J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law - Boalt Hall, 2008
B.A. Pomona College (Politics), magna cum laude, 2005
Phi Beta Kappa
Lee Cameron McDonald Prize for Scholarship in Political Theory
Why I love what I do...
“I love the human element of employment law. Every urgent client question or investigation presents a new opportunity to untangle the competing motivations and perceptions of real people dealing with complicated issues in their workplace. Our practice requires a careful balancing of legal acumen, emotional intelligence, and an understanding of the employer's business needs. Whether we're crafting a winning strategy for litigation or advising on a tricky area of legal compliance, there's never a dull day.”
Krystal LoPilato is a Partner at Villarreal Hutner PC. Krystal's practice centers around her role as a trusted advisor on strategic HR issues and compliance with federal, state, and local employment laws. Whether she is providing an in-depth analysis of legal risk, educating HR professionals on best practices, or simply providing a "gut check" on a proposed course of action, Krystal enjoys partnering with clients to prevent employment lawsuits and improve workplace culture. She has conducted training seminars and webinars for employers, including trainings on harassment prevention, respectful workplaces, and diversity and inclusion. Krystal also has experience conducting workplace investigations and training human resources teams on effective investigation techniques. She enjoys working collaboratively with HR professionals to create compliant and effective workplace policies and playbooks. She takes a holistic, dynamic, and practical approach to solving workplace problems and crafting sustainable and scalable solutions for the modern workplace.
In addition to her advice and counsel work, Krystal has extensive experience advising on and litigating cases in state and federal court and before state and federal administrative agencies. Throughout her career, Krystal has worked with employers in a variety of industries, including hospitality, tech, entertainment, health care, retail, construction, security, non-profit, and higher education.
Krystal's experience includes advising on and litigating the full gamut of employment-related claims, including employment discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, failure to accommodate, defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, assault and battery, fraud, and wage and hour claims. She has litigated cases brought under the Fair Employment and Housing Act, Title VII, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Family Medical Leave Act, California Family Rights Act, and wage and hour laws. Krystal has successfully resolved matters through dispositive motions, direct negotiations, and mediation.
Professional Qualifications and Activities
Krystal decided to specialize in employment law during her first year at Berkeley Law. During law school, she served as the Administrative Editor of the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, participated in the East Bay Workers Rights Clinic, and took a variety of specialized employment law and litigation courses.
Prior to joining Villarreal Hutner, Krystal defended and advised employers as an associate attorney with Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak, & Stewart, P.C. and Gordon & Rees LLP. She is admitted to practice in all California courts and is a member of the State Bar of California. Krystal is also a member of the American Bar Association (Employment & Labor Law Section; Litigation Section), the Bar Association of San Francisco, and the Society for Human Resources Management. She has been an active participant and attorney coordinator for the San Francisco Food Bank's Food from the Bar Campaign since 2010. She has received the designation of Super Lawyer - Rising Star for 2018, 2019, and 2020.
In addition to practicing law, Krystal enjoys cooking, travelling, and chasing around her toddler. She is an avid believer in civic engagement and enjoys volunteering with various local, state, and national advocacy organizations.
Before Law School...
Krystal discovered her passion for law while working as a Legal Intern with the Los Angeles County Superior Court's Legal Access Center during her last two years of college. Prior to working with the Legal Access Center, she studied abroad in Rome, Italy.