Pamela has more than 35 years’ experience as a trial attorney, having represented public officials, corporations, officers and professionals in complex civil, criminal, and administrative cases. She has extensive experience in complex civil enforcement, criminal and administrative cases involving financial fraud, consumer fraud, tax fraud, public integrity and government contracts. As first chair, Pamela has tried over 30 jury trials in federal and state court.
In 1987, Pamela was the only woman counsel to the United States House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate Covert Arms Transactions with Iran, where she questioned witnesses at the televised hearings and conducted more than 25 depositions, including those of Attorney General Edwin Meese, former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane and former Presidential Chief of Staff Donald Regan.
Pamela also served as Special Counsel to the US House Judiciary Committee (1988-1989) for the impeachment proceedings against Chief Judge Walter Nixon of Mississippi. She examined witnesses at hearings, including Judge Nixon, and made arguments on the history of impeachment and attached legal standards, culminating in the impeachment of Judge Nixon by the US House of Representatives.
As an Assistant United States Attorney in the Fraud Unit, she prosecuted numerous cases involving, bank fraud, insurance fraud and tax fraud. She also co-tried U.S. v. Player, one of the few murder cases tried in federal court in San Diego and the first case in which the battered women syndrome defense was allowed in federal court.
In private practice, Pamela has represented numerous individuals and entities in internal and government investigations, as well as complex criminal and civil matters. Among other things, she represented the California Public Utilities Commission and its employee witnesses for four years in investigations by the United States Attorney’s Office and the California Attorney General regarding published allegations of undisclosed ex parte communications between Commissioners and utility company representatives. The matter ultimately resulted in no charges ever being filed. She also represented the former mayor of San Diego and president of the City Council as witnesses in a securities investigation by the SEC and criminal federal and state cases, and the former Chief Operating Officer of the City of San Diego in multifaceted investigation and litigation concerning the purchase and remediation of 101 Ash Street.
Pamela has extensive experience conducting internal investigations, which include comprehensive witness interviews and the preparation of lengthy findings and recommendations. She has conducted internal investigations on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Unified School District regarding allegations against its President of improper fundraising and filing of an allegedly false claim; the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a publicly held medical research company which reported questionable data and clinical trial results; the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a startup mobility company; and the Board of Trustees of a $14 billion large public pension fund.
Pamela’s numerous awards and accolades include a listing in Best Lawyers in America (2022) and recognitions as a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America (2009-present), one of America’s Top 100 Criminal Attorneys (2020 – 2021), a Southern California Super Lawyer (2007 – 2022), a Top Ten Criminal Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction (2015-2016) by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, a Top Women Attorney in Southern California, Los Angeles magazine – Business Litigation (2014), one of the Top Lawyers in litigation by San Diego magazine (2013), a Top Ten Attorney in 2006 and 2007 by peer vote (San Diego Transcript), and a Top Attorney in Business Litigation in California by the Corporate Counsel (2008 Edition).
Pamela is a Lawyer-Delegate for the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference, a Master of the Louis Welch Chapter of the American Inns of Court, and a Barrister of the William B. Enright Chapter of the American Inns Court. She is also the former President of the San Diego Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
Pamela has appeared as a television commentator on MSNBC, KPBS and KFMB-TV (1998 – 2002 and 2019 – 2020) and is the author of the book entitled “ERA: May a State Change Its Vote,” Wayne State University Press, 1978 Hardcover.
- Represented the California Public Utilities Commission and its employee witnesses for four years in investigations by the United States Attorney’s Office and the California Attorney General regarding published allegations of undisclosed ex parte communications between Commissioners and utility company representatives. Matter involved the review and production of millions of documents to investigators in response to numerous grand jury subpoenas and search warrants which ultimately resulted in no charges ever being filed.
- Represented the former mayor of San Diego and president of the City Council as witnesses in a securities investigation by the SEC and criminal federal and state cases, and as parties to a civil lawsuit regarding the pension fund. Issues in the SEC case involved interpretation of GASB, amortization of retiree benefits and disclosure of pension underfunding in bond offerings
- Internal investigation on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Unified School District regarding allegations against its President of improper fundraising and filing of an allegedly false claim
- Internal investigation of a public research and development company regarding its reported results of clinical studies and scientific data. Represented the Special Committee throughout the SEC and criminal proceedings and civil lawsuits
- Internal investigation by Special Committee of Board of Directors of non-profit mental healthcare government contractor
- Represented the former Chief Operating Officer of the City of San Diego in multifaceted investigation and litigation concerning the purchase and remediation of 101 Ash Street
- Internal investigation on behalf of the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a startup mobility company
- Internal investigation and governance advice for a large public employee pension fund. Conducted over 40 witness interviews and delivered lengthy findings and recommendations.
- Represented the board of directors of large non-profit healthcare provider regarding billing practices
- Represented the lead investor of a pharmacy in civil investigation by the US Attorney regarding billing practices
- A charitable non-profit in a civil investigation by the state Attorney General into specific fundraising methods. The government found no liability.
- The President of the funding entities of PinnFund, a subprime mortgage company, in an SEC enforcement action alleging a $300 million Ponzi scheme. Structured a complex settlement with the SEC and class action litigants
- The general counsel for a high-tech company who was held in contempt by a federal judge and referred to the US Attorneys’ office for prosecution. After conducting an investigation and depositions, persuaded the prosecutor not to press charges and convinced the judge to withdraw the contempt citation
- Administrators of a prestigious private school in a lawsuit alleging failure to supervise a former teacher accused of sexually grooming female students. Case settled with no finding of negligence.
- A board member and former CEO of a large public company whose personal security was breached
- An executive of a development company charged by a City Attorney of improperly lobbying city officials. Won a highly publicized motion to disqualify the City Attorney. The court dismissed all charges
- A defense contractor indicted for securities fraud and subjected to debarment. After conducting a complicated investigation, convinced the federal prosecutor to dismiss the indictment prior to motions being filed. The contractor was not debarred. Also defended the contractor in a class action securities fraud lawsuit which ultimately settled at nominal cost
- A large telecommunications company in a class action lawsuit regarding stock options and alleging violations of Section 17200 and common law fraud brought by a large group of former employees. Won a defense ruling on demurrer and the class action was dismissed
- An employee in a US Customs investigation and private lawsuits against a high-technology company which supplies encrypted devices to satellite TV companies. Client was never charged
- Represented family trust in bankruptcy proceedings initiated by Russian oil tycoons to force sale of valuable real estate co-owned in the United States. Settled matter on highly favorable terms for trust client after successfully challenging the Russian affidavits and notary.
- A cell phone manufacturer in a series of patent infringement lawsuits demanding tens of millions of dollars in damages
- A television station in numerous lawsuits and in stock purchase transactions. All challenges to ownership were defeated in state court and the FCC and the station successfully sold at a substantial profit
- A demolition company which caused massive fire while dismantling oil storage tanks. Criminal and civil investigations by the District Attorney in Monterrey, CA resulted in no criminal charges and a reasonable civil penalty.
- A major medical device manufacturer whose facility in Mexico was harassed by a landlord with links to organized crime. Civil and criminal actions were initiated in Mexico by the landlord against the company and its executives. Implemented a strategy to attack the landlord in the US, including obtaining an injunction preventing threats of physical violence. Filed an objection with the FCC to prevent the landlord from receiving radio licenses he held in the US. Prepared a RICO lawsuit and then settled all the matters – north and south of the border – on terms favorable to the client
- An executive in a stock options backdating internal investigation
- A national title insurance company in a class-action 17200 case also alleging violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. After five years of litigation, appeals and discovery, successfully obtained a dismissal on motion for judgment on the pleadings and for summary judgment
- A firm selling securities subjected to a search executed by the FTC and sued in both civil and criminal actions
- An Internet company which published profiles of public companies for investment purposes in an SEC investigation
- A company which manufactured ATM and vending machines in an SEC investigation
- Represented several banks as well as hospitality company in responding to numerous search warrants and subpoenas issued in criminal cases against customers. Established protocols for responding to subpoenas and liaison with federal and state agents.
- Board members of a publicly held corporation in a state securities fraud case
- The CFO of a manufacturing company undergoing IRS examination. Avoided criminal prosecution
- A publicly traded company whose executives had been subjected to threats and public disparagement on Internet bulletin boards. Persuaded the FBI to locate the culprit and stop the threatening and defamatory emails
- The director of facilities for a defense contractor in a DOHA hearing to appeal the denial of a security clearance
- A high technology company in a US Customs investigation of an end-user certificate. Customs declined prosecution
- Employees of a computer chip manufacturer in an anti-dumping investigation by US Customs
- A South American manufacturing client regarding accounts seized by the US government. Negotiated a successful settlement
- A manufacturing and maquiladora client being investigated for bankruptcy fraud. Client was never charged
- A computer exporter in a US Customs investigation. All allegations were dismissed after convincing Customs that computers did not fall into the banned products category under AECA
- A grain company accused by US Customs of mislabeling country of origin. After arguments and briefing, product was approved for import
- A government contractor as a witness in a bribery investigation by the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice
- A manufacturer of musical instruments in a seizure action by US Customs. Products returned within days of seizure
- A Division I athletic coach falsely accused by a newspaper of manipulating grades of football players. After proving his innocence in a public press conference, the newspaper was forced to print a retraction
- A large corporation in defense of a Prop. 65 class action alleging contamination of soil from operation and removal of its large manufacturing facility next to the airport. Settled case on very favorable terms
- A large maquiladora company in Mexico indicted for transporting allegedly hazardous waste across the border into the US. Convinced the prosecutor to dismiss the criminal action. The company paid a minimal civil fine and the matter was closed
- National Trial Counsel for four years for a major medical device manufacturer of breast implants. Co-tried a two-month jury trial of a seminal case in California and won total defense verdict. Leader of national team on punitive damages defenses
- A national nutrition company in a class-action lawsuit filed by vegetarians alleging false advertising and Section 17200 violations. Successfully fought certification of the class and the case then settled for a nominal sum
- A production company regarding an alleged sexual assault on the set of a popular television show. Cooperated in the criminal investigation by the District Attorney and settled within policy limits in the civil case.
- Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, 2009 – present
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America 2022
- Named a Top Ten Criminal Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction 2015-2016 by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
- Named America’s Top 100 Criminal Attorneys, 2020 – 2021
- Named a Top Women Attorney in Southern California, Los Angeles magazine – Business Litigation, 2014
- Rated one of the Top Lawyers in litigation, San Diego magazine, 2013
- Named a Top Ten Attorney 2006 and 2007 by peer vote, San Diego Transcript
- Named a Top Attorney in Business Litigation in California by the Corporate Counsel 2008 Edition
- Southern California Super Lawyer, 2007 – 2022
- AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell
- Speaker, “AI Applications: A Focus on Data Mining,” 15th Annual Financial Symposium, San Diego County Treasurer-Tax Collector, July 27, 2023
- Speaker, “What To Do When the Government Knocks,” Association of Corporate Counsel, April 21, 2023
- Speaker, “Fraud Prevention & Ethics Symposium,” San Diego County Treasurer, August 16, 2022
- Speaker, “Compliance and Fraud Detection,” Public Pension Boards throughout California 2022
- Webinar, “Procurement – Fraud’s Backdoor,” presented to government procurement officials at conference sponsored by San Diego County Tax Collector, July 2021
- Webinar, “What to do When the Government Knocks – Practical steps to take when the company is subject of an investigation”, January 2020 and March 2020 for prolaw.com
- Panelist, “Privacy and 4th Amendment in a Digital Age,” National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2016
- “Emerging Issues in Criminal Tax Enforcement,” Knowledge Group webinar, 2014
- Panelist, “Restitution,” National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2014
- Panelist, “Required Records Exception to 5th Amendment,” ABA Tax Fraud Conference, 2012
- Presenter, “Life Sciences Boot Camp,” American Conference Institute, San Diego, 2010