White collar crime
A partner in the Litigation Department and co-chair of the White Collar & Regulatory Defense Group, Melinda Haag is widely recognized as among the nation’s leading trial lawyers. Over more than three decades, Melinda has led or co-led more than 20 jury and bench trials, including complex white collar and civil rights cases, and has handled numerous white collar criminal matters, corporate investigations and complex commercial litigations. Melinda has long represented companies and their boards in law enforcement and multi-regulator investigations and in internal investigations, as well as senior executives in connection with government and internal investigations.
Melinda has had a distinguished career in public service. During her five-year tenure as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California, she spearheaded numerous high-profile investigations and prosecutions. Earlier, Melinda served for nine years as a federal prosecutor, ultimately being tapped by then-U.S. Attorney Robert Mueller as Chief of the White Collar section of the San Francisco office.
Melinda has handled a wide variety of significant litigations and government and internal investigations, including matters concerning securities fraud, mail and wire fraud, bank fraud, trade secret theft, bribery, antitrust, FCPA, environmental, civil rights, defense contractor fraud, health care fraud and money laundering.
Among her most notable trial accomplishments, she won the acquittal, on all counts, of a former FitBit executive in a high-profile criminal theft of trade secrets trial brought by federal prosecutors in San Francisco; secured the complete acquittal of the CFO of a publicly traded pharmaceutical company in a federal criminal securities trial; and successfully defended the former general counsel of a publicly traded software company charged with federal criminal securities law violations.
Melinda has been recognized by Chambers USA for eight years in the White Collar Crime & Investigations – California category, with interviewees noting that “she is one of the best white collar lawyers in practice right now.” In addition to its Top 100 Lawyers in California list, the Daily Journal has named Melinda as one of the Top Women Litigators in California, Top White Collar Lawyers in California, and Top Trade Secrets Lawyers in California. In 2021, The American Lawyer recognized Melinda among the inaugural “West Trailblazers” for her achievements as a preeminent white collar defense attorney. She was named to San Francisco Business Times’s list of the Most Influential Bay Area Women three times; to Benchmark Litigation’s Top 250 Women in Litigation; and to Lawdragon’s list of 500 Leading Lawyers in America. Melinda has also been recognized by The National Law Journal and The Legal 500 US for her achievements in high-stakes white collar matters.
Updated July 2022