Will M. Yamada

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Prior to joining the Law Office of Tribuiano & Yamada, Will Yamada was the Deputy Chief Counsel for the California Department of Human Resources, formerly known as the Department of Personnel Administration (DPA).  As the Deputy Chief Counsel, he managed a legal office of 30 attorneys and oversaw all civil litigation in the office and consulted on significant labor issues with the Governor’s Office.  Will had a lead role in creating the In Home Supportive Services Employer Employee Relations Act affecting approximately 400,000 employees statewide. Will represented the State of California before the Public Employment Relations Board, the United States Department of Labor and the State Personnel Board.  In addition to litigation experience, Will has also testified before Senate and Assembly subcommittees on various labor related issues.

Prior to working for the State of California, Will was a partner in a preeminent Sacramento law firm whose practice focused on representing City and County peace officer and firefighter organizations.  While at this firm, Will represented these organizations in Federal and State Court, before the Public Employment Relations Board, the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, the State Personnel Board, and the United States Department of Labor.  In addition, Will specialized in filing plaintiff wage and hour class and collective actions in both State and Federal Court.

Will specializes in public and private sector labor and employment law, representing labor organizations, employees, and employers during all stages of litigation, grievance and disciplinary proceedings, labor arbitrations, unfair practice proceedings before the Public Employment Relations Board and the National Labor Relations Board.  Will has also represented employees and employers before the United States Department of Labor and State Department of Labor Standards Enforcement. Will is also experienced in collective bargaining representing both unions and employers.

Will has experience representing peace officers and firefighters in internal affairs investigations and critical incidents.  Will has extensive practice under the Public Safety Officers’ Procedural Bill of Rights and the Firefighters’ Bill of Rights.

Will also has extensive civil litigation experience in State, Federal and Appellate courts handling complex cases including furlough litigation, class actions and collective actions.  Will has extensive experience handling wage and hour litigation under both California law and Federal law under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Before practicing law, Will was a labor organizer with the Service Employees International Union, Local 1877.  Will also worked in organizing campaigns for the Teamsters, Laborers International Union of North America, UNITE-HERE, and the AFL-CIO.

While in law school Will clerked with the National Labor Relations Board Region 32.  While at UCLA, Will was a Community Service Officer with the UCLA Police.


  • B.A. Political Science, University of California Los Angeles, 1998
  • J.D. University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 2003
    • David E. Snodgrass Award for Oral Argument in Moot Court
    • Member of Hispanic National Bar Association National Moot Court Team
  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of California, Labor & Employment Section
  • Sacramento County Bar Association
  • Fluent in Spanish
Significant Published Decisions:
  • Professional Engineers in California Government v. Schwarzenegger (2010) 116 Cal.Rptr.3d 480.  Served as lead state counsel for the Governor and the State of California and appeared before the California Supreme Court.
  • Brown v. Chiang (2011) 132 Cal.Rptr.3d 48.  The Court held the State Constitutional Officers were not exempt from the furlough program and that the Governor through CalHR has authority over the terms and conditions of the state employees working for these constitutional officers.
  • Union of American Physicians and Dentists v. Brown (1st Dist. Cal. 2011) 124 Cal.Rptr.3d 711.  The Court held as a result of the Supreme Court decision in Professional Engineers that the furlough program as applied to these employees was lawful.
  • Ketchum v. City of Vallejo (E.D. Cal. 2007) 523 F.Supp.2d 1150.
  • International Union of Operating Engineers, Unit 12 v. State of California (2010) PERB Decision No. 2152-S