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 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: slip and fall; auto, motorcycle, pedestrian, skateboard accidents; wrongful death, sexual assault and child abuse
  • Landlord-Tenant: commercial and residential
  • Property Liability and Damages: fires, floods, crimes committed on property
  • Professional Liability/ Errors & Omissions
  • Public and Private Entity Liability: school districts, churches, private and public organizations, and government institutions
  • Business Litigations/ Breach of Contract


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

Career History

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

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
  • Wrongful Death- Elderly man living in a low-income apartment is severely burned over 1/3 of his body and, after three agonizing weeks in the intensive care unit, dies. Plaintiffs were his two adult sons who had not seen their father for more than a year before his death. Plaintiffs believed that the fire started from a gas leak from the living room furnace and that there were no working smoke/fire alarms in the apartment. The defense was convinced that the decedent was drunk and had fallen asleep while smoking in bed and had, essentially, set himself on fire. The defense argued that the smoke alarms in the apartment could not be heard because decedent had taken them down in order to smoke in his apartment. Facts, liability and damages were hotly contested. Opening plaintiffs' demand- $1 million; Opening defense Offer - $0.

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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