Christopher Onstott

Mr. Onstott is a shareholder and a member of the firm’s labor and employment and litigation practice groups.  His areas of emphasis include employment litigation and commercial litigation.  He has defended employers in employment litigation, including defending against race, sex, and disability discrimination and harassment claims, as well as wage and hour violations.  He also has litigated numerous commercial cases, including cases involving misappropriation of trade secrets, product liability, insurance bad faith, and breach of contract claims.

Prior to joining KMTG, Mr. Onstott worked in the Sacramento office of a statewide labor and employment law firm representing California employers.  His previous work experience also includes working in the litigation department of O’Melveny & Myers.  Mr. Onstott also completed a clerkship on the United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit for Judge Walter K. Stapleton.

Mr. Onstott previously lived in Argentina for two years and is fluent in Spanish.

Employment Litigation

  • Represented Safelite Group, Inc. in successful defense of discrimination claims brought against company by former employee.
  • Represented Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Department of Personnel Administration, the California Board of Unemployment Insurance Appeals, and the Employment Development Department in writ of mandate action.  Received total defense judgment on behalf of all respondents.
  • Obtained summary judgment and judgment on the pleadings in favor of client city in civil rights action brought by police officer alleging various constitutional violations.  The district court’s ruling was affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.   
  • Obtained summary judgment against an employee alleging disability discrimination, wrongful termination and constructive discharge against an employer.
  • Successfully mediated numerous employment and business disputes, including employment discrimination claims and wage-and-hour class actions.
  • Represented California employers on how to protect trade secrets and on compliance with California wage-and-hour laws, including meal and rest breaks, expense reimbursement, leaves of absence and other California employment laws.
  • Successful defense of class action alleging improper payment of wages and reimbursement of expenses.
  • Conducted numerous Spanish language witness interviews and investigations.

Commercial Litigation

  • Represented Arco Arena, Inc. and Maloof Sports & Entertainment, Inc. in defense of disability discrimination claims.
  • Represented Nor-Cal Beverage Co., in defense of trade dress claims brought against Go Girl Energy drink.
  • Represented California-based joint powers insurance authority in insurance bad faith action.
  • Successfully opposed an application for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in a “bet-the-company” action alleging misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • Represented municipalities in several lawsuits against bus manufacturers.
  • Part of trial team that litigated a five-week trial on behalf of a Sacramento business who alleged misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of joint venture agreement, and interference with contract against two national corporations.   
  • Participated in drafting both amicus and writ of certiorari petition briefs before the United States Supreme Court.  Mr. Onstott was part of a team in amicus briefing for Defenders of Wildlife v. EPA, which was heard by the Supreme Court in April 2007.  The amicus position was adopted by the Supreme Court.

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Mr. Onstott is a frequent presenter on labor and employment law matters for various educational and professional organizations, including the National Business Institute (NBI), the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys and the California Creditors Bar Association.  His other professional activities & affiliations include:

  • Chair, Executive Committee, Sacramento County Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section
  • Membership Committee, Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Board Member, Sacramento Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society
  • Member, Roseville Economic Development Advisory Committee
  • Member, California State Bar Association
  • Graduate, Roseville Leadership program, 2012
  • Author, “Judicial Notice and the Law’s Scientific Search for Truth,” Akron Law Review, 2007
  • 2014 Northern California Rising Star

Admitted to Practice

  • All California State Courts
  • United States District Courts, Southern, Northern, Central and Eastern Districts of California
  • United States Court of Appeals, Third and Ninth Circuits
  • United States Supreme Court

Academic Background

J.D. University of Texas, 2002

  • Graduated with High Honors
  • Member, Order of the Coif
  • Notes Editor, Texas Law Review
  • Recipient, Dean's Award in Evidence
  • Law Clerk, Judge Walter K. Stapleton, United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 2002-2003

B.A. Brigham Young University, 1999

  • Graduated magna cum laude
  • Chief Online Editor, NewsNet@BYU.edu
  • Received Editor & Publisher EPPY Award as nation's best online college newspaper