David has been a lawyer for 45 years, serving as a part-time mediator since 2010 and full time since 2015. He has over 38 years of experience as a trial lawyer in both state and federal courts in a broad spectrum of employment cases including class action, medical negligence, construction defect, and personal injury cases. While in active practice, he litigated through a lens of resolution and participated in hundreds of mediations and arbitrations and counseled his clients in conflict avoidance.
He is a respected lawyer among his peers and opposing counsel with a reputation of being passionate, intelligent, and fair. An attorney on an employment/discrimination mediation said, "I would like to add that Mr. Perrault was the consummate professional, while at the same time very approachable by, both, my extremely emotional client; and myself. His experience and expertise in the subject matter were invaluable in bringing this claim to an amicable resolution."
In his spare time, David enjoys gardening (roses, especially), holiday and vacation time in the High Sierra, skiing, backpacking, golfing, and rooting for the SF Giants.
"He'll let the parties vent, but he expects lawyers to be calm and not add fuel to the fire"
- An attorney in Sacramento
"He did an excellent job of listening to my client and was thoughtful about strategy for settlement."
- Attorney on an employment sexual harassment dispute
"Very patient, diligent, and thoughtful."
- Attorney on an Employment Wage & Hour Dispute
"I would like to add that Mr. Perrault was the consummate professional, while at the same time very approachable by, both, my extremely emotional client; and myself. His experience and expertise in the subject matter were invaluable in bringing this claim to an amicable resolution."
- Attorney on an employment/discrimination dispute
"Difficult case with difficult dynamics between parties."
- Attorney on a Civil Rights Matter
"Dave has a great temperament for mediation. Thanks David for his excellent work and the successful result. I appreciated David sticking to it well beyond our allotted time."
- Attorney on an employment/discrimination dispute
"He has an ability to defuse some of that hostility that comes with contentious employment cases."
- An attorney in Sacramento on an employment case
Full Time mediator and arbitrator (2015-present)
Part-Time mediator and arbitrator (2010-2015)
Of Counsel, Hardy Erich Brown & Wilson (2015-2016)
Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, Pro Bono employment law advice (2009-present)
U.S. Federal Court, Eastern District VDRP volunteer (1999 to present)
Sacramento County Superior Court Settlement Conference Pro Bono program (1998 to present)
Trial Attorney, Hardy Erich Brown & Wilson (1975-2014)
VDRP Neutral, U.S. Eastern District Federal Court (1998-present)
Pro Temp Settlement Conference Judge, Sacramento County Superior Court (1995-present)
Settlement Pro Temp, El Dorado County Superior Court
Education & Professional Affiliations
J.D. University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law (1975)
M.A., Educational Psychology, California State University, Northridge (1969)
B.A., California State University, Sacramento (1966)
American Board of Trial Advocates, ABOTA (1995-present)
California Bar Association, Labor & Employment Sections (1975-present)
Sacramento County Bar Association (1975-present)
Sacramento County ADR Section (2016-present)
Achievements & Awards
AV/Preeminent rating for 20 years with Martindale Hubbell
Alternative Dispute Resolution, Northern California Super Lawyers (2020)
Best Lawyers, Northern California (2015-Present)
Super Lawyer, California Employment & Labor (2000-2020)
Best Lawyers In America, Employment Law, Management and Litigation (2018-2020)
Served on the Board of the Sacramento area for The American Cancer Society for 17 years
Sacramento Magazine recognized as among the area's Top Lawyers in the specialty of employment law (2004-2020)
Sacramento Magazine recognized as among the area's Top Lawyers in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Mediation (2016-2020)
Presenter at the ABOTA Masters in Trial Program (2002)
An engineer's case against his agricultural employer for a separation of employment, classified as a lay off, with the layoff occurring after on work site hip injuries and surgical repair. Legal components included ADA, Interactive Process, wrongful termination and colateral claims as well.
This farming case related to wage/hour and rest break issues was resolved. This matter was unique as it related to operational methods, irrigation, and 24-hour on site duties.
The allegations focused on a defendant’s commercialized soil amendment product that allegedly did not meet marketed representations which resulted in growth failure. Valuation of the anticipated market price was a critical component in resolution of litigation.
A D A
Delicate FEHA disability accommodation case with clouded interactive process issues. Legal issues were intertwined with delicate nature of defendants manufacturing of health care product(s) and meeting standards of manufacturing of same.
Employment separation by a law firm of a female professional employee which resulted in a claim of pay discrimination
Unique employment case of an interim "management" in an academic setting to administer a grant within multiple community colleges.
An alleged discrimination claim intertwined with a companion workman's compensation action resulted in a creative resolution satisfactory to all parties.
Unique resolution of an underalying disability and failure to accomodate and failure to engage in interactive process coupled with a companion Worker's Compensation claim for the alleged work related physical injuries. Settlement included compensation for both legal avenues.
Unique and seldom plead cause of action of associational accomodation discrimination in a case where employee had to assist a family member and allegedly was denied to do so.
Employment racial discrimination claim by relatively high ranking public entity employee who was alleged to have misused public funds
Unexpected separation of employment in the health care field upon return from berevement leave with ultimate issue being alleged failure to comply with ADA/FEHA's accomodation & interactive process.
A class action matter, where defense attempted to comply with Alt. Work Week plan per code, as well as meal and rest breaks etc. Problems ensued with implementation and application of same. Thus class claim presented with usual wage & hour issues and PAGA claims.
Parties were significantly apart, with plaintiffs and defendants far apart. At the end of the full day session, plaintiff's demands were still significantly apart. The parties agreed to
further dialog with themselves and the mediator with current offers in follow-up.
Very interesting wage and hour case with PAGA overtones and complicated ADA/Interactive process allegations concerning a pre-existing emotional distress matter which evidenced itself during the employment.
A delicate PAGA case arising in a County with a small population. A myriad of wage and hour issues were at play in this matter thus requiring a careful parsing out of principal areas of risk.
Public entity employee who alleged sexual harassment on the job from an employee who was terminated for other reasons sought recovery for emotional distress. The public entity employee remained employed to the present, but sought monetary relief as the former employee was not disciplined for the alleged sexual harassment. The factual basis alleged an incomplete handling of the asserted claims and utilized the recent "Me Too" issues for the approach that the public entity should pay civil damages.
A medical professional entity case where the professional was asserted have committed unwelcome touching of a female employee. This alleged unwelcome touching occurred after the professional had heard the female employee describe stressful situations the she had experienced as a child and in her marital situation(s).
Wage and Hour
A delicate personnel/employment matter with a chartered school.
Interesting non-profit entity PAGA matter relative to various wage and hour issues with constructive resolution.
Two plaintiff's asserting individual rights under the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (Cal. Labor Code 1450) and applicable wage and hour statutes. Interesting factual situation(s) and applicablility to statutory provisions.
Wage and hour case resolved within the parameters of state public works act payment requirements.
Agricultural class action matter in the California central valley on wage & hour issues as well as "rental" units for some employees.
Facilitated a resolution of wage/hour, meal and rest matters related to the dairy industry and it’s necessary 24-hour operational conditions.
Wage and Hour Class Action
Resolution of employee compensation claims arising from a closely held corporation which owned and operated a Northern California lumber business.
Complicated dispute of a multi-family owned supermarket business regarding wage, hour, classification and working conditions.
Resolution of a complex wage and hour class action matter in the fuel transportation industry with the focus on meal and rest breaks. The complexity centered around the delicate and at times contradictory, yet important, situational federal rulings and administrative opinions vs state rulings and administrative opinions.
Delicate rest and meal break case resolution with primary focus on work schedules for employees that were not able to take regular rest breaks given shift assignments and obligation to be available for emergency situations in care home situations.
Wrongful Term & Discrimination
Constructive wrongful termination and gender discrimination claims involving a regional public entity
Resolution of a complex litigation between a medical group and its CEO concerning alleged wrongful separation of employment and labor code 970 damages for out of state relocation to California
Alleged wrongful discharge and compensation dispute by foremen managing employee who operated employers state sanctioned gaming business
Resolution of a delicate resignation of an educational administrator from a private educational employer
Employment case, Wrongful termination dispute with ADA/FEHA and whistleblower claims. 63 yr. old plaintiff. Employer was health care facility that allegedly
did not follow good employment practices and manager allegedly altered a fire inspection report, i.e. the whitsleblower claim.
ADA & Interactive Process statutory requirements were at the heart of this alleged wrongful termination claim in an employee/employer setting. The import of the case was a careful analysis by both sides as to whether there was a true violation of interactive process requirements and if so by which party. The more likely failure of interactive process appeared to have rested with the Plaintiff, and accordingly the case was resolved with that "likely factor" in mind.
A delicate matter involving a back injury and surgery and the employer's alleged disability and accomodation discrimination without a complete handling of the interactive process.
Resolution achieved of a delicate wrongful termination/accommodation action arising from alleged failure to manage a regional medical facilities' protocols for hazardous materials situations/training and assure proper supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies were ready.
Resolution of property damage dispute among homeowners, general contractor and sub-contractor concerning lot grading, water movement and its dispersal
Resolution of negligence and premise liability claims of a senior patient who had surgical intervention (and follow up surgical procedures as well) for back injuries allegedly caused by a slip and fall. Prior and post DOI medical records of back injuries was critical in assessment and determing case resolution.
Product failure dispute, with admitted liability, where the end user of product failure suffered damage to the left hand and wrist. Surgical repair and rehabilitation was very good, however, potential arthritic development loomed as an important personal injury feature for this health care professional. The case was favorably resolved for all parties in mediation.