Debra connects with people. Whether they're clients hospitalized after an accident, a jury considering liability, or a family whose elderly parent has been abused in a nursing home, Debra gets to the heart of their concerns. She obtains exceptional results for clients bringing suit - plaintiffs in injury, accident and wrongful death cases. As a former managing partner of a legal defense firm, she understands defense attorneys' game plan, and can often achieve generous settlements before trial even begins.
Debra loves her trial work. With over 35 years of successful trial experience, she has devoted tens of thousands of hours to the craft of taking expert depositions, picking juries, conducting trials, and telling her clients' stories in compelling detail. Intensely focused and meticulous in preparing each case for mediation or trial, she prides herself on establishing good working relationships with opposing counsel, experts and judges. Debra credits her extraordinarily successful record to tenacity, determination and an unstoppable desire to win. She is an advocate in the best sense of the word, with the excellent reputation and results to prove it.
"I like my law practice because I get to know my clients so well, to help them through difficult times and gel them the highest compensation for their losses. Many have become good friends."
Clients like Debra for many reasons: She clearly explains their case and describes what they can expect from the legal process, she quickly responds to phone calls and emails, she advocates aggressively and, quite simply, she cares passionately about them. Debra is so trusted that she often is referred cases by other attorneys and judges, and is asked to serve as personal counsel to people who are going through complex, multi-party litigation.
Debra is so devoted to the art of settlement, mediation and trial that she teaches her peers how to become better trial lawyers. She also is deeply involved in her legal and home communities. Of the many achievements, awards, offices and memberships noted below, she is most proud of her induction into the Litigation Counsel of America in 2007, a national trial lawyer honorary society composed of less than half of one percent of American lawyers; her long service to Legal Aid of Marin, where she advocated for those without access to legal representation; and her successful representation of one of the families who lost a young daughter in the horrendous San Bruno PG&E pipline explosion. Debra is also committed to her U.C. Hastings College of the Law, as vice president of the Board of Trustees.
The law is not Debra's only interest. After earning an advanced legal certification in Austria, Debra worked in Europe, and married her attorney husband, Pieter Bogaards, in DeRijp, the Netherlands, a 17th century town near Amsterdam. The family includes two adult daughters, and resides in Marin County, where Debra can be found cycling on the roads to Point Reyes or the Seven Sisters. She is training for her third Audi Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle (a century - I00 miles) and ninth Pacific Coast Century (from Carmel to Big Sur). She recently rode with the F.I.D.F. from Eilat to Jerusalem in 95 degree heat in the desert in October 2017 for her 60th birthday. She is also a theater buff from her time in London, honing her dramatic skills by watching the Bay Area's many acclaimed productions.
All California Courts U.S. Federal Courts U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California U.S. Supreme Court
University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, Salzburg, Austria Certificate in Advanced Int. Legal Studies, 1983 University of California, Hastings College of the Law J.D., 1981 University of California, Berkeley B.S., 1978 Major: Accounting and Finance
Using Deposition Experts at Mediation, Western Trial Lawyers Association The Basics: Personal Injury - Trial (with Miles Cooper of Rouda Feder) CA Continuing Education of the Bar Basic Civil Procedure for Medical Experts, Private Client Seminars Expert Depositions, Continuing Education of the Bar, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Sterling Education Voir Dire, Continuing Education of the Bar, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Sterling Education Lecturer, UC Hastings College of the Law College of Trial Advocacy Lecturer, National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Effective Approaches to Opening Statements and Closing Arguments (with Kevin Morrison of Jones Clifford, LLP), Continuing Education of the Bar
Honors and Awards
Northern California Super Lawyers, 2005 - present Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow, 2007 - present Top 50 Women Lawyers, 2007
Professional Associations, Offices, Directorships
University of California, Hastings College of the Law Foundation, Board of Trustees, 2009 - present Chair, Nominating Committee, 2013-2016 2nd Vice President: 2015-present Soiree Gala chair: 2017 to present Legal Aid of Marin, Board of Directors, 2000 - 2015 Marin County Bar Association, Board of Directors, 1996 - 1999 Lawyers Friends of Wine, Board of Directors, 1995 - 1997 San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Member, 1995 - present Consumer Attorneys of California, Member, 2009 -present Jewish Community Foundation, Business Leaders Council, Membe1; 2011 - 2012 Marin Bicycle Coalition Association , Member, 2011 - present Marin Women Lawyers, Past President University of California, Hastings College of the Law, alumni advisor of HJLSA 2014-present
CA Continuing Education of the Bar, California liability Insurance Practice: Claims and Litigation and Uninsured Motorist Coverage, update author, 2009 - present