Samantha D. Wolff
Samantha represents both public and private sector clients in litigation with emphasis on putative and certified class actions, constitutional and civil rights matters, structured negotiations, and insurance recovery disputes, through all phases of litigation in federal and state court. Samantha is experienced in defending public sector clients in civil rights matters, including certified class actions relating to the constitutional delivery of medical and mental health care to incarcerated individuals and other alleged civil rights violations. Samantha also counsels public sector clients on corrections operations, including specifically the constitutionality of the delivery of services and risk analysis. Samantha also assists policyholders in coverage disputes, specializing in dispute-resolution counseling, pre-litigation negotiation, and litigation.
Samantha previously worked as a deputy attorney general in the California Office of the Attorney General where she defended high-ranking governmental figures and state corrections officials in civil rights litigation.
Areas of Focus
Admissions and Courts
Women's Impact Network, Co-Chair
Pro Bono Committee, Member
Babu v. County of Alameda. Samantha represents the County defendants in this certified class action challenging the delivery of mental health services to all incarcerated persons housed at Santa Rita Jail. Samantha and the defense team negotiated resolution of this complex matter and represented the County during fairness hearings in the District Court evaluating the legality of the parties’ negotiated consent decree. Samantha continues to represent the County during the remedial phase of the litigation.
Coleman v. Newsom. Samantha represents the State of California, including the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), in a class action lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of mental health care that is provided to all incarcerated persons housed in the State’s prison system.
Plata v. Newsom. Samantha represents State of California, including CDCR, in this class action relating to the delivery of medical care to all incarcerated persons housed in the State's prison system.
Valdivia v. Brown. Samantha represented the State in this class action against the CDCR and related entities, relating to the State’s adult parole revocation process, successfully arguing for decertification and termination of this nineteen-year-old class action.
L.H. v. Brown. Samantha assisted in successfully terminating this seven-year-old institutional class action case against the State of California, including the Division of Juvenile Justice. This case related to the revocation of juvenile parole.
Allen, et al. v. City of Oakland, et al. In September 2012, Samantha worked with the City of Oakland's City Attorney's office in this civil rights class action case involving allegations of police misconduct against the City's Police Department. Defense counsel successfully defended against placement of the Police Department into Receivership. Instead, the Federal Court appointed a Compliance Director to assist the City in attaining substantial compliance with the parties' Negotiated Settlement Agreement.
California Lawyers Association, Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Legal Services Award (2019–2021)