Tierra D. Piens

Managing Associate

San Francisco


Read full biography at www.orrick.com

Tierra D. Piens, a lawyer in Orrick’s San Francisco office, represents large corporations in high stakes and complex litigation.

Tierra has experience litigating a variety of class action and complex single-plaintiff employment law disputes, including cases alleging violations of wage-and-hours laws, discrimination, harassment, and wrongful termination.

Embodying her drive to find solutions to her clients' legal concerns, Tierra has quickly gained an expertise in advising employers of their rights, duties, and obligations as it pertains to conducting business during and after the global COVID-19 pandemic.

While her practice focuses primarily on the representation of large corporate clients and emerging companies, Tierra also devotes a portion of her practice to providing pro bono services to nonprofit organizations and low income individuals. She also serves in several leadership roles at Orrick, including as a leader of the Black Lawyers of Orrick affinity group and on Orrick's Associates' Committee for the San Francisco office.

Tierra received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she also earned a Law & Technology Certificate of Specialization as recognition for her extensive coursework in technology law.

A former judicial extern on the Northern District of California, Tierra has experience navigating both the federal and state court systems.

Posts by: Tierra Piens

If trade secrets misappropriation claims can be brought by non-owners, what should companies do to manage risk?

Last week, we examined the recent Third Circuit decision in Advanced Fluid Systems, which held that a trade secrets plaintiff did not need to be an owner or a licensee of the alleged trade secrets to bring a state law misappropriation claim under Pennsylvania’s UTSA—all that was required was that the plaintiff had “lawful possession” of the trade secrets. In so holding, the Third Circuit added to the weight of the Fourth Circuit’s similar analysis of Maryland’s UTSA in DTM Research, L.L.C. v. AT&T Corp., 245 F.3d 327 (4th Cir. 2001).

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Kittens, Stephen Curry, and Cryptocurrency: This Trade Secrets Case Has It All.

What do kittens, three-time NBA Finals champion Stephen Curry, and cryptocurrency have in common?

On May 7, 2018, a subsidiary of Launch Labs, a Canadian corporation doing business as Axiom Zen, released cryptocollectibles called “CurryKittens.”  Cryptocollectibles are unique, digital tokens created using blockchain technology.  The CurryKittens, a type of Cryptocollectible, were virtual kittens with the likeness of NBA star Stephen Curry.  The CurryKittens were three of many virtual cats that could be securely bought, sold, traded, and bred on the multimillion dollar- generating CryptoKitties platform.  (An image of the now suspended “CurryKittens” can be found here.) READ MORE

Worse Than a Toothache: Dental Executive Alleged to Have Misappropriated Proprietary Business Leads

Earlier this month, a Nashville, Tennessee company filed a federal lawsuit against its former employee alleging trade secrets misappropriation under the Defend Trade Secrets Act, among other claims.  The plaintiff, Marquee Dental Partners, LLC, operates dental offices in Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky.  Marquee purchases existing dental practices and provides administrative services to those practices allowing the doctors and support staff to focus on clinic services and patient care.  In a particularly strongly-worded introductory sentence, the complaint reads: “This case shows what it means to be a faithless corporate executive.”  READ MORE

EVEN BAMBI IS A TRADE SECRET: Eastern District Of Texas Finds That Lineage and Genetic Information of Deer Are Trade Secrets, Grants Preliminary Injunction

As surprising as it may be to city dwellers, the deer farming industry generates $3 billion per year for the U.S. economy. According to the North American Deer Farmers Association, “deer farming is one of the fastest growing industries in rural America.”  The corollary of the deer farming industry is a burgeoning deer breeding industry. As a court in the Eastern District of Texas recently noted, the “deer breeding industry is a potentially lucrative industry with single straws of buck semen selling for $5,000 to $20,000 on average, and ranging all the way up to $1 million to purchase the entire buck.” READ MORE