Charles R. Hellstrom

Associate Attorney

Charles Hellstrom represents businesses in civil litigation matters including, insurance coverage, labor and employment, business and commercial litigation, and construction disputes.

Charles’ experience with labor and employment matters includes litigating claims under the California Labor Code and Unemployment Insurance Code in both civil litigation and administrative hearings, as well as misclassification, discrimination, and wrongful termination claims. He has also represented businesses in connection with employee misconduct, misappropriation, and embezzlement. He also has experience assisting businesses in revising employee handbooks and separation agreements to prevent future litigation.

Charles’ experience with construction matters includes litigating defect claims on behalf of both owners and contractors in both civil litigation and arbitration, including related coverage issues on behalf of policyholders. His experience with real estate matters includes representing both buyers and sellers in real estate disputes, including demands for performance involving environmental and regulatory issues. He also has experience litigating real estate equity disputes involving fraud and breaches of fiduciary duties.

Prior to joining Murphy Austin, Charles was a litigation attorney with the law firm of Willoughby, Stuart, Bening & Cook, one of the first specialty insurance coverage and bad faith practices in Northern California, where his practice focused on insurance coverage, business litigation, labor and employment, real estate, and construction matters.

Charles earned his J.D. from University of California, Davis School of Law and his B.A. in Psychology from University of California, Santa Cruz.

  • University of California, Davis School of Law
    J.D., 2013
    Journal of Juvenile Law & Policy; Business Law Journal
  • University of California, Santa Cruz
    B.A., Psychology, 2010
    Honors: Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Dean’s Honors, Golden Key International Honour Society, Psi Chi Honor Society
  • State Bar of California
  • Northern District of California
  • Eastern District of California
  • Attorney Fee Arbitrator and Chair of the Santa Clara County Mandatory Fee Arbitration Executive Committee (2018-Present)
  • Attorney Fee Arbitrator, Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program of the Sacramento County Bar Association (2021-Present)
  • Attorney Fee Arbitrator, California Mandatory State Bar Fee Arbitration Program (2021-Present)
  • Volunteer Attorney, Justice and Diversity Center (2014)
  • Volunteer Attorney, San Jose State University Record Clearance Project (2019)
  • Santa Clara County Bar Association, Member, Labor & Employment Section
  • Sacramento County Bar Association, Member, Civil Litigation, Labor and Employment, and Construction Sections

Representative Matters

  • Represent policyholders in commercial insurance litigation and disputes over insurance coverage.
  • Represent owners, developers and contractors in residential and commercial construction disputes related to defects and workmanship.
  • Represent employers in matters involving wage and hour disputes, retaliation, and discrimination claims.
  • Represent buyers and sellers in real estate litigation with respect to purchase and sale agreements.

Speaking Engagements

  • Panelist, “Murphy Austin Annual Employment Law Update,” Sacramento, CA (2023-2024)


  • “Beware of Outdated Employee Arbitration Agreements,” Employment Law News,  Q3, Volume 3, Issue 3 (July 14, 2023)
  • “New Federal Laws and Guidance,” Co-Author, Employment Law News,  Q3, Volume 3, Issue 3 (July 14, 2023)
  • “Back to Where We Were Before – Most Employers Can Require an Employee to Sign an Arbitration Agreement as a Condition of Employment,” Employment Law News,  Q2, Volume 3, Issue 2 (April 11, 2023)
  • “Confidentiality and Non-Disparagement Provisions May Violate the NLRA,” Employment Law News,  Q2, Volume 3, Issue 2 (April 11, 2023)
  • “Individual Liability for Overtime Wages,” Employment Law News, Q4, Volume 2, Issue 4 (October 2022)
  • “Arbitration Agreement Change – Again,” Employment Law News, Q4, Volume 2, Issue 4 (October 2022)
  • “Employee Background Checks – Compliance with Disclosure Language is Critical,” Employment Law News, Q3, Volume 2, Issue 3 (July 2022)
  • “Filing a PAGA Lawsuit No Longer Guarantees that Employees Can Avoid Their Arbitration Agreements,” Employment Law News, Q3, Volume 2, Issue 3 (July 2022)
  • “End of Forced Arbitration of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Claims,” Employment Law News, Q2, Volume 2, Issue 2 (April 2022)
  • “Lots of Changes Required in Employee Agreements,” Employment Law News, Q1, Volume 2, Issue 1 (January 2022)
  • “Meet the New Requirements for Contractors Under AB 830,” cowritten with Lisa D. Nicolls (January 2022)
  • Northern California Super Lawyers Rising Star (2021-2023)
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