Stephanie Sakai’s practice focuses on transactional and employment law, with an emphasis on complex business and real estate transactions and employee policies and dispute resolution. Her work as general counsel for a highly successful Bay Area technology firm, along with her experience in human resources and corporate communications, gives her a unique perspective on real-world business needs and employment policy from both inside and outside the legal world. A fourth-generation Stocktonian, she returned to the region after years in the Bay Area to raise her daughter and give back to the community both professionally and personally.
Before joining Herum\Crabtree\Suntag in 2017, Stephanie worked as a contract attorney for a San Joaquin Valley law firm, where she focused on transactional and employment law and corporate law, counseling clients on matters including corporate formation, management, and dissolution; trusts; shareholder and partnership issues; property and landlord-tenant law; and community relations.
Previously, as general counsel for MyPoints.com, Stephanie helped grow the company from its inception as a six-person startup to a successful corporate acquisition IPO with a market value of $2.3 billion. Along the way, she gained invaluable on-the-ground business and legal experience in complex transactional, employment, and intellectual property law at each stage of the company’s journey from the embryonic start up to a public offering.
At MyPoints.com, Stephanie worked directly with the CEO and founder, developing the corporate structure of the business, creating and managing its IP portfolio, overseeing trademark registration and responding to company website and IP infringements. She conceived and drafted all of the company’s legal templates from the ground up. She also negotiated and drafted service, marketing, sales, and partnership agreements with institutions such as Providian Bank, Microsoft, Prodigy, Wired, and Lycos, and managed and assisted outside legal counsel from firms including Wilson Sonsini. With a focus on risk management, she worked to identify, assess, anticipate, and resolve any issues before they could become threats to the organization. Upon MyPoints.com’s initial public offering in 1999, Stephanie assisted in SEC filing and administered the securities ledger and employee stock option plan.
In addition to her role as general counsel for MyPoints.com, Stephanie served as the company’s VP of human resources and initial director of communications. In the former role, she created, structured, and managed all aspects of the HR department, including policies and procedures. She developed the employee handbook, selected and managed employee benefits, and oversaw corporate hiring and orientation in six locations – including obtaining H-1B visas for high-level engineers and developing executive training on employee relations. During the business’s rapid expansion, she oversaw more than 350 employees in six locations around the US and counseled the executive team on employment law and risk management. As director of communications, she managed corporate PR, overseeing agency work on all marketing and public communications including press releases, advertisements, and marketing collateral, and presenting alongside the CEO and founder on MyPoints.com’s pre-IPO media tour. This experience gives Stephanie unique insights when advising HR directors concerning employee issues and questions.
Upon returning to the Central Valley, Stephanie devoted herself to supporting the needs of her family and giving back to the community. She oversaw the Science Olympiad at her daughter’s elementary school, raising funds, organizing events, and coached the Science Olympiad team to first- and second-place county titles with the highest point win in Science Olympiad history. As art docent committee chair, she developed in-depth lessons for students in multiple grades. In addition, she volunteered in the classroom and raised more than $5,000 for the school auction.
Stephanie holds a JD from the University San Francisco School of Law, where she served as both vice president and secretary of the school’s Asian Pacific American Law Student Association, the largest and one of the most active student groups on campus. For APALSA, she organized and led a symposium on Fred T. Korematsu, exposing the conscientious objector’s role during the Japanese internment. She earned her BA in political science from University of California San Diego, where she worked for the campus’ Student Legal Services and was a member of Sigma Kappa sorority. She also studied at the Charles University School of Law in Prague, Czech Republic, and was a Lyndon B. Johnson Congressional Intern in Washington, D.C., where she attended Congressional hearings, drafted opinions regarding pending legislation and responded to constituent inquiries.
Stephanie lives in Stockton with her daughter Miya. An avid tennis player, hiker, and kayaker, she loves being active and exploring the outdoors.