Eric Akira Tate

Eric Akira Tate

Education

University of California, Berkeley (B.A., 1992)
University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (J.D., 1995)

Bar Admissions

California

Eric Tate is co-chair of 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 raiding and 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, internal investigations of alleged executive misconduct and whistleblower activity, employment aspects of mergers and acquisitions, and collective bargaining and traditional labor relations.

Eric is a leader in the American Bar Association (ABA) Labor and Employment Section and Employment Rights and Responsibilities Committee, serving as co-chair of the Covenants Not to Compete and Trade Secrets Subcommittee and recently elected to the governing Council for the Labor and Employment Section. Eric has also served as a past co-chair of the ABA’s Annual Meeting Committee, the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section Annual CLE Conference, the ABA’s Annual Meeting Committee, and the Alternative Dispute Resolution, Employment At-Will and Collateral Torts, and Worker Dislocation Subcommittees. He also 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.

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; “The When, Who and How of Workplace Investigations” in The Practical Litigator; Trade Secrets: A State-by-State Survey (BNA) 5th Edition, Board of Review Associate Editor; Covenants Not to Compete (BNA) 10th Edition, Board of Review Associate Editor; Employee Duty of Loyalty (BNA) 5th Edition, Board of Review Associate Editor; Tortious Interference in the Employment Context (BNA) 4th Edition, Board of Review Associate Editor; “A TRO Non-Compete Primer for the 21st Century,” paper for ERR Midwinter Meeting presentation; “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.

Representative Trade Secret and Employee Mobility Litigation Matters

  • Defended technology company in landmark trade secret misappropriation and patent infringement federal court lawsuit that settled five days into trial.
  • Defended former Chief Scientific Officer of international biotechnology company that was accused of trade secrets misappropriation in federal court lawsuit that was settled before trial.
  • Defended founder and CEO of artificial intelligence start-up accused of trade secrets misappropriation and usurpation of corporate opportunities.
  • 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.  Matter ultimately resolved with client obtaining a $70M+ settlement.
  • 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.
  • Defended investment bank in lawsuit involving enforceability of departing executive’s post‑termination non‑competition agreement.
  • 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 molecular diagnostics company in nationwide Fair Labor Standards Act collective action.
  • Defended national construction company in class action for failure to comply with California wage laws.
  • Defended international technology company in class action for 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 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 $5M.
  • 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 Traditional Labor Matters

  • Negotiated collective bargaining agreements for companies across various industries.
  • Represented employers in numerous arbitrations of discipline and contract interpretation disputes.
  • Represented employers in strike, secondary boycott, R hearing, and various other traditional labor matters.

Other Representative Non-Litigation and Transactional Matters

  • Represent employers in IP related due diligence investigations of potential target companies and investigations of key employees hired from competitors.
  • Represented Silicon Valley venture capital firm in confidential MeToo# investigation and resolution of claims from alleged sexual harassment victim.
  • Represented both Boards of Directors and executives of numerous private and publicly traded companies in negotiation of employment and separation of founders, CEOs, and other C-level executives.
  • Represented publicly-traded technology company in investigation and resolution of alleged revenue and expense reimbursement irregularities involving top sales executive.
  • 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.

Eric Tate has been recommended by Best Lawyers in AmericaLegal 500 US and Super Lawyers. He has also been recognized by San Jose Magazine as one of Silicon Valley’s Top 300 lawyers, and in 2008 as one of the Daily Journal’s Top 20 Under 40.

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