Irene Takahashi, Esq.


Ms. Takahashi has been a trial attorney for the past 40 years, having prosecuted and defended hundreds of cases as both a state and federal prosecutor and civil litigator.  While a prosecutor, the criminal defense bar nicknamed her “the D.A. with a heart.” Her reputation in the legal community is stellar.  She is regarded by judges, mediators, the plaintiff’s bar, and defense counsel as hard-working, trustworthy, and reasonable.  Her background provides a solid foundation and a unique  perspective from which to assist the parties in reaching a settlement of disputes. If requested, she can offer an objective prognostication of what may be of concern to the trier-of-fact.

As litigators know, most cases settle; however, the road traveled to reach a final resolution is often long, circuitous, costly, and stressful. Caseloads keep building while litigants become increasingly dissatisfied as they stand on the sidelines of the court system. Whether the goal is to reach an early resolution or settle after experts’ depositions, Ms. Takahashi provides a fresh approach as well as a candid and unbiased assessment of the case at hand.

Areas of Expertise

  • Personal Injury
  • Wrongful Death
  • Sexual Assault
  • Landlord Tenant


  • 2015    Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution
  • 1976    U.C. Davis School of Law: Juris Doctor
  • 1973    U.C. Berkeley: Bachelor of Arts

Career History

  • Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP– Partner, January 2001- January 2016
  • Santochi Gable Dwyer & Takahashi– Managing Partner, 1998 to December 2000
  • McLemore Collins & Toschi– Partner, 1996 to 1998
  • Kincaid Gianunzio Caudle & Hubert– Senior Associate, 1991 to 1996
  • Contra Costa County Municipal Court Judge, 1989 to 1991
    Presided over civil and criminal cases, Law & Motion, settlement conferences, case management, community forums, and educational outreach to youth, women, and minorities.
  • Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney, 1982 to 1989
  • Private Practice– Criminal defense (Alameda County), 1980 to 1982
  • United States Department of Justice
    Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, 1978 to 1980
    Prosecution of federal offenses; wrote and argued appeals before the United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • Alameda County Deputy District Attorneyand Law Clerk, 1976 to 1978

Representative Cases

Landlord Tenant

  • Woman with seven (7) children sues owner of building for habitability and discrimination claims
  • Tenant claims racially-motivated physical and verbal assault and eviction

Personal Injury

  • Asian family in automobile is rear-ended by an alcohol impaired driver
  • Woman driver, unfamiliar with the changing lane markings as a freeway onramp lies ahead, collides with a motorcycle, sending its rider airborne and resulting in injury and damages
  • Elderly woman shopping at outdoor market in Oakland sustains injury when an employee accidentally rolls a dolly loaded with boxes of crabs over her foot
  • Woman waiting in line at major retail store is injured when lumber leaning against a nearby counter falls on her
  • Female tenant is scalded by hot water coming from bathtub fixture in low income residential facility and sues the building’s owner and manager
  • Young man driving his parents’ vehicle rear-ends a woman’s vehicle. Plaintiff sustains soft tissue injury as a result of the three-car chain reaction accident on the freeway. Defense alleged that plaintiff’s complaints and claimed damages are pre-existing and stem from four (4) prior motor vehicle accidents, and as such, plaintiff’s claimed medical treatment is excessive and unrelated to the subject accident
  • Young woman is jumping on a trampoline and, after she does a drop-seat maneuver, suffered vaginal lacerations after a metal T ball stand located under the trampoline pierced through the trampoline’s surface
  • Slip and fall accident on artificial butter in a movie theater results in plaintiff’s fractured knee, bruised hip, and sprained ankle. She sustained substantial medical and chiropractic treatment and attendant wage loss to the woman who owned her business

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Property Damage

  • A mysterious fire of uncertain origin rages through a business and spreads to the restaurant next door, resulting in devastating property damage and rendering stored food ruined

Sexual Misconduct

  • Young woman demands compensation for parental acts and omissions against her mother and alleged sexual misconduct by her stepfather