by Waymo, which settled five days into trial in February 2018. In addition to technology companies, Eric has handled similar matters for companies across many industries, including but not limited to, Williams Sonoma v. Restoration Hardware, International Lease Finance Co. v. Air Lease Corporation, Melaleuca, Inc. v. Shaklee Corporation, and New Century Mortgage v. Encore Credit. A representative sampling of Eric’s other key matters is further below.
Eric is a leader in the American Bar Association’s (ABA’s) Labor and Employment (LEL) Section and LEL’s Employment Rights and Responsibilities (ERR) Committee, serving as co-chair of the Covenants Not to Compete and Trade Secrets Subcommittee. Eric has also served as a past co-chair of the ABA LEL Annual Meeting Committee, the LEL Section Annual CLE Conference, ERR’s Alternative Dispute Resolution, Employment At-Will and Collateral Torts, and Worker Dislocation Subcommittees. In 2019, Eric was elected to the governing Council for the Labor and Employment Section. He also has served 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. Most recently, Eric was recognized as one of California’s Top Employment and Labor Lawyers by the Daily Journal.
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 “Protecting Investments in IP and People” in Today’s General Counsel; “Workplace Bias and Gender Pay Equity in the Silicon Valley” in LJN Employment Law Strategist; “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; “The When, Who and How of Workplace Investigations” in The Practical Litigator; “The NLRB’s Decision in Browning-Ferris of California (2015) One Month Later: Is the Sky Falling for Employees?” in Morrison Foerster Employment Law Commentary; and “California Raises Bar for Employers Again: Gender Pay Bias Claims Set to Take Off With New Gender Pay Equity and Anti-Discrimination Law” in Bloomberg BNA Daily Labor Report.
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, employment discrimination and harassment, and traditional labor relations 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.
Trade Secrets and Employee Mobility Litigation
Whistleblower and Other Employment Litigation Matters
Wage and Hour Class and Representative Actions
Representative Non-Litigation and Transactional Matters
San Jose Magazine
Northern California Super Lawyers (2005, 2011 – 2020)
Daily Journal (2008)
Legal 500 US (2018)
Legal 500 US (2012, 2013)
Best Lawyers in America (2013 – present)
Daily Journal (2019)