Deputy City Attorney for City of Los Angeles, served as criminal prosecutor, then civil litigator; law internships at the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Attorney's Office, Washington, D.C.
Patricia Kinaga has specialized in employment litigation for over 20 years. Representing private and public employers in high-profile cases, Patricia is well recognized for her extensive first chair jury trial work in state and federal courts.
Ms. Kinaga began her legal career at the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, where she gained considerable first chair trial experience, first as a prosecutor specializing in domestic violence and child abuse cases, then as a civil litigator in the Employee Relations Section. From there she joined the national law firm of Seyfarth Shaw, and most recently, served as a partner at Jones Day. Her successful first chair trial experience in highly sensitive cases, as well as her expertise in providing preventive advice to help employers avoid litigation, has resulted in her reputation as a preeminent employment attorney.
Her range of experience covers discrimination, including sexual harassment, gender, age, and disability, Sarbanes-Oxley, discipline, privacy, wrongful discharge, arbitrations, and wage-hour disputes. She also has authored and successfully argued appeals in state and federal courts.
Ms. Kinaga provides training and advice to human resource professionals, executives, and government officials on a range of topics, including hiring and firing, leaves of absence, sexual harassment, ADA access, and diversity, and conducts workplace misconduct investigations. She also has served as an invited lecturer to human resource and bar organizations on a range of employment topics, including how to develop a reasonable accommodation plan, how to prepare for trial, and how to handle discrimination allegations.
She has represented clients in a variety of private industries, including health care, bio-tech, electronic manufacturing, hospitality, communications, transportation, insurance, retail food/ restaurant, and public entities, including the Los Angeles Unified School District and the cities of Los Angeles, Oxnard, Riverside, Anaheim, and Ventura.
Ms. Kinaga has served on the President's Committee on the Employment of Persons with Disabilities, the State Bar Committee on Women, and the State Bar Section on Labor, Public Sector Subcommittee. She is a former president of the Japanese American Bar Association, and is co-founder of a dispute resolution center, a women’s shelter, and a state-wide organization serving Asians with disabilities. Ms. Kinaga is a recipient of public service awards from the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Big Sisters of Los Angeles, and received the 2008 Women in Business Award presented by the California Assembly and Senate Districts for San Gabriel Valley. In 2011, she received the Peter E. Haas Public Service Award from UC Berkeley.
She was specially profiled in the 2004 “Super Lawyers” magazine of Los Angeles and was named in the 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 “Super Lawyers” and Los Angeles magazines as one of the top employment attorneys in Southern California.