Tyler M. Paetkau
1117 S California Ave, Suite 200
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1106
Practice Areas

Admissions: California ; U.S. District Court, Southern District of California ; U.S. District Court, Northern District of California ; U.S. District Court, Central District of California ; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California ; Supreme Court of the United States ; U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Languages: French

Professional Summary

Tyler M. Paetkau has represented employers in labor and employment law matters for more than 25 years. He has handled numerous litigation cases and has extensive employment counseling experience. Tyler’s areas of practice include defending employers against claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, defamation, wage and hour violations, unpaid commissions, collective and class actions, and unfair labor practice charges.  Tyler also represents employers in litigation involving unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, restrictive covenants, and employee mobility issues. He also has extensive experience representing employers in union-management labor relations matters, including union organizing campaigns, strikes, and collective bargaining negotiations.

Representative Matters

  • Represented multinational employer in defeating union organizing campaign.
  • Reis Robotics (China) Co. v. MiaSolé, Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49804 (N.D. Cal. 2017): Represented client in successfully moving to compel arbitration of $13 million claims in a commercial dispute.
  • Lourdes Tiri v. Lucky Chances, Inc., 226 Cal. App. 4th 231 (2014): Reversing trial court’s order denying client’s motion to compel arbitration of employee’s discrimination claims.
  • Complete defense judgment after trial of certified class action alleging misappropriation of employee tips.
  • Complete defense judgment after trial of misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition claims.
  • Frank Gattuso v. Harte-Hanks Shoppers, Inc., 42 Cal. 4th 554 169 P. 3d 889, 67 Cal. Rptr. 3d 468, 55 Lab.Cas. 60,511 (2007): Represented the Employers Group as amicus curiae; Supreme Court of California endorsed “lump sum” method of reimbursing employee expenses.
  • Stephen Simmons v. PCR Technology, 209 F. Supp. 2d 1029 (C.D. Cal. 2002): Represented employer in race discrimination action; removal to federal court based on diversity of citizenship and amount in controversy upheld.
  • Mirna Olivares v. Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation, 2001 WL 477171 (C.D. Cal. April 26, 2001): Represented employer in defeating former employees challenge to mandatory arbitration of employment discrimination claims.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment and early dismissal of numerous employment claims against employer-clients, including discrimination, retaliation and harassment.



"One of the things I value about Procopio is its wide range of legal expertise. While I’ve appreciated the responsive, practical entity and contract drafting work and military subcontract expertise provided by the firm’s Business Team, I was grateful when Tyler Paetkau and the firm’s Labor and Employment team stepped in on short notice and solved a particularly thorny labor and employment challenge for us. Procopio is a firm I can count on to get the job done in a timely and effective manner, no matter the ask." -- Patrick "Paddy" Gough, Chief Operating Officer, PKL Services, Inc.


  • 2019 West Coast Top Rated Lawyers, ALM
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Northern California “Super Lawyer” in labor and employment law, 2004, 2006-2007, 2009-2019, 2021


  • Association of Defense Counsel (ADC), Board of Directors 
  • American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Bar Association of San Francisco, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section, Executive Committee, Past Chair
  • San Mateo County, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • State Bar of California, Labor and Employment Law Section, Executive Committee, Past Chair and Advisor
  • State Bar of California, Special Advisory Committee on Jury Instructions for Employment Law Cases, Former Member


  • JD, University of Michigan Law School, cum laude
  • BA, University of Michigan, High Honors and High Distinction

News Coverage


  • Presenter. Webinar. “The Increasingly Mobile Work Force: Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants for Labor and Employment Attorneys,” Alameda County Bar Association, November 5, 2021.
  • Co-Presenter. Webinar. “I’ll Make Them an Offer They Can’t Refuse: What You Need to Know about CCP Section 998 Offers to Compromise,” Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada, August 25, 2021.
  • Co-presenter. Webinar. "Recent Developments in Trade Secrets: What In-House Counsel Need to Know," February 18, 2021. PowerPoint and video recording.
  • Co-presenter. Webinar. "New Pandemic Year, New Challenges for California Employers," February 11, 2021. PowerPoint and video recording.
  • Co-presenter. “Managing Health and Safety Employment Issues in the Time of COVID-19,” Procopio Labor and Employment Virtual Seminar 2020, November 5, 2020.
  • Co-presenter. Webinar. "Handling Political Discussions & Complaints in the Workplace." October 1, 2020. PowerPoint and video recording.
  • Moderator. "The Critical Deposition of the Human Resources Representative," SCCBA Federal Courts Committee MCLE Webinar, August 20, 2020.
  • Co-presenter. Podcast: "COVID-19 and the Workplace," May 7, 2020.
  • Speaker. "The State of the State on Employer Data Protection: Trade Secrets, Restrictive Covenants, Cyber Security and Data Privacy," The Bar Association of San Francisco, September 5, 2019.
  • Presenter. “California Courts Cast Considerable Doubt on Continued Use of ‘Independent Contractors,'” Celesq® Online Program, September 3, 2019.
  • Speaker. “Tips and Trends in Trade Secrets Law: DTS Act,” SCCBA Federal Courts Committee – MCLE Seminar, San Jose, June 27, 2019.
  • Co-panelist. “Trends in International Executive Employment Agreements including Compensation and Equity Issues and Restrictive Covenants,” International Labor and Employment Law Committee Midyear Meeting, Buenos Aires, Argentina, May 8, 2019.