Naomi Rustomjee’s civil litigation practice focuses on complex business, commercial, and employment disputes. She is committed to serving her clients’ needs, always ensuring that she understands their goals and long-term interests before building a case. From fact-gathering, to analyzing and strategizing, through motion practice, trial and appeal, Naomi always has her sights set on victory.
She is a seasoned trial attorney who has tried matters in federal and state courts, as well as in arbitration proceedings, in California and many other states. While adept at all aspects of litigation, Naomi has a particular expertise in direct and cross-examinations at trial and during depositions. And although Naomi welcomes taking cases to trial, she pursues settlement opportunities whenever they would be to the clients’ advantage.
Naomi has completed basic mediation training through the Bar Association of San Francisco; this experience gives her an edge in negotiating settlements and contracts.
Naomi is a member of the State Bar of California, the Bar Association of San Francisco, the South Asian American Bar Association, The Indus Entrepreneur, and Bay Area Lawyers for Individual Freedom. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors and of the Finance Committee of the Western Center on Law and Poverty. She serves as an arbitrator for the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Committee on Arbitration of Fee Disputes. Naomi has also taught seminars sponsored by the Bar Association of San Francisco in the taking and defending of depositions.
Naomi received her undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Harvard University (1985), and was awarded the Knox Memorial Scholarship for graduate study overseas. Following her graduation from Harvard, she was a Harvard Knox Fellow at The London School of Economics and Political Science, where she received a master’s degree (1986) in Economic History. She earned her law degree from Columbia University School of Law (1989), where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
General Business Litigation
Naomi has broad experience in representing plaintiffs and defendants in high-stakes business litigation, including actions for breach of various contracts, such as joint venture agreements, aircraft leases, option agreements, shareholder agreements, partnership agreements, loan agreements, and licenses; breach of fiduciary duty; fraud; interference, and other business torts; misappropriation of trade secrets and other violations of intellectual property rights; defamation; and unfair competition.
Naomi has handled almost every type of employment and labor case, including discrimination, sexual and racial harassment, wrongful termination, and unfair labor practices claims. Cognizant of the toll that protracted litigation exacts on the individuals and companies involved, she endeavors to obtain rapid, cost-efficient and mutually beneficial resolutions whenever possible.
In addition to her employment litigation practice, Naomi regularly counsels corporate officers, management, and human resources personnel on a broad range of employment issues. She is also retained by individual executive and management-level employees for counsel on employment issues, and has negotiated many severance packages and employment agreements.
Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith
Naomi is frequently retained by companies and high-net-worth individuals to review and analyze their insurance policies, both to determine whether there is indemnification and defense in high-stakes litigation and to advocate with insurers for those contractual rights in the face of coverage/defense denials. Frequently, she is able to cause insurers to reverse their initial positions denying indemnity/defense or to settle claims. Where informal resolutions have failed, she has prosecuted insurers for breach of contract and bad faith failure to provide coverage and defense.
Naomi represents a major real estate developer and a homeowners’ association in actions involving, among other things, writ of mandate petitions challenging county enforcement actions as being violations of the California Environmental Quality Act and other statutes. In one of those actions, she secured the dismissal of a petition for writ of mandate at the pleadings stage.
Naomi has prosecuted a fair number of actions vindicating the constitutional rights of clients. She has represented utility and cable company franchisees seeking to vindicate their constitutional rights against governmental authorities. She has also prosecuted a Bivens action against several former and current employees of the federal government for violation of First Amendment and other constitutional rights.
School Disciplinary Proceedings
Naomi has represented several university students facing sexual-misconduct allegations in campus Title IX proceedings.
Real Estate and Construction
Naomi has represented a major real estate developer in an action asserting claims under the Endangered Species Act and other federal and state environmental laws and regulations. She has also represented general contractors in actions involving breach of contract and fraud.
Naomi has represented high-net-worth individuals in property disputes arising out of the dissolution of non-marital or cohabitation relationships.