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About Evan

Crafting persuasive stories and arguments for judges and juries

Evan Peña is a litigator and trial lawyer who represents public and private employers in state and federal courts throughout California, in arbitration and before administrative agencies. Representing businesses of all sizes and in a variety of industries, from small taquerías to tech juggernauts to educational institutions, he focuses on:

  • Employment disputes
  • Education sector disputes

Evan works from the premise that each case presents a unique mix of personalities and events that needs to be untangled, then retold. He works to tell a client’s story in such a way that the listener — judge, jury or plaintiff — will have no doubt who was in the right. He can also resolve a matter earlier on by raising unique and easy-to-overlook defenses, drafting compelling briefs, and — when appropriate — strategically negotiating settlement. Evan appreciates the unique challenges that each of his clients faces and the unique opportunities each has in litigation.

Experience in Action

  • Representing employers in trials and litigation involving the full spectrum of employment claims, ranging from individual whistleblower retaliation claims to large-scale wage and hour claims, including under California’s Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).
  • Representing universities in disputes involving education and employment claims.
  • Leading sexual harassment prevention trainings for managers and non-managers that comply with California’s training requirements.
  • Delivering wage and hour compliance trainings that help supervisors and leads spot and avoid mistakes that could snowball into a costly class action or PAGA case.


  • Defense verdict in a bench trial where a former employee claimed the employer breached a contract regarding training and other forms of career support that were allegedly promised.
  • Defense verdict in a bench trial where a former undergraduate student claimed the university failed to accommodate his mental disabilities.
  • Obtained summary judgment in an employee disability case, and then successfully defended that decision on appeal, including arguing before a California Court of Appeal.
  • Defense verdict in a jury trial where an independent contractor claimed he was improperly classified.
  • Unanimous defense verdict in a retaliation jury trial for a California university, including the university’s counterclaim for fraudulent concealment.
  • Bench verdict for client in case brought by the former CTO regarding technology he claimed he developed independently of client.
  • Pursued claims for theft of trade secrets and breach of employment agreement, including successfully compelling arbitration according to employment agreement/FINRA regulations.

Professional & Civic Activities

  • State Bar of California, Labor and Employment Law Section, member
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section Leadership, member (2015)

News & Insights


Bar Admissions

Court Admissions


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