Krista L. Mitzel
Founder & Managing Partner
As an employment attorney and human resources expert, Krista L. Mitzel brings extensive experience to her work with executives and human resource professionals creating both proactive and preventative strategies in all areas of employment law and general business best practices. She partners with companies to develop comprehensive approaches to employment, human resources, business and risk management issues and directs and manages all litigation matters to a successful resolution. Krista is a sought-after “fixer” for a company’s stickiest people situations – the ones that often other lawyers were unable to resolve.
Prior to founding The Mitzel Group, Krista worked for various prestigious law firms where she represented Fortune 50 clients in high-stakes disputes. Inspired to attend law school after working with Senator Dianne Feinstein in Washington, D.C. and other local politicians in the Bay Area in the late 1990s, she was active in her law school as a member of the Law Review staff, president of the Women’s Law Association, and freelance writer for The National Jurist.
Krista has long been actively involved in organizations that support women in leadership. She currently serves as the membership chair for the San Francisco chapter of the Women Presidents’ Organization, and she leads the Bay Area Women’s Affinity Group for ProVisors, a professional business development group. She served as an adjunct professor at Golden Gate University Law School where she taught and mentored fledgling attorneys on Legal Writing and Research best practices.
A frequent author and conference speaker, Krista has shared her legal insights with media outlets including Bay Area news programs for KCBS radio, KRON 4 and The San Francisco Chronicle, as well as industry trade organizations, such as Society for Human Resources Management.
Executive Termination: Advised a nonprofit organization in removal of an
underperforming executive director with admitted addiction issues, navigating a positive resolution that allowed the current team to thrive under new leadership.
Worker Reclassification: During COVID, helped a professional service firm reclassify numerous independent contractors, with a variety of contracts, capacities, and compensation packages, into employees, thereby restructuring its distributed workforce in a risk-efficient way across multiple jurisdictions to achieve its financial and cultural goals.
COVID Workforce Management: Counseled a major Bay Area restaurant group throughout the ever-evolving pandemic period, addressing issues of legal compliance in response to shutdowns, strategies for keeping their businesses afloat through the uncertainty, and the best means of moving forward in a future return to operations that is likely to include intermittent, phased openings and potential shutdown periods. In the past
12 months, Krista has assisted with everything from managing staff layoffs to getting essential workforces back to work with 48 hours’ notice.
International Board Executive Termination: Guided an international nonprofit organization’s board of trustees, located all over the world, through the complex issues involved in ultimately securing a graceful exit for a seven-year executive while avoiding the pain of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit for either party.
Professional Partnership Buyout: Helped end a “broken” partnership and exit the founder and CEO of an eponymous professional services firm without a nasty lawsuit hat had the potential to tarnish his and/or the firm’s reputation, negotiating a buyout agreement that left both parties able to chart their futures.
Class Action Worker Misclassifications: Settled two separate class action suits for major, national companies involving worker misclassification disputes, bringing potentially multi-million-dollar demands to roughly $200,000 each.
Shareholder Dispute: Served as chief legal strategist behind a multi-unit boutique grocery store group’s lawsuit by a minority shareholder who was terminated for theft, including helping the organization update its policies and procedures and assisting in exiting the minority partner, while creating a holistic response to the unfounded litigation that followed.
ERISA Disability Appeal: Successfully argued on appeal an ERISA long-term disability dispute before the 9th Circuit panel on behalf of New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (“NUMMI”) Disability Insurance Income Plan and Life Insurance Company of North America.
Trade Secret Protection: On behalf of former employers, secured multiple preliminary injunctions against former employees for trade secret infringements
- Northern California Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters (2017 – present)
- ProVisors Affinity Group Leader of the Year (2019)
- Top 50 Women to Watch by WPO (2019)
- Lawyer of Distinction (2017)
- Elite Boutique Trailblazer Award (2017)
- Bay Area Womens’ Affinity Group Leader
- “Think Tank Thursdays,” founder 2020-present
- Women Presidents’ Organization, San Francisco Chapter Membership Chair
- Women for Winesense, HR Roundtable Co-Chair
- SF Symphony
- Dress for Success
- Women Who Lead
- Help a Mother Out
- State Bar of California
- Northern District Court
- Eastern District Court
- Southern District Court
- Central District Court
- Ninth Circuit
- American Bar Association
- J.D., University of San Francisco, School of Law
- Member of Law Review
- University of California at Berkeley, English and Political Science
- Employment Law
- Employment Dispute & Litigation