Clifford E. Yin


Cliff Yin is the chair of the litigation practice group. He has twenty years of experience litigating high-stakes business, real estate, and employment disputes, including first-chairing jury trial victories. He is known for his reasoned approach to problem solving and for his unique combination of responsiveness, efficiency, and tenacity.

Because his clients come from a wide range of industries—advertising, professional services, real estate, retail, supermarket, technology, and more—Cliff is adept at quickly understanding his clients’ business and strategic objectives and placing them in an optimal position to resolve or win their disputes.

Notable Representations

  • Obtained a seven-figure jury verdict in a five-day breach of lease trial on behalf of a major real estate developer, including award of all requested attorney fees.
  • On behalf of Fortune 200 company, successfully defeated motion for preliminary injunction, obtained early dismissal of lawsuit, and obtained award of 95% of requested attorney fees.
  • Won a complete defense verdict in a five-day NLRB unfair labor practice proceeding on behalf of a private security company.
  • Obtained high six-figure jury verdict in a five-day breach of contract trial on behalf of a major telecommunications company.
  • Reached favorable settlements in wrongful termination lawsuits brought against a Fortune 500 technology company.
  • Reached a favorable $150,000 settlement in a breach of contract action even though the plaintiff claimed damages in excess of $21 million and had won summary adjudication on several claims.
  • Litigated several offbeat cases, including cases involving the alleged theft of three Dachshunds and the ownership of an award-winning Airedale Terrier.

Honors & Awards

Cliff is recognized by Benchmark Litigation as a Future Star in the Business & Commercial, Labor & Employment, and Real Estate litigation categories. For several years running, he has been named a "Northern California Super Lawyer" by San Francisco Magazine (2011-2017) and in 2009, was profiled as a Rising Star. He has received recognition for his trial-advocacy work from the Constitutional Rights Foundation and the San Francisco Unified School District. In 2008, he won an "Adult Advocate of the Year" award for outstanding dedication and commitment to California youth.

Professional Activities

Cliff is a fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA) (a trial lawyer honorary society) and for the past 20 years, he has been a mock trial coach for two San Francisco public high schools, including the San Francisco School of the Arts. For several years, his teams have won the San Francisco County championship and placed in the Top 20 in the California state competition. He also served on the firm's Management Committee.


Cliff earned his law degree from Harvard Law School (1994) after attending Brown University and earning his bachelor's degree magna cum laude in English and economics.

Case Studies

California Academy of Sciences Construction

The California Academy of Sciences is the oldest natural history museum on the West Coast, a world-class research institution and cultural icon in the City and County of San Francisco. When the Academy decided to rebuild its historic headquarters in Golden Gate Park, Coblentz assisted with the...


Coblentz represented the Fairmont Hotel chain in a variety of matters concerning its western properties, including labor negotiations, employment disputes and litigation, commercial litigation, leasing, ADA access issues, land use issues, and vendor contracts.