Samantha D. Wolff
Samantha represents both public and private sector clients in litigation with an 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. 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. Negotiated resolution 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. Co-counsel with the California Attorney General’s Office, representing 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 provided to all incarcerated persons housed in the State’s prison system.
Plata v. Newsom. Co-counsel with the California Attorney General’s Office, representing the 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. Represented the State in this class action against the CDCR and related entities, pertaining to the state’s adult parole revocation process, successfully arguing for decertification and termination of this 19-year-old class action.
L.H. v. Brown. 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. 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. 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.
"Court Revives California Public Beach Harassment Case," Law360 (March 2023)
California Lawyers Association, Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Legal Services Award (2019–2021)
"Insurers are adapting to the surge of elder abuse claims," co-author, Daily Journal Verdicts and Settlements (August 2016)
"Mandatory Skilled Nursing Hours Claims: Are You Covered?" co-author, Insurance Thought Leadership (July 2013)
"How to Keep Exempt Employees Exempt," California Assisted Living Association Bulletin (March 2009)
"Hope Is Not a Strategy: A Proactive Approach to Correctional Litigation," NCCHC 2023 Spring Conference (May 2023)
“Litigation in County Jails: The New Frontier,” co-speaker, 2019 CSAC Annual Meeting (December 2019)
"Trends in Jail Litigation: Strategies to Mitigate Risk and Defend Your Facilities," co-speaker, California Sheriffs' Association (November 2019)
“Strategies, Rights, and Obligations of Counties Responding to Inmate Advocacy Groups,” co-speaker, 2016 CSAC Annual Meeting (December 2016)
"Healthcare Challenges in Detention Facilities," co-speaker, County Counsels’ Association of California, Civil Law and Litigation Spring 2016 Study Section Conference (April 2016)
"Then and Now: A Historical Analysis of the Evolution of the Last 40 Years of Insurance Coverage in the United States and Where We Might Go," Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar (March 2016)
"Parenting and the Law: Balancing Family and Career as a Young Attorney," University of California, Berkeley School of Law, Parenting & Law (November 2015)
"Corrections & Realignment: Avoiding Litigation," co-speaker, CSAC Annual Conference Innovation Summit (November 2013)
“Correctional Class Action Litigation Following Realignment: Current Trends and Litigation Strategies,” co-speaker, County Counsels’ Association of California, 2013 Annual Meeting (September 2013)
“Correctional Class Action Litigation: Implementing Realignment & Exposure to Liability,” co-speaker, County Counsels’ Association of California, Northern California County Counsels’ Meeting (July 2013)
"Correctional Class Action Litigation: Risks, Prevention, & Litigation Strategies," co-speaker, San Joaquin Valley Regional Association of California Counties (October 2012)
"Employment Law Overview for Small Business Owners," La Cocina (April 2011)
"How to Hire Your First Employee," Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center (March 2011)
"Significant Changes in Employment Law for California Employers in 2009," Association of Legal Administrators, Golden Gate Chapter (April 2009)