Foster Employment Law, certified as a minority owned business by the National Minority Supplier Diversity Council (NMSDC) and the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), specializes in the defense of corporations, businesses and public employers in labor and employment matters. It’s what we know. It’s what we do every day. Based in Oakland, California, the firm is composed of eight seasoned attorneys, a certified paralegal and support staff. Recently, we opened a second location in Columbia, South Carolina.
Our experience is steeped in a variety of industries, including advertising, banking, food services, manufacturing, defense contracting, municipal, pharmaceutical, retail, logistics, technology, transportation, and utilities.
Our clients comprise a broad spectrum of industry, government, public, private and non-profit organizations. Our Approach
At Foster Employment Law our first priority is to decrease your litigation risk and increase your effectiveness at handling employment litigation and counseling issues. We have represented employers throughout California and the United States — with high quality labor and employment-related legal and litigation services.
With longevity and consistency rare among its peers, Foster Employment Law has been serving its clients since 1991. We have a proven record of providing our clients with top-quality legal services at reasonable rates. We deliver professional advice and strategic recommendations that produce resolutions and limit disputes.
Our attorneys develop close working relationships with our business clients, who run the gamut from Fortune 500 companies to mid-tier businesses and public agencies. And we assist with a broad array of professional challenges and needs, from full service litigation, to labor arbitrations, to human resource related advice, and wage and hour dispute representation. The result is top-notch service with rates significantly below the large,
We zealously represent our clients in every aspect of litigation. Our zealousness, however, is always tempered by a practical desire to control the ever-increasing cost of litigation. We combine a highly effective litigation strategy with an extremely reasonable fee structure to maximize positive outcomes while minimizing costs.
For more information please see our website.
Attorney BiographiesMichael W. Foster
: As the firm’s senior attorney, Michael has won numerous jury verdicts for employers and has
prevailed in more than 100 summary judgment motions. In addition to litigating matters to conclusion, Michael has successfully settled innumerable matters using alternative dispute resolution and has himself served as a mediator. His litigation work on behalf of employers in U.S. District Court and California state courts has included wrongful termination, breach of contract and discrimination claims, and wage and hour class action defense. His wide range of experience in labor management relations includes: Union elections, collective bargaining agreement negotiations, Arbitrations involving individual employee terminations, discipline, scope of work and other disputes arising under collective bargaining agreements, National Labor Relations Board proceedings. Michael also advises and counsels numerous large corporations and mid-tier employers on various federal, state and local employment laws. He prepares and reviews employee handbooks and personnel policies for employers and offers seminars and advice regarding employment issues. His experience also includes governmental relations and lobbying. Admissions
: Michael is admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, the Supreme Court of California and the U.S. District Court, Northern, Central and Eastern Districts, California. Education
: Stanford University Law School (1986): Harvard University (B.A., 1983)
Michael E. Wilbur
: Michael, located in our South Carolina Office, a former Partner at Cook Roos Wilbur, LLP, has substantial litigation experience, including jury trials and has successfully defended employers in many federal and state court actions involving claims of wrongful termination, employment discrimination and other employment-related issues. Michael has also represented clients in administrative proceedings before the National Labor Relations Board and other state and federal administrative agencies. He also advises and counsels clients on a variety of labor and employment matters, provides advice and training in labor and employment law, and conducts internal investigations. Michael regularly speaks to business groups, and he has also written articles on labor and employment topics. His presentations and publications include "Privacy in the Workplace" (Employer Resource Institute, 2006); "Mind Your Own Business: A Review of Laws Affecting Privacy in the Workplace" (California State Bar Labor and Employment Section Annual Meeting, 2004); "Defending Wrongful Discharge Claims Under California Law" (National Business Institute, 1997, 2000, and 2002); "Basic Wage and Hour Law in California" (National Business Institute, 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2001); and "Employee Leave Rights Under State and Federal Law: What Every California Employer Needs to Know" (National Business Institute, 1998). Admissions
: Michael is admitted to practice in the States of California, South Carolina, and Georgia, as well as the United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern and Central Districts of California, the Northern District of Georgia, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Education
: Emory University School of Law (1989); University of South Carolina (BA., magna cum laude, 1986, Phi Beta Kappa)
Peter H. Goldsmith
Peter Goldsmith, most recently a partner with Townsend, Townsend, & Crew, brings over thirty years of experience to Foster Employment Law. His practice includes handling and trying many cases involving employer-employee disputes, large commercial matters, and intellectual property issues with a focus on trade secret law. He has had many successful jury trials and arbitrations and has performed numerous internal investigations for corporate clients. Peter also adds his substantial experience in intellectual property disputes between employers and former employees. He is widely recognized for a high profile trade secret case in which he sued his client’s former employee and new company for theft of intellectual property - after two jury trials in federal court in Los Angeles, his client was awarded approximately twenty million dollars. Peter also handled jury trials in Florida, Mississippi, and Texas. Peter’s practice also includes employee-employer disputes involving trade secret claims, invention ownership issues, and the enforceability of non-compete provisions. One of his cases concluded in a trial before the London Court of International Arbitration where he won a multi-million dollar judgment on behalf of his client. Peter also prepares and reviews employee handbooks and personnel policies for employers and offers seminars and advice regarding employment issues. Admissions:
Peter is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of California and the U.S. District Court, Northern and Central Districts, California. Education:
UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), Order of the Coif (1978); Yale University, Cum Laude (B.A., 1974)
Madelyn G. Jordan-Davis
: In her more than fifteen years of experience as a litigator and trial lawyer, Madelyn has built an extensive litigation practice. She’s proven adept at winning cases or quickly securing a summary judgment, preventing an employer from a costly trial. Madelyn’s experience is comprehensive, having represented national employers and local public agencies in employment matters. Madelyn’s litigation experience includes: Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation, Wage & Hour claims and Other employment related issues. Madelyn also provides advice and training in employment law, where she is skilled at advising employers how to adopt and implement policies to avoid litigation. She also conducts internal investigations. Admissions
: Madelyn is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of California and the U.S. District Court, Northern and Eastern Districts, California. Education
: Hastings College of the Law (1995); University of California, Berkeley (B.S., 1991)
C. Christine Maloney
: Christine, a former Partner at Jackson Lewis LLP brings twenty years of experience representing public and private employers to Foster Employment Law. Her practice includes defending employers in litigation, arbitration and administrative proceedings in a manner that is attentive to client goals and delivers results. She has prevailed in many summary judgment motions relating to claims of discrimination, retaliation, harassment, failure to accommodate and wrongful discharge. She has first-chaired employment lawsuits in state and federal courts and successfully argued cases before California Courts of Appeal and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. As part of
her practice, Christine regularly counsels employers on all aspects of employment law compliance and prevention, provides training to industry groups, and conducts internal investigations. Admissions
: Christine is admitted to practice in the State of California and the U.S. District Court, Northern, Central and Eastern Districts, California, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and in the State of Washington. Education
: University of Oregon School of Law (Order of the Coif) (1991); University of Washington (B.A., 1988)
Susan H. Roos
: Susan, former Managing Partner at Cook Roos Wilbur LLP, has substantial experience in defending employers in wrongful termination, sexual harassment, employment discrimination and trade secret litigation before federal and state courts. Susan's trial experience includes both jury and non-jury trials. Susan also advises and counsels employers in the area of wage and hour issues, labor relations and employment law. She has extensive experience in representing management before federal and state administrative agencies, arbitrators and mediators. Susan also provides advice and training in employment law and conducts internal investigations. Susan has written several articles for labor industry publications, including "The New Reasonable Woman Standard in Sexual Harassment Cases," "Workers Compensation Not a Bar to Physical Handicap Discrimination," and "Reasonable Accommodation -- What Is It?" She has also spoken on labor and employment issues at industry association meetings, including the Merchants and Manufacturers Association, the Council on Education in Management and the North Coast Employer Advisory Group. Admissions
: Susan is admitted to practice in the State of California and the U.S. District Court, Northern District, California, and the United States Supreme Court. Education
: University of Southern California School of Law (1982); Stanford University (A.B., 1978)
Jill A. Sprague
: Jill, a former Deputy City Attorney with the San Francisco City Attorney’s Labor Team, brings significant employment and labor experience to Foster Employment Law. In her practice, which emphasizes the defense of employment related-claims before federal and state courts, and administrative agencies, Jill has represented both private and public employers in a broad array of local and national industries. Her employment litigation experience includes: Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation and Wage & Hour claims. During her tenure with the City Attorney’s office, Jill represented city departments in litigation and advice matters relating to various employment and labor issues, including the ADA, FMLA, FLSA, FEHA, and Title VII. She also conducted sexual harassment training to city supervisors, participated in labor negotiations with city labor unions, litigated and successfully won summary judgment motions, briefed and argued cases in the Ninth Circuit and State Court of Appeals, participated in both jury and bench trials, and arbitrated labor disputes. Jill also provides advice and training on all aspects of employee relations and workplace laws and how to implement sound personnel policies and practices to effectively reduce the risk of litigation and liability. Admissions
: Jill is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of California, California Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit and the U.S. District Court, Northern and Eastern Districts, California. Education
: Northwestern University School of Law (1994); University of California, Los Angeles (B.A., 1990)
Erin L. Winters
: Erin, a former journalist, brings wage and hour litigation experience to her practice at Foster Employment Law. Erin has successfully defended employers in California Courts and before the California Labor Commissioner, in lawsuits brought under state and federal anti-discrimination and wage laws. Erin also regularly advises businesses regarding employment law related compliance matters. Erin has also co-authored several published articles including,“"California Supreme Court Holds Class Action Waivers Are Subject to Scrutiny” (California Labor & Employment Law Review, 2008) and “Identity Theft: Is Proof of Actual Damages Necessary to Collect Liquidated or Statutory Damages?” (The Privacy & Data Protection Legal Reporter, 2006) Admissions
: Erin is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of California and the U.S. District Court, Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Districts, California. Education
: San Francisco Law School (2008); Barnard College, Columbia University (B.A., 1998)
: Andrea has broad experience relating to civil litigation, including employment litigation, insurance coverage and bad faith litigation in Federal and California courts with an emphasis on large commercial and business interruption losses. She is the co-author, Chapters 3 and 11, of California Property Insurance: Law and Litigation, CEB 2011. Andrea is fluent in Czech and Slovak. Admissions
: Andrea is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of California, the State of California and the U.S. District Courts, Northern, Central and Eastern Districts, California. Education
: University of California, Hastings College of the Law (2006); University of California, Berkeley (B.A., 2003)