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Nanci L. Clarence

Nanci L. Clarence


Nanci Clarence is a nationally recognized trial lawyer with over three decades of experience defending clients inside and outside of the courtroom. Representing companies and individuals in criminal prosecutions, investigations and civil proceedings, Nanci is a go-to lawyer for cases in high-profile, high-stakes cases where reputations, careers and personal freedom are on the line.

With courtroom experience earned as a former public defender and multi-national large firm litigator, Nanci has tried dozens of cases and argued appeals successfully in the federal and state courts around the country. She is a Fellow of the American College of trial lawyers and has taught trial advocacy at the nation’s leading law schools while also serving in a leadership position advising the United States Sentencing Commission. She has been recognized by the Northern District of California for her many years of service to the Court and brings an insider’s perspective to litigation there and beyond.

Nanci was tapped to serve as the President of the Bar Association of San Francisco and currently serves on Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s Judicial Advisory Committee for the Northern District of California.

Respected for her ability to get along with people from all walks of life, Nanci has a track record of success in working with co-counsel to ensure the best outcomes for her clients who often seek her out for her skill in managing their most significant challenges.

Chambers USA has described Nanci as a “consummate problem solver” with “a great sense of judgment and balance, and great people skills.”

Nanci’s recent representations include a former senior executive of Wells Fargo & Co. in multiple enforcement and civil actions arising from allegations of improper sales practices as the bank, the CEO of a publicly-traded healthcare company in a SEC/DOJ investigation, a former CEO of a world-wide internet platform, and globally recognized biochemist and big firm lawyer in insider trading

Nanci has a lifelong commitment to
indigent defense work.

Nanci teamed up with her partner, Josh Cohen, to conduct an internal investigation for the Oakland Police Department that resulted in a public report exposing inappropriate and offensive social media interactions by law enforcement officers. She represents a national wellness industry leader in a federal investigation based in federal court in New York. Nanci has a lifelong commitment to indigent defense work, and in 2019, she won a federal petition for habeas corpus in a capital case, securing the release of her client of 32 years from California’s death row. He is now free and living with his family in Oklahoma.

Nanci received her J.D. from the University of California College of the Law and graduated magna cum laude from the University of California at Berkeley. She clerked for the Honorable Charles A. Legge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

T: 415.749.1800
F: 415.749.1694

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