Karin M. Cogbill

Karin M. Cogbill

Karin Cogbill is a member of Hopkins & Carley’s Employment & Labor Law Practice in the San Jose office. She represents and counsels employers in connection with all types of labor and employment matters arising under federal and state laws.

Karin devotes a significant portion of her practice to representing employers in wage and hour litigation, with an emphasis on class, collective and hybrid actions, in state and federal courts throughout the United States. Her experience also includes:

  • Investigating and responding to claims of harassment, discrimination, retaliation
  • Ensuring compliant written policies and procedures, including employee handbooks
  • Advising on leaves of absence and requests for accommodation
  • Advising on wage and hour compliance, including payroll practice audits
  • Advising on exempt/non-exempt employee classification, and employee vs. independent contractor classification
  • Representing employers in discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination lawsuits
  • Representing employers before the Labor Commissioner and in wage and hour audits conducted by the Department of Labor

Karin's litigation experience encompasses all phases of litigation, from inception to trial, in both federal and state courts. She has successfully represented clients in enforcing arbitration agreements and class-action waivers.

Karin has taken and defended countless depositions, successfully obtained summary judgment, achieved full and partial defense verdicts in arbitration, handled complex class actions, including opposing class and conditional certification, managed detailed factual investigations, and negotiated resolutions to numerous legal matters.   

Prior to joining Hopkins & Carley, Karin was a partner at Littler Mendelson P.C. She started her legal career as an associate in the San Jose office of Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner, LLP.

During law school, Karin served as a judicial extern to the Hon. Ronald M. Whyte of the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California. She was director of the Honors Moot Court Board and she earned a Public Interest and Social Justice Certificate. She attended the International Institute of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France.

  • Successfully obtained decertification of an unpaid wages claim asserted in a 1,000+ employee class action, and obtained summary judgment on two additional claims for penalties.
  • Successfully enforced a client's arbitration agreement, which contained a class waiver, to compel arbitration of the plaintiff's individual claims only, and dismissal of all class claims.  Thereafter, negotiated a favorable settlement on the individual claim, which effectively allowed the client to resolve the matter without the exposure from a threatened class action.
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of an employer in single plaintiff case with claims of alleged whistleblower retaliation.  
  • Conducted multiple wage and hour audits for clients in the manufacturing and retail sectors in order to preemptively identify areas of risk and concern and implement policies and procedures to ensure compliance

Selected Publications

  • “5 Questions on Managing COVID-19 and Potential Exposures in the Workplace”, April 2020
  • “Assembly Bill 51 and Mandatory Arbitration Agreements: Where Are We Now?”, March 2020
  • “Complying with California’s Suitable Seating Requirements”, SHRM Online, November 2018

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • “How to Reopen & Operate Your Restaurant Post-COVID”, Webinar, July 2020
  • “Reopening the Workplace After COVID-19”, Webinar, June 2020
  • “PPP Loans and Managing Employee Headcount and Payroll Decisions”, Webinar, April 2020
  • “Alphabet Soup of Leave Laws In a COVID-19 World”, Webinar, April 2020
  • “Coronavirus and Your Workforce”, SVO Webinar, March 2020
  • “Retail Industry Roundtable,” The 2016 Executive Employer® Conference, Scottsdale, AZ, May 2016
  • “You Can’t Make Me Come to Work! Untangling the Web of Employee Leaves and Understanding What’s New in 2013”, SVO, 2013
  • “Summary Judgment Motions:  Mysteries of the Deep and Calm Seas”, Santa Clara County Bar Association, September 2012
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • Santa Clara Bar Association Judiciary Committee, Member
  • William A. Ingram American Inn of Court, Member
  • Santa Clara University Law Alumni Association, Treasurer and Board of Directors
  • San Jose Christmas in the Park, Past President, Board of Directors, (President, 2014-16, Vice President, 2013-14)
  • State Bar of California (2006)
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District
  • J.D., (magna cum laude) Santa Clara University
  • B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara

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