For nearly 30 years, Patricia Kinaga has represented employers in high stakes litigation, and has helped employers navigate the ever-changing landscape of employment law. She is highly regarded for her extensive jury trial experience in State and Federal courts, and in arbitrations, and has prevailed in State and Federal level appeals. She has represented employers in State and Federal courts, and before administrative agencies, including the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, the State Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the Federal Department of Labor, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Her clients have ranged from international companies, to national employers, new businesses, non-profit corporations, universities, school and water districts, and municipalities. Ms. Kinaga's client base has included the retail, financial, transportation, health care, and manufacturing sectors.
A former prosecutor for the City of Los Angeles, Ms. Kinaga also has considerable experience as an investigator into workplace issues, including sexual harassment and discrimination allegations. She has provided advice to employers and served as a lecturer on a wide variety of topics, including sexual harassment prevention, how to conduct workplace investigations, disability leaves, wage-hour and independent contractor classification issues, discipline and termination issues, litigating high profile cases, and age discrimination.
Ms. Kinaga has served on bar association committees, including as an appointed member of the American Bar Association Commission on Disability Rights, and the State Bar Committee on Women. She is a member of the Advisory Councils for the Japanese American Bar Association (for which she served as president) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice. She co-founded Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California and the Asian American Dispute Resolution Center. She is a member of the Chancery Club of Los Angeles, is recipient of the Peter E. Haas Public Service Award from the University of California at Berkeley, and is recipient of the 2018 Woman of the Year Award from Congressman Adam Schiff.
University of California, Los Angeles, B.A., Anthropology, Cum Laude, 1975
University of California, Berkeley, M.A. City and Regional Planning, 1977
Georgetown University School of Law, Juris Doctorate, 1984
State Bar of California, 2000
State Bar of California, 1985
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
United States District Court, Northern and Central Districts of California
United States Supreme Court
MEMBERSHIPS & ASSOCIATIONS
American Bar Association Commission on Disability Rights
Japanese American Bar Association (Advisory Council and past President)
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Chancery Club of Los Angeles
"Leveraging Your Network: Building a Book of Business" for Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, May 16, 2018
Analysis of United States Supreme Court cases (Hirabayashi, Korematsu, Yasui and Endo) involving constitutionality of Japanese American internment, symposium presented at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2017
HONORS & AWARDS
Peter E. Haas Public Service Award, University of California at Berkeley
2018 Woman of the Year Award, selected by Congressman Adam Schiff
Public Service Award, Asian Pacific American Legal Center
Community Service Awards from NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund; Big Sisters of Los Angeles; City of Los Angeles Asian Pacific Heritage Month
Retained as appellate counsel following significant jury and punitive damages award in disability discrimination case, Los Angeles Superior Court.
Successfully obtained dismissal of corporate client from wage-hour class action, Los Angeles Superior Court.
Defended individual co-defendant in employment suit brought by former employee of telecommunications company; case successfully mediated.
Conducted workplace misconduct investigation for major university.
Member of litigation team representing international retailer in employment class action; case pending in Federal court.
Successfully defended national retailer at arbitration involving religious discrimination claim brought by former employee.
Prevailed in disability discrimination lawsuit brought by special education high school teacher following jury trial.
Co-founder and Chair, Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California
Co-founder and past Chair, Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center
Co-founder and past Chair, Asian Pacific Women's Center
Japanese American Leadership Delegate sponsored by Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs