Denise Eaton May

Senior Attorney

Denise Eaton May

Denise Eaton May

Denise Eaton-May is the senior attorney in the  law firm, and has practiced for over 30 years representing individuals and businesses in a variety of civil litigation matters ranging from employee disciplinary matters, labor relations, retaliation, sexual harassment, conducting EEO investigations, HR training, public pension plan advice and a host of personnel advice & administrative matters.

Ms. Eaton-May has a considerable background with public entity litigation, primarily in employment and administrative law. Before forming the Law Offices of Denise Eaton May, P.C. , Ms. Eaton May served as the Director of Human Resources for Alameda County, responsible for the administration of the County’s civil service system, labor relations program, training and conference center and benefits. Prior to assuming the appointment as HR Director, Ms Eaton-May occupied the position of Assistant County Counsel for Alameda County Counsel’s office managing the County’s litigation program. In addition to managing in-house legal staff, she managed the contracts with outside law firms and handled several large statewide legal matters. She also served as legal advisor to various departments within the County and was responsible for interpreting laws, rules, and regulations for the County Board of Supervisors and the Civil Service Commission.

Ms. Eaton May began her career at the California Office of the Attorney General as a Deputy Attorney General which covered the first 13 years of her legal experience. As a deputy Attorney General, Ms. Eaton May defended public entities in federal and state courts, mediations, arbitrations, and handled a variety of administrative matters in various forums. Ms. Eaton-May has also served as General Counsel to the Alameda County Employees Retirement Association, where she provided advice to the 9 member Board of Trustee on a variety of laws such as open meeting laws, public records act, conflict of interest, and defined benefit pension plan issues. While at ACERA, Ms. Eaton-May gained invaluable public pension plan and retirement systems expertise. During her ACERA tenure, she made crucial decisions affecting the $4 billion public pension fund.

In addition to her legal experience, Ms. Eaton-May brings a broad array of life experiences and diverse personal history and background to serve her clients in evaluating cases and offering solutions. Ms Eaton-May has also been active in many legal, public pension, and human resource organizations. She has been active in the State Bar of California, having served on the Ethnic and Minority Relations Committee in 2002. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Bar Association, and the California Association of Black Lawyers. She has also been active in the National Association of Public Pension Attorneys, the California Public Employer Labor Relations Association (CALPERLA), the County Personnel Administrators Association of California (CPAAC), and the International Public Management Association (IPMA).

Ms. Eaton-May received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, San Diego, and earned her Juris Doctor from the University of California, Davis School of Law.

Areas Of Practice

  • Employment Law – Employee
  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) — Employee
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Wage & Hour Laws — Employee
  • Wrongful Termination — Employee

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1984
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 1984


  • University of California at Davis School of Law, Davis, California
    • J.D. – 1984
  • University of California, San Diego, California
    • B.A. – 1981
    • Honors: Distinction

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association, Member, 1984 to Present
  • State Bar Association, Member, 1984 to Present
  • Sacto County Bar Association, Member, 1984 to 1986
  • National Bar Association, Member, 1989 to 1991