Joshua H. Lerner

B.A., Reed College, 1997

J.D. Boalt Hall, University of California, Berkeley, 2001

Josh Lerner is just what you would expect to get when you mix experience in civil litigation, criminal defense work, and in-house work at the peak of the biotech world.

Josh joined the firm after spending more than three years as in-house counsel at Genentech, Inc., where he was promoted to Senior Technology & Litigation Counsel. Josh provided daily counseling across the company and managed a variety of complex civil matters, overseeing everything from a small product liability case to a large complex commercial arbitration with more than twenty witnesses. When Josh heard that many of the best lawyers he knew were founding a firm, he could not resist the opportunity to join the partnership.

Before Genentech, Josh started his career at Keker & Van Nest LLP, where he worked on a broad range of cases including product liability, legal malpractice and trademark litigation. He participated in a number of trials with Daralyn and Mike. Josh then spent a year practicing mainly criminal law at Clarence & Dyer. From 2011 through 2015, Josh was named a Rising Star in IP Litigation by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Josh gives us our best perspective on what matters to our business clients: his recent role as an in-house consumer of legal services leaves him uniquely suited to shape our approach to the law. When we ask Josh what the client wants or needs, his answer isn’t a guess.

His practice continues to be focused on complex civil litigation, including intellectual property, and contract disputes. Josh has significant experience in successfully litigating trade secret and employee mobility matters, and he has provided pre-litigation advice to companies on both topics. In addition, Josh also has significant experience in litigating so-called “founder disputes” involving successful companies. Recent accomplishments include:

  • In a sensitive trade secret/employee mobility case, Josh led the effort to secure a TRO and successful mediation result within a month of filing the complaint.
  • Josh led the defense of a company sued by a former founder.  Josh and Daralyn successfully arbitrated the matter, and recovered fees.
  • On behalf of plaintiffs, Josh obtained two multi-million dollar settlements.
  • Along with Ragesh, Josh represented three individuals accused of trade secret misappropriation, breach of contract, and related torts in a six-week trial in San Francisco Superior Court.
  • In a high-stakes dispute over the founding of a successful internet company, Josh led the effort to secure dismissal of all claims.

Josh plans to teach Business Torts at Hastings in 2014.

Josh spends his time outside of the office with his wife Shana, his daughter Ava, and riding bicycles on and off the road.


Joshua H. Lerner