Chris Stecher is a shareholder in Keesal, Young & Logan’s San Francisco office. Since joining Keesal, Young & Logan in September 2001, Chris has worked in most of the firm’s practice areas, and he currently focuses on securities, employment, and general business litigation. Chris has extensive experience in the defense of brokerage firms and financial advisors in cases involving customer complaints and has represented clients in securities arbitration forums, such as the NASD, the NYSE, and the PCX (now combined into one forum, FINRA). He represents employers in all aspects of employment litigation in federal and state trial and appellate courts, as well as in arbitration and before state agencies. Chris’ employment practice includes representation of clients in wrongful termination, employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, compensation, breach of contract, and unfair competition cases, as well as wage and hour class actions and collective actions. Chris also has handled litigation between businesses, including disputes regarding restrictive covenants, trade secrets, defamation, employee raiding, unfair competition, insurance coverage, property development, breach of contract, and other business torts.
Chris has experience in all phases of litigation, from pre-suit investigation and resolution all the way through trial. He also has handled appellate briefing before the California Court of Appeal and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Apart from his litigation practice, Chris regularly advises clients in areas such as employee discipline, employee compensation and benefits, non-compete laws, wage and hour issues, leaves of absence, and compliance with other local, state, and federal laws. Chris also serves on the firm’s diversity and inclusion committee which focuses the firm’s efforts to promote diversity within the firm and throughout the legal community.
Chris’ trial and arbitration practice focuses on the following:
- Securities Litigation: Chris represents broker-dealer firms and other licensed individuals in the securities industry. Chris has handled scores of securities arbitrations and has personally arbitrated approximately two dozen cases to completion. He has defended a variety of cases, including complex product cases, as well as cases involving general claims for suitability, churning, fraud, negligence, violation of federal and state securities laws, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty.
- Employment/Class Actions: As part of his employment practice, Chris defends employers in state and federal courts, arbitration, and administrative proceedings involving claims for personal injury, discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, harassment, breach of contract, defamation, indemnification, whistleblower, and various wage and hour and unfair competition claims, including class action and collective action claims. Chris also regularly advises clients regarding compliance with employment laws, rules and regulations, including employee privacy laws, wage and hour laws, and issues involving employee hiring and discipline.
- Business Litigation/Unfair Business Practices: Chris represents institutions and individuals in a variety of industries in connection with the movement of employees between competitors and in resolving other business disputes. Chris has represented clients primarily in California state and federal court in lawsuits involving trade secret misappropriation, employee non-solicitation and non-competition covenants, fiduciary duty and duty of loyalty claims, as well as statutory and common law unfair competition claims. Chris also advises clients on these topics.
Chris graduated from Stanford University in 1996 with a B.A. degree in public policy. After spending two years teaching in the inner city of Chicago, Chris attended law school and graduated magna cum laude from the University of San Francisco School of Law in June 2001. While in law school, Chris served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Saundra Brown Armstrong of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Chris was admitted to the California Bar in December 2001 and the Washington State Bar in October 2015.
Chris was recognized in the Northern California Super Lawyers magazine as one of the “Northern California Rising Stars” in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 and has been selected as a “Super Lawyer” in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Chris is a member of San Francisco’s St. Thomas More Society and volunteers as a coach for local youth sports, especially baseball and basketball. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Federal Bar Association’s Northern District of California Chapter. Chris lives in San Francisco with his wife and five children.