FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Roberta S. Hayashi

Berliner Cohen

San Jose, CA, USA


Employment Law and Litigation; Business Litigation

Ms. Hayashi, chair of the Employment Law group, has over twenty-five years experience representing and advising Silicon Valley employers in employment and business litigation. She has trial experience in wrongful termination, discrimination, and misappropriation of trade secrets and proprietary information actions in both state and federal court. In June 2003, she was named one of the “Top 50 Women Litigators” in California by The Daily Journal. In 2007 through 2012, Ms. Hayashi was recognized as a Northern California Super Lawyer by Law & Politics and in the Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel edition in the area of Employment Litigation Defense.

Ms. Hayashi was honored for her outstanding contributions to the community and the profession by the Santa Clara County Bar Association with its 2007 Salsman Award and with its 2009 Professional Lawyer of the Year Award. In addition, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal selected her as one of the 2009 Women of Influence in Silicon Valley.

Ms. Hayashi is an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association Employment Dispute Panel, and a member of the Santa Clara County Superior Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Panel.

  • University of California at Davis School of Law, J.D., Editor-in-Chief, U.C. Davis Law Review, 1982
  • Stanford University, A.B., with Distinction, Phi Beta Kappa, 1979
Representative Cases
  • Obtained a jury verdict on behalf of defendant in a race-discrimination case in federal court
  • Obtained a jury verdict on behalf of an employer against a former employee for unfair competition and in favor of the employer on a cross-complaint for wrongful termination
  • Successfully represented an employer and management employees (obtained a judgment of dismissal that was upheld on appeal) in a claim for deprivation of due process and defamation brought by an employee who had been disciplined by the employer for sexual harassment of his female co-employees
  • Obtained summary judgment (upheld on appeal) for employer and manager on employee's claim of defamation
Professional Admissions
  • State Bar of California, 1982 to present
  • United States District Court, Northern, Eastern, and Central Districts of California


  • "Employment Law Roundtable," HR West, 2012-2014
  • Managing Leaves of Absence," Santa Clara County EAC, March 2014
  • "Annual California Employment Law Update," Berliner Cohen Employer Update Series, 2006 - present
  • "Employment Law Update," Central Coast Human Resources Association, 2003, 2006-2010
  • “Pitfalls & Protections of Document Retention Policies,” Berliner Cohen Breakfast Series, 2010
  • “Social Networking and California Employment Law,” various human resource organizations, 2010
  • "Legal Ethical Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them," Santa Clara County Bar Association, January 2005-January 2014
  • "Recognizing and Preventing Sexual Harassment," various Silicon Valley companies, 2003 - present
  • "Managing Within the Law," various Silicon Valley companies, 2005 - present
  • "Drafting Corporate Agreements - Employment Agreements," Practising Law Institute, January 2006 - 2009
  • "Employee/Employer Relations: From Managing Leaves of Absence to Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training," State Bar of California Annual Meeting, October 2006
  • "Ethics and the Government Lawyer," California County Counsel Association, April 2005
  • "Hiring Your Competitor’s Employees Without Stirring the Trade Secrets Hornets’ Nest," ACS Annual Meeting, Division of Law and Chemistry, March 2005
  • Drafting and Administering a Hiring Policy," Kroll Seminar, October 2004
  • Family and Medical Leave Act in California," Lorman Education Services, June 2003


  • Lincoln Law School, Faculty, Employment Law
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association, Professional Responsibility Rules Revision Task Force, Chair, 2007-2010
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association, Federal Courts Committee, Co-Chair, 2006
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association, Past President, 1996; Past Secretary, 1994; Past Chair, Civil Practice, Minority Access and Long Range Planning Committees
  • Law Foundation of Silicon Valley, Past President, 2001 - 2002
  • Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, Lawyers’ Representative, 2003 - 2005
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, Standing Committee on Professionalism, Member, 2013 - present
  • Santa Clara County Superior Court, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee and Bench / Bar / Media / Police Committee, Member
  • San Jose Sports Hall of Fame, Board of Directors, Chair, 2000 - present
  • San Jose Sports Authority, Board of Directors, 2007 - present; Vice-Chair, 2008 - 2013, Secretary, 2014
  • Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), California Certification Advisory Committee, Member, 2008 – 2009
  • Hospice of the Valley, Member, Board of Directors, Chairman-Elect, 2007 - 2013


  • Born in San Jose, California
  • Resident of Los Gatos since 1987
  • Married with children
  • Interests include skiing, hiking, and quilt-making

  • twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • RSS

All Contents Copyright © 1996-2018 Practising Law Institute. Continuing Legal Education since 1933.

© 2018 PLI PRACTISING LAW INSTITUTE. All rights reserved. The PLI logo is a service mark of PLI.