Sarah Esmaili focuses on litigation defending clients in California Proposition 65 cases and in cases involving chemicals in consumer products. She has experience with unique California laws concerning chemical disclosure requirements for consumer products and has represented companies in a range of industries, including the food, supplement, personal care, and household cleaning industries. She often handles cases involving newly emerging chemical exposure claims where she works with experts in the fields of toxicology and epidemiology. She has experience in joint representation of companies in cases that concern issues of industry-wide significance and has represented industry groups as plaintiffs in litigation that challenges regulations. She has expertise in developing creative settlement solutions that are tailored to business objectives.

Ms. Esmaili has experience in all phases of litigation. She participated in the San Francisco District Attorney's volunteer program where she successfully prosecuted several jury trials.

Ms. Esmaili has handled significant pro bono matters. Her experience includes developing and preparing a petition for habeas corpus in a death penalty case where she managed a team of attorneys and which resulted in the California Supreme Court issuing an order for further proceedings based on juror misconduct claims. She has also successfully handled political asylum cases. She's the recipient of the Keta Taylor Colby Pro Bono Award.

Experience

  • Six national restaurant companies in defeating claims that Proposition 65 warnings are required on grilled chicken products, and led to appellate case law establishing important restrictions on Proposition 65 plaintiffs.
  • Trade associations in successfully preparing a series of comment letters for proposed Proposition 65 regulations, which involved working with experts in the fields of toxicology and statistics.
  • Trade association in a federal First Amendment lawsuit challenging Proposition 65 warnings for acrylamide in foods and beverages.
  • Companies in various Proposition 65 cases brought by the California Attorney General and California District Attorneys involving foods and dietary supplements.
  • Major restaurant company in defeating class action lawsuit seeking warnings for grilled chicken products.
  • Protein supplement manufacturer in preparing and presenting expert testimony to obtain court approval of a groundbreaking Proposition 65 settlement for dietary supplements.
  • Companies in successfully defending Proposition 65 claims regarding lead in tea products.
  • Trade association in challenging California laws requiring nutritional disclosures by restaurants.

Perspectives

Litigating, Regulating, and Reformulating Acrylamide in Foods
Proposition 65 Clearinghouse Conference
Prop 65: Recent Developments
Webinar, Law Over Lunch, Food and Drug Law Institute
State Law Regulations and Litigation
Panelist, 5th Annual Food Law Conference, San Francisco, CA
California's Proposition 65: Regulatory, Compliance and Litigation Developments for Cannabis Products Including Hemp and CBD
Speaker, American Herbal Products Association Webinar
Pitfalls to Avoid When Testing Products or Relying on Previous Consent Judgments
Panelist, Proposition 65 Clearinghouse Conference, San Francisco, CA
More

Recognition

The Legal 500 US
"Rising Star"–Product Liability, Mass Tort and Class Action - Defense: Consumer Products (2020)
"Rising Star"–Environment: Litigation (2020)
"Next Generation Lawyer" – Environment: Litigation (2017-2019)
Keta Taylor Colby Pro Bono Award
Recognition of her service to the disadvantaged

Credentials

Education
  • JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 1999, cum laude
  • BA, University of Wisconsin, 1995, with highest honors, Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society
Admissions
  • California
  • US District Court, Central District of California
  • US District Court, Eastern District of California
  • US District Court, Northern District of California
Languages
  • Spanish
Overview

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