Debra F. Bogaards

Debra F. Bogaards

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Personal Injury Attorney in San Francisco, CA

Bogaards Law
 | 177 Post Street, Suite 750
San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: 415-979-0480
Fax: 415-979-0482
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1983
Practice Areas:
  • Personal Injury - General: Plaintiff (70%),
  • Employment & Labor: Employee (20%),
  • Real Estate: Consumer (10%)
Languages Spoken:
  • English,
  • Spanish,
  • Hebrew,
  • Dutch
Attorney Profile

For the thirteenth consecutive year, Debra Bogaards, senior trial attorney of Bogaards Law, has been named to the Northern California Super Lawyers list. She was also listed in the Top 50 Women Lawyers in 2007. Bogaards specializes in catastrophic injury, brain injury and wrongful death cases, premises liability, pipeline explosion and fire, employment and tenants' rights. Victims in accidents go to Bogaards with small and large cases, because she is extremely aggressive, accessible and gets phenomenal results. (Over the past 35 years, Bogaards has won all but two of her 37 jury trials and one court trial.) She rides a road bike, and likes motorcycle, scooter and bicycle crash cases. Clients appreciate Bogaards for her organization, focus, depth and tenacity. Moreover, she knows how to communicate well with her clients, making them more comfortable with the legal process.  Often that means meeting in person at their home or office to discuss their case, deposition, mediation or trial.  For that reason, Bogaards often is asked to represent clients as personal counsel in complex family matters and other. If its results you want, Bogaards will get you the highest settlement, or verdict at trial.    

In the past few years, Ms. Bogaards has had an 8 figure confidential settlement in 2011 of a wrongful death of a beloved 20 y.o. daughter, Jessica Morales, in the San Bruno fires due to the PG&E gas pipeline explosion, mediated an elder abuse case pre-litigation within 2 ½ months of an 85-year-old mother's death ($550,000), as well as an elder abuse case involving the death of an 80 y.o. father' with Alzheimer's disease and  extremely poor health ($400,000), a bad faith insurance case arising out of a $94,500 life insurance policy ($500,000), a carbon monoxide poisoning case with only one day of exposure and no residual symptoms ($175,000), two complex wrist fracture cases with questionable liability ($265,000 and $175,000), and two sexual molestations of students.  She also settled on the day of trial a disputed liability motorcycle crash with pelvic fractures for almost $1 million.

Cases in 2017 year included the partial amputation of an 8 y.o. boy's finger at a museum ($550,000), a mild traumatic brain injury of a woman waiting at a car wash for her car who was knocked down by a car ($500,000), a pedestrian in a marked crosswalk hit by a car--knee injury without surgery ($100,000 policy limits plus $200,000 cash pre-litigation), several bike cases with wrist fractures requiring multiple surgeries to soft tissue injuries only ($100,000 policy limits with $15,000 cash).

In 2018, Bogaards settled a high school student's bicycle accident for $100,000 policy limits with an additional cash contribution, a disputed liability bicycle v. truck accident  with a leg surgery for $675,000, a Lisfranc injury of a pedestrian hit by a bus for $675,000, a leg surgery by a pedestrian hit by a car for policy limits and a cash contribution, an elderly woman who fell before she was seated on a MUNI bus for $90,000 and a whistle blower employment case for $175,000.  She also settled a tenants' rights case where two Latino families in the Mission district were harassed by their new landlord for $350,000.

Clients like Ms. Bogaards for both being responsive and for her good communication skills, such as explaining all aspects of the litigation process, from filing of the complaint, to the client's deposition, to mediation and trial. She makes clients feel reassured and comfortable with each stage of the process. In addition, Ms. Bogaards is aggressive, in that she fights for her clients. Yet, she is a consummate and polished professional. She is creative and with her defense background, she has phenomenal success in employing various strategies to achieve the highest settlement in mediation. She also gets personally involved with her clients and their cases. Bottom line, she gets results.

Ms. Bogaards graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration (accounting and finance) in 1978. She graduated from Hastings College of the Law in 1981. Thereafter, she earned a certificate in Advanced International Legal Studies from McGeorge School of Law (Salzburg, Austria) in 1983. Ms. Bogaards worked for a year at leading firms in The Netherlands and England, before returning to the United States to begin her law practice.

Ms. Bogaards was on the faculty of Hastings College of the Law's College of Trial Advocacy. Upon discontinuation of that program in 2001, Ms. Bogaards became a member of the faculty of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA). She also serves as an arbitrator, mediator and judge pro tem, for the San Francisco and Marin County Superior Courts. She is past president of Marin Women Lawyers. Ms. Bogaards served on the Board of Directors of Lawyers Friends of Wine and the Marin County Bar Association. Ms. Bogaards served 20 years on the Board of Directors of Legal Aid of Marin. She was also inducted 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. She is a member of S.F.T.L.A. and C.O.A.C. Ms. Bogaards has been a memberfor eight years and is currently V.P. of the U.C. Hastings Board of Trustees.  She is also the alumni advisor of the UC Hastings Cycling Team and HJLSA.

Ms. Bogaards was married in DeRijp, Holland, a quaint 17th Century historically preserved town near Amsterdam, in 1983. She and her husband, Pieter Bogaards, also a lawyer, have two beautiful daughters.  She and her family reside in the Bay Area where Ms. Bogaards enjoys
participating in Century rides along the coast and skiing.


About Debra Bogaards

Admitted: 1983, California

Professional Webpage:


  • Chosen to be Top 50 Northern California Women SuperLawyers, 2007
  • Chosen to be included in Best Lawyers of America list., Best Lawyer, 2016
  • Chosen to be top 5% of nationwide lawyers for Litigation Counsel of America, Liltigation Counsel of America, 2016

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • McGeorge School of Law's Certificate in International Legal Studies, 1983

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Board of Directors of Legal Aid of Marin,Member of SFTLA and ADC, 2016
  • Member of Lawyers Friends of Wine, 2018
  • Past President of Marin Women Lawyers, 2016
  • Executive Officer and Nominating Committee Chair of U.C. Hastings Board of Trustees, 2016
  • Alumni Advisor to U.C. Hastings' Cycling Team, 2016
  • President of Marin Women Lawyers, 2000
  • Business Leadership Council for the JCF, and Fundraiser for YEARUP!, 2011
  • Speaker at W.T.L.A. Seminar in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, 2017
  • Member of C.O.A.C., 2018
  • Board of Directors of the Marin County Bar Association, 2000
  •  V.P. of the Board of Trustees for Hastings College of the Law, 2018
  • Board of Marin County Bar Association, 1994
  • Alumni Advisor to H.J.L.S.A. at U.C. Hastings, 2018

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Board of Directors of Legal Aid of Marin, Business Leadership Council of JCF, Fundraiser for YEARUP!, Board of Trustees of UC Hastings , 2011
  • Gala Co-Chair of U.C. Hastings Board of Trustees, 2016
  • Represent clients for Legal Aid of Marin., 2010

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Guest editor, C.E.B. Insurance and Uninsured Motorist Guides, 2016
  • Moderator, Taking Expert Witness Depositions, C.E.B., 2011
  • My 8 y.o. client with ADHD and impulsivity put his finger into the blade of an impeller on a working engine at an aerospace museum.  His mother was far away, looking at another exhibit.  Liability was a huge issue.  I had to figure out how to make the 8 y.o. comfortable enough to talk to an attorney about a horrific tragedy and to show up at the mediation.  I also had a mother experiencing huge guilt that cried before our initial client meeting, at the inspection, at the meeting at her house and at the mediation.  I brought in a psychologist to help both mother and son.  I also retained a phenomenal accident reconstruction expert who focused on the unpredictability of children at this museum and found a similar engine at The Smithsonian with the gold standard of encasing the entire engine in a plexiglass box, so that this accident could never happen.  With great caring for my clients, I was able to guide them through a 2 and 1/2 month pre-litigation process culminating in a successful one day mediation.  We settled the case for twice what most attorneys and jury verdicts indicated, without accepting any comparative fault by either client.  Justice was done., Getting to Know Your Client, W.T.L.A. Seminar In Steamboat Springs, 2016
  • I was a speaker for young attorneys concerning civil procedure re expert witnesses.  This covered the Demand for Expert Disclosure, Expert Disclosure, Expert Writings and Expert Depositions., Speaker, Civil Procedure re Expert Witnesses, Boot Camp For Young Lawyers At B.A.S.F., 2015
  • I used the Director of Nursing from a Skilled Nursing Facility's videotaped deposition excerpts to show how they can be used successfully at mediation.  The example was taken from an elder abuse case that settled in mediation because of the videotape., Using Excerpts of Videotaped Depositions at Mediation Successfully, W.T.L.A. Seminar In Tahoe, 2015
  • My client was riding her bicycle when she was hit by a taxi who blew a stop sign. She suffered a concussion with cognitive impairment.  Fortunately, it was a mild concussion.  She also had depression and P.T.S.D.  She failed the Test of Memory Malingering.  So, we shifted the focus in her case from her continuing cognitive impairment, where her test scores invalidated her subjective symptoms about 1 and 1/2 years later, to her depression, anxiety and P.T.S.D., which her psychological test scores validated.  By shifting the focus in our mediation brief, we successfully settled her case., speaker, Shift the Focus, W.TL.A. Seminar In Tahoe, 2014


  • Ms. Bogaards successfully tried this moderate motorhome/pickup truck with camper rearend freeway accident in the Marin County Superior Court in September 2011.  Plaintiffs claimed the need for cervical and lumbar surgeries.  Plaintiffs' medical bills were $50,000 and $84,000 respectively.  The jury awarded $10,000 to one plaintiff, and $22,500 to the other plaintiff.The judge awarded Ms. Bogaards 100% of her costs, of $60,000!, 2011
  • Ms. Bogaards settled a cyclist v. taxi case at mediation for $175,000.  The cyclist claimed post-concussive symptoms lasting more than 1 and 1/2 years as well as depresstion. Unfortunately, the client failed the Test of Memory Malingering.  So, Ms. Bogaards simply shifted the focus at mediation to her depression, anxiety and P.T.S.D.  Her medical specials were under $15,000. , 2015
  • Ms. Bogaards successfully tried a case in the San Francisco Superior Court in August 2011. In this moderate rearend automobile accident, plaintiff claimed the need for a cerical surgery.Ms. Bogaards disputed causation of injury due to a lack of significant forces.  She got a stunning defense verdict (unanimous) in just 34 minutes, and the judge awarded her 100% of her costs ($42,000).  Plaintiff compromised payment of costs to $40,000, by cashier's check, paid within 3 business days., 2011
  • Ms. Bogaards settled pre-litigation with merely a settlement demand letter, some investigation and phone calls the wrongful death of a 94 y.o. jaywalker who crossed in the middle of the block between parked cars against a red light.  Her accident reconstruction expert couldn't find even 1% liability against the hapless driver who hit her.  The case settled for $150,000., 2015
  • Ms. Bogaards obtained a unanimous defense verdict on Dugard v. Morton, a jury trial in Marin County.  Her client, a 94 y.o. gentleman, was driving a motorhome and rearended another motor home on the freeway.  Plaintiffs complained of neck and back pain.  Treatment consisted of physical therapy, chiropractic treatment and injections.  Both claimed the need for future surgery., 2013
  • Ms. Bogaards obtained a $100,000 settlement after the deposition of her client who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from a heater in a motel.  After being rushed to the hospital and given oxygen for 8 hours, her client had some fatigue and anxiety for the rest of the week.  However, she continued on with her family vacation and work., 2016

Representative Clients:

  • Meltwater News (Netherlands), 2009
  • State Farm Automobile Insurance Company, Mercury Insurance Company, and Bimbo Bakeries, Inc., 2016

Other Outstanding Achievements:

  • Sixth Century ride as part of Pacific Coast Century  from Carmel to Big Sur to San Simeon with 150 lawyers and other riders., 2017
  • First Metric Century from Big Sur to San Simeon for Audi Best Buddies Challenge, 2011
  • Top 50 Northern California SuperLawyer Women, 2007
  • I finished the six day cycling ride in 95-100 degree heat in the desert in Israel with FIDF. We rode from Eilat to Jerusalem with wounded soldiers and veterans., 2017

Educational Background:

  • McGeorge School of Law Post J.D.  Certificate in International Legal Studies, 1983
  •  U.C. Hastings College of the Law, J.D. , 1981
  • U.C. Berkeley - B.S. in Business Administration, 1978

Industry Groups

  • Alumni Advisor To UC Hastings Cycling Team And H.J.L.S.A.
  • Bench-Bar Liason To San Francisco Superior Court
  • Best Lawyers
  • Board Of Trustee Of U.C. Hastings
  • C.O.A.C.
  • Director Of LegalAid Of Marin
  • Gala Co-Chair For 2016 Of U.C. Hastings Board Of Trustees
  • Hillel
  • Litigtation Attorneys Of America
  • Marin County Bar Association Past Board Of Director
  • Marin Women Lawyers Past President
  • Nominating Committee Chair Of The U.C. Hastings Board Of Trustees For Past 6 Years
  • Officer On Executive Committee Of U.C. Hastings Board Of Trustees
  • Rockstar Video Co-Founder On U.C. Hastings Board Of Trustees
  • UC Hastings Board Of Trustees. Lawyers Friends Of Wine Former Board Of Director
  • W.T.L.A.

Articles about Debra F. Bogaards appearing in Super Lawyers

Office Location for Debra F. Bogaards

177 Post Street
Suite 750
San Francisco, CA 94108

Debra F. Bogaards:

Last Updated: 3/5/2019

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