Jean Hyams

Jean is a founder of Vinick Hyams Trial Partners.

Meet Jean

From the moment I step into a case, I am strategizing about trial. Of course, I’ll make every effort to reach a settlement that benefits my client, but I never take my eyes off trial.

Over three decades ago, I left behind a successful career in technology management to pursue my dream of becoming a civil rights lawyer. That dream has become my reality as I have tried employment cases to successful verdicts in state and federal courts throughout California and through private arbitration, including multi-million dollar verdicts in disability discrimination and sexual harassment cases.


I believe that employers who build healthy workplace cultures and institute strong management practices can put a stop to workplace discrimination, retaliation and harassment. When they don’t, it is the job of employment lawyers like me to bring lawsuits to  right the wrongs employees have suffered.

  • Joe Posner Award Winner, California Employment Lawyers Association, 2019
  • Leadership Award, California Employment Lawyers Association, 2018
  • Top 100 Lawyers in Northern California,, 2009-2011, 2013, 2019-2024
  • Top 50 Women Lawyers in Northern California,, 2008-2014, 2016, 2019-2024
  • Top 75 Employment Lawyers in California, Daily Journal, 2016
  • Top Lawyer,, 2005-2023
  • 10.0 rating on
  • Wellesley College, 1982
    • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, cum laude (Durant Scholar)
  • UC Berkeley Law, 1989
    • Juris Doctor
  • All California Courts
  • Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • All Federal District Courts in California

I thoroughly enjoy co-counseling cases with colleagues.

I’ve joined cases as eleventh-hour trial counsel on multiple occasions, coming in as close as three weeks before the trial date. My goal as a Trial Partner is to develop such a clear strategy that the trial team can stay focused, reduce stress, and tap into our strengths at every phase. There’s no question that my collaboration with colleagues has made me a better lawyer and I am excited to pass the wisdom, skills and insights of decades of practice on to others.

Collaborating with other employment lawyers has also given me the opportunity to make change for workers outside the courtroom. For many years, I served on the Board of the California Employment Lawyers Association, the largest organization of employment rights attorneys in the country. This included two years when I served as President. In 2019, CELA awarded me the Joe Posner Award in recognition of my accomplishments and leadership. In 2018, I also received the Leadership Award from CELA. That same year, the “Strike Force 5” award was presented to me and four other colleagues, in recognition of our role in securing sweeping legislative change to California’s sexual harassment laws in the wake of the #metoo movement.

I’m also dedicated to improving the practice of employment law. I’ve trained lawyers, law students and judges on many topics, including trial skills, jury selection, gender discrimination, sexual harassment, disability rights, and mediation.

In addition to my litigation docket and trial work, I have a growing mediation practice as a neutral with Sequitur Resolutions, where I shepherd parties to the end of conflict and the resolution of disputes.

When I am not practicing law or mediating, you’ll find me cuddling my sweet dogs (Lulu, our cattle dog mix rescue and Madigan, our pandemic puppy), planning my next travel adventure, or appreciating the art, culture, wine and especially the food, of the Bay Area.

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