Damien P. Lillis

Damien P. Lillis
  • 415-814-0411
  • 415-814-0405
  • 415-217-7011
  • 465 California Street
    5th Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94104

Damien P. Lillis has specialized in business and employment cases for more than 25 years. Mr. Lillis focuses on cases dealing with the intersection between employment law and the rights and duties among co-owners of businesses, breach of contract, and business torts arising from corporate mergers and asset purchases, change in control agreements, and financings and investments. Super Lawyers Magazine has named Mr. Lillis a Super Lawyer in business litigation each year since 2011.

Before founding Lillis Pitha LLP, Mr. Lillis practiced in the Silicon Valley office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, and also helped found a successful trial firm in San Francisco.

Business Litigation

Mr. Lillis has a strong record of achieving excellent outcomes in many dispute scenarios:

  • Lead trial counsel for the prevailing respondent in a multi-day binding arbitration, defeating request for seven-figures in damages and ultimately recovering hundreds of thousands of dollars in prevailing-party attorneys’ fees for our client.
  • Co-lead trial counsel for the prevailing plaintiff in a trial proving the existence of an oral partnership, breach of fiduciary duty by the partner, and seven figures in damages (affirmed on appeal).
  • Co-lead trial counsel for the prevailing plaintiff in a suit on behalf of a minority LLC owner against the manager and majority owner of the LLC for breach of fiduciary duty, resulting in seven figures in damages and attorneys’ fees.
  • Prevailed in multi-day binding arbitration in a dispute between the buyer and seller of a business, obtaining and recovering a substantial six-figure award of damages and prevailing-party attorneys’ fees.
  • Lead counsel in securing a seven-figure settlement in an auditing malpractice case.
  • Obtained seven figures in settlements in cases against a hedge fund and its founder.
  • Obtained judgment of rescission and substantial damages for client defrauded by business partner.
  • Obtained a stay of arbitration proceedings instituted against an investor, obtained a declaratory judgment that an amendment to an LLC operating agreement was not binding on the investor, and secured substantial award for the investor.
  • Prevailed before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a trademark infringement case dealing with Google’s key-word advertising program and secured the affirmance of the district court’s denial of a motion for preliminary injunction.
  • Prevailed before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in an unusual case dealing with 28 U.S.C. § 1782, its authorization to use the U.S. district courts to obtain discovery for use in foreign proceedings, and the First Amendment right to anonymous speech on the internet.
  • Filed successful anti-SLAPP motion and obtained award of substantial attorneys’ fees in defending suit seeking the involuntary dissolution of a corporation.
  • Obtained complete dismissal of malicious prosecution suit by prevailing on an anti-SLAPP motion (affirmed on appeal) and collecting $100,000 in anti-SLAPP attorneys’ fees for client. (Paulus v. Bob Lynch Ford, 139 Cal. App. 4th 659 (2006).)
  • Successfully defended officers and directors of a Silicon Valley fabless semiconductor company against claims of breach of fiduciary duty alleged by the company’s founder after a down-round of financing diluted the founder’s equity position.
  • On behalf of venture capital firm, obtained the resignation of a corporate director by filing suit under California Corporations Code seeking the court-ordered removal of the director based on his misconduct.
  • Successfully enforced investor’s rights to inspect company books and records.

Employment Litigation

Mr. Lillis has handled employment issues since the beginning of his career and brings that depth and context to each engagement. His employment practice covers the full range of disputes in an employment relationship, from retaliation, discrimination, and wrongful termination, to the departure of key employees, breach of confidentiality obligations, defamation, and the failure to pay wages. If it can happen in an employment setting, there’s a good chance Mr. Lillis has dealt with it. A few recent results:

  • Defense of Fortune 200 technology firm in multiple cases alleging disability discrimination, retaliation, failure to accommodate, failure to pay wages, and related claims.
  • Defense of financial services and retailer firms in suits alleging disability discrimination.
  • Secured preliminary injunction for a financial services firm against a former employee for breaching the duty of loyalty and enjoining the use of misappropriated customer data.
  • Defense of software reseller in claims by former employee for unpaid commissions and retaliation.
  • Several successful engagements in cases dealing with commissioned workers, wage and hour and PAGA disputes, domestic workers (nannies), misclassification, and other Labor Code claims.
  • Multiple engagements advising clients on the departure of C-suite and senior executives.

Mr. Lillis also has an active counseling practice–clients often turn to him for coaching and guidance through challenging legal landscapes. In that capacity, Mr. Lillis offers an overview of the client’s strengths and weaknesses so the client can make informed decisions about their go-forward plans.

  • University of California College of the Law, San Francisco (formerly the University of California, Hastings College of the Law), J.D., cum laude, 1997; Managing Editor of the Hastings International and Comparative Law Review
  • Rutgers College, Rutgers University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1994
  • California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern, Central, and Eastern Districts of California
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • Super Lawyer in Business Litigation, Northern California Super Lawyers, each year since 2011; Rising Star (2010)