Baldwin J. Lee heads the Employment Practice Group in Northern California. He litigates wage/hour class actions, discrimination claims, and theft of trade secret matters. He also regularly advises clients regarding anti-harassment training, national audits, response to government investigations, and compliance with employment laws. Baldwin's clients range from several of the world's largest technology companies to start-ups. Baldwin serves as an outside general counsel for several clients, coordinating on a broad range of national legal issues.
Baldwin's trial experience includes obtaining an unanimous defense verdict from an Oakland, California, jury in an employment discrimination trial for one of the nation's largest banks. Baldwin is often called in to handle complicated or controversial issues, including representing in–house counsel accused of age discrimination. Baldwin is experienced in evaluating or joining cases mid-stream. For example, he enrolled as counsel one week before a trial, after which he obtained a complete defense judgment on all 15 causes of action, and he resolved for nuisance value a class action that was valued by prior counsel at more than $10 million.
Baldwin has successfully represented plaintiffs in single and multi-plaintiff cases, including obtaining an eight-figure recovery in a mass raiding matter. Baldwin has also won various age, race, and pregnancy discrimination cases in California state and federal court. Baldwin actively provides pro bono assistance, including successfully litigating up to trial an age discrimination case on behalf of a janitor who spoke only Chinese and who was terminated just before his 65th birthday. Baldwin has also successfully represented the Vietnamese Community Center of San Francisco in litigation, a case for which he was recognized for his pro bono services.
Baldwin is requested, equally by plaintiffs and defendants, to serve as a mediator. Baldwin serves on the Executive Committee of the Bar Association of San Francisco Fee Dispute Program, including providing training for mediators and arbitrators. Baldwin additionally serves as a mediator by appointment of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Baldwin speaks on panels for the American Arbitration Association regarding employment arbitration and mediation.
Baldwin regularly speaks and writes on employment law issues. He is a past co-author of International Labor & Employment Laws (Bureau of National Affairs), contributing a chapter on Taiwan.
Baldwin is consulted as an employment expert by the media, including being quoted by the New York Times, CNBC/CNET, and the San Francisco Business Journal. He also serves as a guest lecturer regarding employment law issues at San Francisco State University.
Baldwin speaks Mandarin Chinese. He worked as a journalist in Asia before attending law school.
- Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area, former co-chair of the Education Committee
- Bar Association of San Francisco, Fee Dispute Program Executive Committee Member
- Golden Gate Restaurant Association, Education Committee
- Selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers magazine (2008 - 2016)
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Employment Law - Management (2013 - 2017)
Baldwin earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. After law school, he clerked for U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan.