Susan T. Kumagai


Lafayette & Kumagai LLP
1300 Clay Street, Ste. 810
Oakland, CA 94612

Email :
Tel : (415) 357-4600
Fax : (415) 357-4605

Susan T. Kumagai

Susan Kumagai is a founding partner of the firm. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley and the University of California at Davis School of Law (King Hall). Ms. Kumagai heads the labor and employment department of the firm.

Ms. Kumagai has extensive experience practicing in both federal and state courts. She specializes in labor and employment representing management in the areas of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, whistle-blower, wrongful discharge claims and ERISA.

Ms. Kumagai serves on the Board Development Committee of the Bar Association of San Francisco (“BASF”) and previously served as a member of the BASF Board of Directors and as a member of its Nominating and Judiciary Committees. In 2015, Susan Kumagai was inducted to the California Minority Counsel Program (“CMCP”) Diversity Leader Hall of Fame, in recognition of her contributions to diversity in the legal profession and long-term involvement in the organization. Ms. Kumagai is an active member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Solo/Small Firm Committee. Ms. Kumagai has been recognized in the Northern California Super Lawyers® list for 2009 through 2019 and has an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Ms. Kumagai has been a panelist for CEB attorney education seminars, the National Employment Law Council, the California Minority Counsel Program (“CMCP”), the Minority Corporate Counsel Association, the State Bar of California’s Ethnic and Minority Relations Committee, NAPABA and Sterling Education Services. She is a former member of the CMCP’s Steering Committee and its Executive Committee, was the Chair of the 2002 CMCP Annual Business Conference and was a Co-Chair for its 2008 Conference.

Ms. Kumagai is admitted to practice before all courts of the State of California, the United States District Court for all Districts of California, the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

Speaking Engagements:

“What Employers Should Know about the Demise of DOMA and the Recognition of Same-Sex Marriages for Employee Benefits Purposes,” National Association of Minority and Women-Owned Law Firms Annual Meeting, September 2014

“California Dreamin’: How to Avoid the California Litigation Lottery,” Macy’s, Inc., October 2013

“Business Development Strategies for Minority- and Women-Owned Law Firms,” Minority Corporate Counsel Association 10th Annual Creating Pathways to Diversity Conference, November 2007

“Advanced Trial Skills II – Winning on Paper: Jury Instructions, Motions in Limine and Perfecting the Record for Appeal,” National Employment Law Council Annual Conference, May 2006

“Evaluating Discrimination and Termination Lawsuits,” Minority Corporate Counsel Association 4th Annual CLE Expo, March 2005

Published Opinions:

HUD v. Rucker, 535 U.S. 125 (2002)

Alvis v. AT&T, 377 Fed.Appx. 673 (9th Cir. 2010)

Embury v. King, 179 Fed.Appx. 409 (9th Cir. 2006)

Embury v. King, 361 F.3d 562 (9th Cir. 2004)

Henderson v. Equilon Enterprises, LLC, 40 Cal.App.5th 1111 (2019)

Wellpoint Health Networks, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County, 59 Cal.App.4th 110 (1997)


Co-author, “Bench Trials,” in California Trial Practice: Civil Procedure During Trial, 3rd ed., ed. Linda Compton et al., (Berkeley, CA: CEB, 1994)