Elise R. Sanguinetti

Bar Admissions:
San Francisco Bay Area
(510) 629-4877
Twitter Link:

Elise Sanguinetti is a founding partner at Arias Sanguinetti Wang & Torrijos LLP and is a past president of The American Association for Justice (AAJ), a national trial lawyers association. Ms. Sanguinetti’s main focus of expertise is serious injury, wrongful death cases, civil appeals and legal malpractice. She exclusively represents plaintiffs in civil litigation, holds an AV rating with Martindale-Hubbell, and has been named a California Super Lawyer every year since becoming eligible. Elise has been named one of the Daily Journal’s Top Women Lawyers, is a National Law Journal California Trailblazer, and was named one of Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Plaintiff Lawyers of 2020.

Ms. Sanguinetti has obtained a number of recent six and seven-figure verdicts and settlements, including:

  • A confidential seven-figure settlement against a car manufacturer in a catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death case involving the safety and design of the vehicle.
  • A high six-figure settlement on behalf of the family of a woman who died while in police custody in Monterey, CA.
  • A $1.25 million settlement for the wrongful death of a young man killed when his motorcycle collided with a poorly lit and marked piece of farm equipment.
  • A confidential high six-figure settlement on behalf of a pedestrian injured when hit by the driver for a ride-sharing service.

Elise graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law where she earned her Juris Doctor (J.D.). She was admitted into the California state bar in 1997. When not in the courtroom, she is a frequent speaker at seminars and writes articles that are featured in various legal publications. Her copious amount of work has been recognized with numerous awards and honors including the prestigious, Joe Tonahill Award from the American Association for Justice.

Ms. Sanguinetti is the immediate past president of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) (formally known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America), past president of the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC), and a past president of the Alameda Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association.

Leadership Positions

  • American Association for Justice, President (2018-2019), President-Elect (2017-2018), Vice President (2016-2017), Secretary (2015-2016), Treasurer (2014-2015), Parliamentarian (2013-2014), New Lawyers Division, Chair (2006-2007), Executive Committee (2004-2008, 2009-present)
  • Consumer Attorneys of California, President (2016), President-Elect (2015)
  • Alameda-Contra Costa Trial Lawyers’ Association, President (2008) Board of Governors (1998-present), Editor of The Verdict (2003-2005), Executive Committee (2005-2009)
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association, Women’s Section Board of Directors (2003-2009)
  • Robert G. McGrath American Inns of Court, Executive Committee (2001-2005)
  • Past Co-chair of the National College of Advocacy


  • American Association for Justice (Executive Committee member 2007-2008, 2009- Present; New Lawyers’ Division Chair, 2006 – 2007; Board of Governor, 2007 – 2010; Chair, National Finance Council 2011-2012, Co-Chair 2014-2015, member 2008 – Present; Budget Committee member, 2007 – 2009; National College of Advocacy Board of Trustee, 2007 – 2013, Co-Chair, 2010 – 2012; PAC Board of Trustees, 2009 – 2013; Justice List Committee member, 2007 – 2013; Membership Oversight Committee ,Member, 2007- 2009, Co-Chair, 2009-2010, Chair, 2010 – 2011; Exchange Advisory Committee, Vice-Chair, 2008 – 2013)
  • Alameda – Contra Costa Trial Lawyers Association (President, 2008; Board of Directors, 1998 – Present)
  • Consumer Attorneys of California (President 2016, President-Elect 2014 – 2015, First Vice-President North, 2012-2013, Executive Committee member, 2011-2012; Board of Directors, 2008 – 2009; Board of Governor, 2008 – 2012)
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association (Member, 1997 – Present; Women’s Section, Board of Directors, 2004 – 2009)
  • Robert G. McGrath American Inns of Court (Executive Committee, 2001 – 2005)
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association (Member, 2008 – Present)
  • Public Justice Foundation (Member, 2008 – Present)


  • Top Plaintiff Attorney in California – Daily Journal (2022)
  • Best Lawyers 2023
  • 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers – Lawdragon (2019, 2020)
  • Top Women Lawyers – Daily Journal (2019,2022)
  • California Trailblazers – The National Law Journal (2019)
  • Northern California Super Lawyer- Super Lawyers (2011-present)
  • Presidential Award of Merit – Consumer Attorneys of California (2010, 2011, 2014 & 2015)
  • Top 50 San Francisco Women Lawyers (2013, 2014 & 2015)
  • New Lawyers Division Colton Award (2013-2014)
  • Woman Consumer Advocate Award, Consumer Attorneys of California (2012)
  • Women Leaders in Law, The Recorder (2012)
  • Outstanding Contributions Award, New Lawyers Division, American Association for Justice (2003 – 2004, 2011)
  • Distinguished Service Award, American Association for Justice (2010 & 2011)
  • Joe Tonahill Award, Outstanding and Dedicated Service Award, American Association for Justice (2010)
  • Northern California Rising Star (2009 – 2010)
  • Weidemann & Wysocki, National Finance Counsel Award, American Association for Justice (2007)
  • Weidemann & Wysocki, Citation of Excellence American Association for Justice (2004)
  • Outstanding Service Award, Trial Lawyers Care (2004)
  • Listed by Martindale-Hubbell in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
  • AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell

Classes and Seminars

  • Direct Examination of Damages Experts and Cross Examination of the Defense Medical Examiner, Winter Convention, Mississippi Association for Justice, December 10, 2015
  • Structured Settlements and the Plaintiff’s Practice, National Structured Settlements Trade Association, October 29, 2014
  • 10 Best Deposition Tips, Western State Trial Lawyers Association, Winter Ski Seminar, 2013
  • Building Credibility with Judges, Mediators and Opposing Counsel, Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) 2013
  • Direct Examination of a Damages Expert in Personal Injury Cases, American Association for Justice (AAJ) 2012 Annual Convention, Chicago, IL, 2012
  • Later Use of Depositions, Trial Advocacy College: Depositions, Washington, DC, June 7, 2012 – June 9, 2012
  • 10 Rules for an Effective Deposition, Trial Advocacy College: Depositions, Washington, DC, June 7, 2012 – June 9, 2012
  • How to Write an Effective Trial Brief, AAJ 2010 Annual Convention, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 2010
  • Support Staff Role in a Catastrophic Injury Case, New Jersey Association for Justice: 2010 Annual Boardwalk Seminar, Atlantic City, NJ, 2010
  • Technology’s Impact on the Attorney-Client Relationship and How to Protect Yourself, AAJ 2008 Annual Convention, Philadelphia, PA, 2008
  • Navigating the Ranks of Leadership, Women’s Leadership Summit, Philadelphia, PA, 2008
  • Demonstrative Evidence in Auto Litigation, Jazz Fest Seminar: Litigating Auto Collision Cases, New Orleans, LA, 2008
  • Gender Issues in a Small Firm, Connecticut Civil Justice Foundation: Successful Women Trial Lawyers: Gaining the Competitive Advantage & Winning in All Arenas, 2008
  • Developing and Executing a Deposition Plan and Cross-Examination of the DME, Trial Advocacy College: Essentials of Civil Litigation, University of Alabama School of Law, Tuscaloosa, AL, March 15, 2008 – March 18, 2008
  • Direct Examination of a Damages Expert, American Association for Justice (AAJ) 2008 Winter Convention, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2008
  • I’ve Made Partner: Now What? Gender Issues in a Small Firm, Successful Women Trial Lawyers: Rising Above and Staying There, Fort Myers, FL, 2007
  • How Can I Lobby on Behalf of My Clients?, Contra Costa County Bar Association, Women’s Section Seminar, 2007
  • How to attack Discovery Abuse: Dealing with the Overly Aggressive and the Obstructionists, California Local Trial Lawyer Association Joint Program, Santa Barbara, CA, 2005
  • Changes in the Law that Could Affect Your Practice, Mt. Diablo Legal Secretaries, Walnut Creek, CA, 2003


  • Fighting against forced arbitration, Daily Journal, March 24, 2015
  • Profile: Knowing the Importance of What She Is Doing Gets The Future President of CAOC Through Long Days and Nights, Plaintiff Magazine, March 2014
  • Civility in Depositions, Forum Magazine, March/April, 2013
  • How to Take a Tough Slip and Fall Case and Get Big Results, the Advocate Magazine, Nov. 2012
  • How to Take a Tough Slip and Fall Case and Get Big Results, Plaintiff Magazine, Nov, 2012
  • The View from the First Chair – Review, Trial Magazine, American Association for Justice, Volume 47, No. 6, Jun, 2010
  • Protect Client Confidentiality in EMail, Trial Magazine, American Association for Justice, Volume 44, No. 10, Oct, 2008
  • Our Work Speaks for Itself, Trial Magazine, American Association for Justice, Volume 40, No. 7, Jul, 2004

Pro Bono

Provided free legal representation for a surviving family and one injured victim of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks to recover through the Victim Compensation Fund of 2001.

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