J.D., Santa Clara University School of Law, 2002
Summa Cum Laude
Order of the Coif
B.A., Saint Mary’s College, 1991
Stephen Chiari is a partner of Sacks, Ricketts & Case LLP. Steve’s practice includes a wide array of commercial, business, and tax litigation, as well as internal investigations. In his almost 15 years of practice, Steve has handled numerous complex matters involving breach of contract, unfair competition, the California Government Claims Act, and corporate governance issues.
Steve also has substantial internal investigative experience. Steve regularly conducts complex workplace investigations on behalf of public and private sector clients, including investigations of high-ranking public officials, as well as investigations that require compliance with the California Public Safety Officers’ and Firefighters’ Procedural Bill of Rights Acts.
Steve was recently added to the panels of approved employment defense attorneys and investigators for the Employment Risk Management Authority (ERMA). ERMA is California’s first and foremost risk management authority created exclusively for public entities and includes more than 160 member agencies throughout the state. As an experienced workplace investigator and litigator, Steve is particularly suited to serve the needs of public sector clients and welcome the opportunity to discuss employment-related matters with authorized representatives of ERMA agencies.
Prior to joining Sacks Ricketts & Case, LLP, Steve was a litigator for ten years with DLA Piper, LLP. Before he began practicing law and during law school, Steve worked full-time as a police officer for the City of Oakland for 13 years.
- Numerous internal investigations relating to harassment, embezzlement, trade secret theft, and police and firefighter conduct.
- Representation of California bakery company in trademark dispute.
- Representation of digital marketing agency in contract action.
- Representation of major internet company in a lawsuit regarding intellectual property rights.
- Representation of a pharmaceutical distribution company in shareholder dispute.
- Representation of founding shareholder of a closely held software company in shareholder and corporate governance dispute.
- Representation of major software company in contract dispute.
- Representation of major wireless carriers through appeal in successful related actions to invalidate taxing statutes.
- Defense of a major accounting firm in a series of arbitrations relating to alleged malpractice in connection with the promotion of tax shelters challenged by the IRS.
- Representation of Senator George Mitchell in his investigation into the use of performance enhancing substances in Major League Baseball, including interviewing numerous individuals from various West Coast teams (coaches, managers, owners, front office personnel, trainers, team doctors), drafting privileged interview memoranda, and assisting Senator Mitchell with the preparation of his Report to the Commissioner of Baseball.
- Representation of a major insurance brokerage firm in an unfair competition case involving a raid of a business unit by its CEO and other high-level employees. The matter was litigated in related federal and state court actions and the injunctions obtained against the CEO and his co-conspirators were upheld on appeal.
- Defense of an individual taxpayer in a criminal tax evasion case, resulting in a favorable plea agreement.
- Defense of a major insurance company in federal court actions relating to ERISA plan benefits.
- Representation of a major investment firm in an employment discrimination matter.
- Representation of a major car rental company in obtaining restraining orders to prevent a hostile former employee from further threatening and harassing employer.
- Defense of a major insurance broker through appeal in a rescission action relating to workers’ compensation insurance.
- Representation of a major insurance broker in companion cases dealing with broker/agent liability in connection with the issuance of an insurance policy for a motocross race course.
- Defense of a prominent submersible equipment manufacturer in arbitration against a third-party claim for a success fee relating to the implementation of an ESOP.
- Representation of the co-founder of a highly successful intellectual property services business in a locally high-profile trial against his business partner for a freeze out and conversion of the business and its assets.
- Representation of a law firm and its managing partner in a dispute with other members of the firm.
- Glassey v. Microsemi Inc, No. C 14-03629 WHA, 2014 WL 7387161 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 29, 2014), aff’d sub nom. Glassey v. Microsemi, Inc., 636 F. App’x 433 (9th Cir. 2016) (success on motion to dismiss).
- Tracfone Wireless v. City of Los Angeles, 2010 WL 1174585 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. 2010) (representing amicus).
- Bay Area Cellular Telephone Co. v. City of Union City, 162 Cal. App. 4th 686 (2008).
- S. Fid. & Guar. Co. v. Lee Investments, LLC, No. 1:99-CV-5583OWWSMS, 2008 WL 5330823, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 19, 2008) (success on motions for judgment on the pleadings and for summary judgment).
- Andal v. City of Stockton, San Joaquin County Case No. CV 024300; 3rd Dist. App. No. C056732.
- United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- United States District Court for the Northern District of California
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
- United States District Court for the Central District of California
- United States District Court for the Southern District of California
- State of California
- American Bar Association
- State Bar of California