Tyson Arbuthnot
David E. Aron
Gayle M. Athanacio
Stephen L. Bacon
Merri A. Baldwin
Robert J. Breakstone
Dennis J. Callahan
Thomas H. Carlson
Jeffery M. Chiow
Alecia E. Cotton
Joshua M. Deitz
Robert C. Goodman
Lucas T. Hanback
John G. Heller
Dennis C. Huie
Suhani Kamdar
Lauren B. Kramer
S. Amber Lee
Mark J. Linderman
E. Jacob Lubarsky
James Robert Maxwell
Joseph C. McGowan
Patricia A. Meagher
Robert S. Metzger
Brian D. Miller
Alexis J. Morris
Nicholas T. Niiro
Roland Nikles
Neil H. O'Donnell
Dean D. Paik
Sharon Ongerth Rossi
Aaron M. Scolari
Aaron P. Silberman
Katherine M. Svinarich
Renée D. Wasserman
Alan J. Wilhelmy
Paul M. Zieff

Merri A. Baldwin
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Areas of Practice

Ms. Baldwin is co-chair of the firm’s Attorney Liability and Conduct Practice Group, and a member of the Complex Commercial Litigation Practice Group. She focuses on litigating business disputes and attorney liability matters, including trials, arbitration and mediation, and appeals. She is a certified specialist in Legal Malpractice Law, California Board of Legal Specialization.

Professional Qualifications

Ms. Baldwin represents both plaintiffs and defendants in complex litigation matters, including claims of breach of contract, fraud, and partnership disputes. Ms. Baldwin has tried cases to jury verdict and has significant arbitration experience. A significant part of her practice involves handling attorney liability and conduct issues, particularly claims of legal malpractice, breach of fiduciary duty, attorney sanctions and motions to disqualify. She regularly counsels lawyers and law firms on legal ethics and law practice management issues. She represents attorneys in disciplinary matters before the State Bar of California, and has significant experience handling attorney-client fee disputes. Ms. Baldwin has testified as an expert in the areas of legal ethics and attorney standard of care.

Ms. Baldwin is the President of the Bar Association of San Francisco, and the current advisor to the State Bar of California Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct. She is a committee co-chair for the American Bar Association Litigation Section Committee on Professional Services Liability Litigation. Ms. Baldwin is a former vice-chair of the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Program, and received an Award of Merit in 2008 from the Bar Association of San Francisco for her role on the marriage fairness task force. She has been named by Super Lawyers magazine as one of the top attorneys in Northern California every year since 2006.

Ms. Baldwin frequently lectures to attorneys and professional organizations and publishes articles on issues related to litigation, legal malpractice and ethics issues, and she is an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, where she teaches professional responsibility. She is co-editor of "The Law of Lawyers' Liability," published in 2012 by First Chair Press and the American Bar Association.


J.D., University of California at Berkeley,
School of Law (Boalt Hall)

B.A., Smith College
Magna Cum Laude with honors

Bar Admissions
District of Columbia

Attorney Liability and Conduct
Complex Commercial Litigation

Recent Publications and Presentations

"Ethical Issues for Privacy and Data Security Professionals," Lecturer, Practising Law Institute’s Eighteen Annual Institute on Privacy and Data Security Law program, June 12, 2017 (co-lectured)

"Legal Ethics and the Cloud," Speaker, Practising Law Institute’s Cloud Computing 2017: Key Issues and Practical Guidance program, May 22, 2017

"Fifty Shades of Grey: Exploring IoT Ethical Issues," Speaker, ABA Section of Science & Technology Law panel, May 10-11, 2017

"Ethical Issues for Privacy and Data Security Professionals," PLI’s Eighteen Annual Institute on Privacy and Data Security Law program, May 8, 2017 (co-presented)

"Lawyers on the Move: Ethical and Practical Considerations for Partner Withdrawals," moderator and speaker, PLI’s Webinar/Conference Call, Mar. 8, 2017

Ethics, chair and speaker, PLI’s California MCLE Marathon 2016, Dec. 12, 2016

"Critical Ethics Issues for the IP Lawyer," speaker, PLI’s Intellectual Property Law Institute 2016, Oct. 25, 2016

"Ethics Update 2016: Significant Developments in the Law of Lawyering," speaker, State Bar of California Annual Meeting, Sept. 29, 2016

"Misconduct Has Its Price: Sanctions Against Attorneys," California Bar Journal, September 2016

"The Connected Lawyer and Ethics Rules," speaker, PLI's Seventeenth Annual Institute on Privacy and Data Security, July 11, 2016

"To Tweet or Not to Tweet: How to Use Social Media in Today’s Online World," Webinar, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, June 28, 2016

"Legal Ethics and the Cloud," speaker, PLI Program, "Cloud Computing 2016: Key Issues and Practical Guidance," June 10, 2016

"The Two-Step Shuffle: Moving From Side to Side or Lateral Movement by Lawyers," panel at the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility’s 42nd National Conference, June 3, 2016

"The Connected Lawyer and Ethics Rules," PLI's Seventeenth Annual Institute on Privacy and Data Security, May 16, 2016 (co-presented)

"Strength in Numbers: Ethical Issues in Class and Mass Actions," moderator, California Bar Ethics Symposium, Apr. 9, 2016

"Legal Ethics and Social Media," PLI program - Social Media 2016: Addressing Corporate Risks, Feb. 9, 2016

"Current Developments in Legal Ethics," PLI's California MCLE Marathon, Dec. 7, 2015

"Ethics Update 2015: Significant developments in the Law of Lawyering," State Bar of California Annual Meeting, October 9, 2015

"Intrafirm Lawyer-Client Privilege," Webinar, American Bar Association Center for Professional Responsibility, September 9, 2015

"Legal Ethics and the Cloud," PLI Program - Cloud Computing 2015, June 8, 2015

Déjà Vu All over Again: the California Rules Revision Process, State Bar of California Ethics Symposium, April 2015

"Ethical Issues for the Construction Lawyer: Nailing Down Your Obligations and Not Screwing Up," Webinar, Associated General Contractors (AGC), March 18, 2015

"Lawyer Mobility: Ethical Issues Arising From Lateral Hires, Partner Withdrawals and Law Firm Dissolutions," Webinar, Bloomberg BNA, Feb. 4, 2015

"Legal Malpractice and Professional Ethics Recent Developments," Bar Association of San Francisco, Jan. 27, 2015

"Leaving your firm? Clients come first," Daily Journal, Dec. 5, 2014

"Discoverability of Witness Interviews: To What Extent Do the Work Product Doctrine and/or the Attorney-Client Privilege Apply?,"Association of Workplace Investigators Journal, Vol. 5, No. 4, October 2014

"IP Lawyer Ethical Issues," Intellectual Property Law Institute 2014, 2-day PLI program, Oct. 16-17, 2014

"California's MCLE Requirements: Complying With the Rules and Your Ethical Obligations," California Bar Journal, State Bar of California, September 2014

"Contracting Around Ethics," ABA 40th National Conference on Professional Responsibility, May 30, 2014

"The Jury is Not Your 'Friend'," Daily Journal, May 2, 2014

Risky Business: Identifying, Preventing and Managing Conflicts of Interest, ABA Woman Advocate E-Newsletter, Spring 2014, Vol. 19, No. 3

Moderator, "Disruptive Ethics? Innovative Models of Providing Legal Services," California Statewide Ethics Symposium, April 12, 2014

An Ounce of Prevention: Managing Disqualification Risks through Advance Conflict Waivers, IP Litigator, March/April 2014, (PDF

Lawyers Representing Startups: Managing Ethical Obligations and Risks, California Bar Journal,
Dec., 2013

"Ethical Issues in Representing Start-Ups," State Bar of California Annual Meeting, October 12, 2013

"Evolving Issues of Confidentiality and Attorney-Client Privilege," American Bar Association's 39th National Conference on Professional Responsibility, San Francisco, CA, May 30, 2013

"Discoverability of Witness Interviews: To What Extent Do the Work Product Doctrine and/or the Attorney-Client Privilege Apply," California Bar Journal, State Bar of California, February 2013

California Supreme Court Expands Work Product Protection for Witness Statements in Coito v. Superior Court, RJO Newsletter (PDF) July 2012 (co-authored)

The Law of Lawyer's Liability American Bar Association and First Chair Press, 2012 (co-editor)


Robert Dollar Building
311 California Street, 10th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: 415.956.2828
Fax: 415.956.6457
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