Alison L. Tsao

Alison Tsao Managing Partner | San Francisco
(415) 981-3233 Ext. 1201

Alison L. Tsao San Francisco

Effective, creative, and equally adept at defending employers ranging from mom-and-pop sole proprietors to public entity employers and Fortune 100 companies, Alison L. Tsao resolves disputes involving all forms of discrimination and harassment, wrongful termination, unfair competition and employment-related tort claims.  

She also has more than a decade of experience defending management in wage and hour class actions, and remains in the forefront of this evolving area by advancing new legal theories.  Tsao is one of a few California attorneys who has taken this type of complex case all the way to trial.

Tsao successfully represents employers before administrative agencies, California state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate levels, and in arbitrations.  She aggressively pursues early resolution on favorable terms whenever possible, whether through ADR or by dispositive motions, and is known for her tough negotiation skills. 

In addition, Tsao regularly provides training and advice to clients in the areas of risk management and litigation avoidance, keeping them informed of changing laws and best practices in the challenging California legal climate.


University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 1998   

  • Order of the Coif, Thurston Society, 1998
  • Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, Associate Editor, 1997

University of California, Berkeley, B.A., Political Science, with honors, 1995

Written Opinions

Duran v. U.S. Bank Nat. Assn., 59 Cal. 4th 1 (2014)

Wells v. Board of Trustees, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis Unpub. 68260 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 7, 2006)

Wells v. Board of Trustees of California State University, 393 F.Supp.2d 990 (N.D. Cal. 2005)

  • Public employer’s immunity and right to terminate employee based on contract for specified term


"Full-Time Employee vs. Contractor," Hire Smart Seminar hosted by Intuit Inc. and LinkedIn, April 2013

"Wage & Hour Class Actions: What Companies Doing Business in California Need to Know," CDF Webinar Series, September 2012

“Digital Dilemmas: The Price & Perils of e-Discovery,” California Minority Counsel Program, Annual Conference, 2010

“Taking Your Legal Vitamins: Best Practices for California Employers,” Asian American Bar Association of Greater Bay Area, 2008

Professional Affiliations / Leadership / Awards

California Minority Counsel Program, 2008-present

  •      2010 Annual Conference Committee Member

Asian American Bar Association, Greater Bay Area, 2005-present

San Francisco Bar Association

  •      Bay Area Minority Summer Clerkship Program Participant, 2010

Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger LLP

  •      San Francisco Office Managing Partner since 2007