Overview

Catherine Lee specializes in employment, financial institution, and complex commercial litigation as well as data security and privacy.

Ms. Lee counsels and represents employers of all sizes.  She has prevailed in state and federal court litigation, agency claims, and arbitrations involving allegations of wage and hour violations, wrongful discharge, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, workplace violence, trade secrets, PAGA, and unfair competition.  Ms. Lee provides advice regarding employee hiring and termination, wage and hour issues, employee discipline, and other personnel disputes.  She reviews and prepares handbooks, policies and procedures, and agreements to ensure compliance with all federal, state, and local regulations.

Ms. Lee represents major financial institutions and other smaller banks in meeting their litigation needs.  Ms. Lee has successfully defended JPMorgan Chase Bank, Citibank, PNC Bank, World Savings, and other financial institutions in cases involving a wide variety of issues such as check/deposit transactions, correspondent banking, fraud (including wires, check kiting, Ponzi schemes, and mortgage loans), internet banking, privacy, credit reporting, broker-dealer disputes, wrongful foreclosure, financial elder abuse, and unfair competition.  Ms. Lee also previously represented officers and directors of various financial institutions in receivership cases brought by the FDIC.

Ms. Lee has represented public and private clients in the litigation of commercial matters that range from contract and tort disputes to cases involving privacy, fair debt collection practices, real estate, and trademark issues.  She has resolved cases successfully on dispositive pretrial motions, in mediation, at trial, and on appeal.  Ms. Lee regularly advises new and seasoned businesses on corporate formations and transactions.

Ms. Lee has counseled businesses regarding CCPA compliance and litigation and data security issues relating to current and departing employees.

Ms. Lee is fluent in Cantonese and conversant in Mandarin.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained summary judgment for federal savings bank client in four consolidated lawsuits where 90+ plaintiff borrowers alleged causes of action for aiding and abetting, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence. 
  • Secured appellate ruling in favor of national bank client which reversed the trial court’s judgment in favor of plaintiff customer on conversion cause of action and resulted in entry of summary judgment and judgment in favor of national bank client and an award of appellate costs for client.
  • Defended national bank client in an arbitration matter brought by a customer claiming breach of contract, negligence, and unfair competition and received a complete defense award.
  • Recovered $1.9M on behalf of a spa manufacturer client after a four month jury trial involving claims for breach of contract, breach of warranty, and intentional and negligent misrepresentation.

Practice Areas

News & Publications

Community Involvement

Community & Professional

  • The American Red Cross of the North Bay, Board Member
  • BLS Financial Institutions Committee of the California Lawyers Association, Member

  • Financial Institutions Committee, State Bar of California, Former Member

  • Alameda County Bar Association, Prior Barrister President

  • Earl Warren American Inn of Court, Former Associate Member

Education

J.D., University of California, Hastings College of Law
B.A., University of California, Berkeley, cum laude
B.S., University of California, Berkeley

Admissions

  • 1998, California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Courts, Northern, Central & Eastern Districts of California

Languages

  • Cantonese
    Mandarin
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