Donald K. Tamaki is a Senior Counsel at Minami Tamaki LLP. Prior to January 1, 2021, he was the firm’s Managing Partner.
For over 40 years, Mr. Tamaki has specialized in providing value-driven legal counsel to entrepreneurs, privately-held companies, and nonprofit corporations, with special focus on commercial leasing, personnel and employment law, corporate governance and other internal practices, licensing, acquisition, and other business transactions.
In addition, Mr. Tamaki has extensive experience negotiating talent agreements and endorsement deals, representing Olympic ice skating gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi, and various television news anchors, reporters and weather persons including Carolyn Johnson, Kristen Sze, Mike Nicco, Carolyn Tyler, Lyanne Melendez, David Louie, Matt Keller and Jonathan Bloom.
For 17 years straight (2004-2020), Mr. Tamaki has been selected to Northern California Super Lawyers, and has received the highest rating for competency and ethics, AV® Preeminent™, from the Martindale-Hubble attorney directory. He is the recipient of the ABA Spirit of Excellence Award (2020), the National Asian Pacific Bar Association Trailblazer Award (2003), and the State Bar of California Loren Miller Award (1987).
Representative clients include, the Straits Restaurant and Sino Restaurant chain, Konica Minolta, East Bay Pediatrics Group, the California HealthCare Foundation, the State Bar of California, the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, the Kristi Yamaguchi Always Dream Foundation, the Asian Pacific Fund, the Chinatown Community Development Center, the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, and Baker Places, Inc.
In keeping with the firm’s tradition of community service, Mr. Tamaki served on the pro bono team that reopened the landmark Supreme Court case of Korematsu v. the United States, overturning Fred Korematsu’s conviction for refusing as an American citizen to be incarcerated on account of his racial ancestry. Mr. Tamaki is past member of the board of Glide Foundation and is the board president of the San Francisco Japantown Foundation.
On May 7, 2021, California Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Mr. Tamaki to serve on the Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans. The Task Force is charged with studying the institution of slavery and its lingering negative effects on living African Americans, including descendants of persons enslaved in the United States and on society. By statute, the Task Force will issue a report to the Legislature by June 1, 2022, which will be available to the public.
J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law, 1976
B. A., University of California, Berkeley, Phi Beta Kappa, 1973
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
Professional & Bar Association Memberships
Bar Association of San Francisco
Asian American Bar Association
San Francisco Japantown Foundation, President
ABA Spirit of Excellence Award (2020)
National Asian Pacific Bar Association Trailblazer Award (2003)
State Bar of California Loren Miller Award (1987)