Samantha Wolff

Samantha D. Wolff


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Public Agency
Public Agency
San Francisco

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.

Representative Work

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.


"White Paper on Preparing For & Surviving The Class Action Tsunami Aimed At The Senior Housing & Care Industry," co-author, Insurance Recovery Alert (September 2017)

"The Winn Case: A Game Changer for California's Senior Care & Housing Industry," co-author, Insurance Recovery Alert (August 2016)

"Insurers are adapting to the surge of elder abuse claims," co-author, Daily Journal Verdicts and Settlements (August 2016)

"Is your insurance coverage adequate?" co-author, Seniors Housing Business (April-May 2016)

"Costly and Damaging Cyberattacks: Who Will Pay, and for What?" Tech on the 20s (March 2016)

"Navigating Calif. Insurance Defense Settlements," co-author, Law360 (July 2015)

"Mandatory Skilled Nursing Hours Claims: Are You Covered?" co-author, Insurance Thought Leadership (July 2013)

"Where A Party Makes Two CCP § 998 Offers And Both Are Rejected (Or Lapse), The Second Offer Does Not Extinguish The First For Purposes Of Cost Shifting," Hanson Bridgett Litigation Law Update (March 2012)

"How to Keep Exempt Employees Exempt," California Assisted Living Association Bulletin (March 2009)

See All Publications


“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)

See All Presentations


California Lawyers Association, Wiley W. Manuel Pro Bono Legal Services Award (2019–2021)


J.D., University of California, Hastings College of the Law (2005)

B.A., University of California, Los Angeles (2002)

Admissions And Courts


Supreme Court of the United States

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

San Francisco

415-995-5020 Direct Phone
415-995-3547 Fax

Email Attorney


Firm Leadership

Women’s Impact Network, Chair

Pro Bono Committee, Member