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Patricia K. Gillette

Patricia K. Gillette Esq.

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Upcoming Events
General Biography
Practice Areas
Employment Law
Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities
Background and Education

Patricia Gillette, Esq. joined JAMS in 2016 as a full-time neutral with many years of experience as a top rated trial lawyer and counselor to some of the largest companies and high level executives in the country. When she was in practice, Ms. Gillette focused on all aspects of employment law, including litigation of wrongful discharge and discrimination class actions and individual/multi-plaintiff cases in both state and federal court, representation of employers before administrative agencies, and counseling and training employers on preventive personnel practices.

 Ms. Gillette has a reputation for connecting and relating deeply with people. While she was known as a tough litigator, she is also well-respected in the plaintiffs’ bar for for her ability to realistically assess cases and settle them. Her intuitive skills as well as her ability to problem solve give her the ability to see all sides of an issue and to find creative, workable, and fair solutions. She has a knack for breaking through the barriers that often impede settlement efforts, by inspiring the parties to think differently about how to realize their goals.

Ms. Gillette is recognized nationally as a leader in promoting the rights of women in the legal profession. She is the co-founder of the Opt-In Project, a nationwide initiative focused on changing the structure of law firms to increase the retention and advancement of women in the workplace and has been recognized on several occasions for her contributions to women in the profession. She has written a best selling book on “rainmaking” and has contributed to other publications on employment law issues as well DEI matters. She is a frequent speaker at national conferences and retreats on issues relating to diversity and inclusion.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • Conducted mediation training for Federal and State Court Judges
  • Has spoken on mediation at conferences and at bar association meetings
  • Began serving as a neutral 2016 after resigning from her partner position at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe

Representative Matters

  • Discrimination and related claims brought under state and federal laws including claims based on age, race, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, gender identification, and marital status
  • Disparate Impact/Implicit Bias claims
  • All types of harassment
  • Retaliation
  • Other Statutory Claims brought under state laws such as:
    • California Labor Code § 1102.5
    • California Business & Professions Code §§ 17200, et seq.
    • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    • California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
    • California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law (PDL)
  • Wrongful Discharge and Related Tort Claims such as:
    • Defamation
    • Intentional and Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress
    • Interference with contractual relation
    • Loss of consortium
    • Invasion of privacy
    • Fraud
  • Wrongful termination in violation of public policy
  • Attorneys’ fees disputes
    • Contract disputes, including those involving:
    • Executive employment contracts
    • Law firm and other partnership agreements 
    • Severance pay contracts
    • Release agreements

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

Completed Virtual ADR training conducted by the JAMS Institute, the training arm of JAMS.

  • Chambers USA Ranked Lawyer for Employment law 2005-2015
  • Named as a Super Lawyer in Employment Law and Litigation, 1994-present
  • Recognized as a “Best Lawyer in America,” Best Lawyers in America, 2024
  • Recognized as a "Best Lawyers, Employment Law - Management" and "Best Lawyers, Labor Law - Management," Best Lawyers in America, 2023
  • Recognized as a “Best Lawyer,” Best Lawyers in America, 2022
  • Recognized as a "Best Lawyer," Northern California Best Lawyers in America, 2022-2023. Among the honorees, Ms. Gillette was specifically recognized for her expertise in employment law.
  • Recipient of the ABA Margaret Brent Award, the highest honor given to women lawyers by the ABA for professional achievements and the promotion of women in the profession
  • Recipient of ABA Golden Hammer Award for promoting diversity in the profession, given by the ABA Law Practice Division and the ABA Women Rainmakers Division
  • Recipient of the Fay Stender Award, the highest award given by the California Women Lawyers Association
  • Recipient of the San Francisco Bar Association Award of Merit for her work as Co-Chair of the No Glass Ceiling Initiative, 2010
  • Recipient of the Transformational Leadership Award as the Top Woman Rainmaker, 2012
  • The Recorder's California Labor & Employment Department of the Year, 2013-2014
  • The Recorder's California Litigation Department of the Year, 2013-2014
  • The Recorder Leading Employment Lawyer, 2012
  • American Registry's Top 50 Women Attorneys in Northern California
  • Daily Journal's Top Labor and Employment Lawyers in California, 2010, 2012
  • The International Who's Who of Management Labour and Employment Lawyers

ADR Profiles

Background and Education

  • Partner, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, 2007-2015
  • Shareholder, Heller Ehrman, 1989-2007
  • Partner, Schachter, Kristoff, 1984-1989
  • Head of Personnel Law Section, Bank of America, 1978-1984
  • Associate, Littler Mendelson, 1976-1978
  • J.D., cum laude, University of San Francisco School of Law, 1976
  • A.B., Occidental College, 1973


This page is for general information purposes.  JAMS makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy or completeness.  Interested persons should conduct their own research regarding information on this website before deciding to use JAMS, including investigation and research of JAMS neutrals. See More

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