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Deborah A. Yates

Deborah A. Yates

(t) 619.238.4834
(f) 619.231.4755

Every single case I handle is the most important case in the world – to my clients. This thread connects my diverse practice, which includes family law cases and business disputes. Whether you need representation for a divorce or custody of your children, for litigation over labor laws, for a contract dispute, or for whatever other reason you find yourself in litigation: I understand this is the most important case to you.

I bring a rich legal background to bear for my clients: I spent over a decade in “Big Law” in Washington, D.C. litigating cases worth literally billions of dollars. I moved to San Diego in 2016, and turned my attention to serving the legal needs of the citizens of America’s Finest City. I now handle a mix of family law matters and business disputes. The combination allows me to bring experiences and ideas from one area to the other.

Ms. Yates handles litigation from case development through resolution. Ms. Yates has years of experience serving a wide range of clients, including businesses large and small and individuals in family law cases. Ms. Yates has extensive experience litigating in both state and federal courts.  Ms. Yates coordinates closely with clients to develop strategy, manage, and execute cases. In addition, Ms. Yates guides clients to non-litigation solutions including private or mediated settlements or arbitration when appropriate.

For several years before joining Solomon Ward Seidenwurm & Smith, Ms. Yates served as Counsel at the law firm WilmerHale in Washington, D.C, where she was a member of the IP Department of the Year named by The American Lawyer in January 2014.

  • Representation in breach of contract action in federal court resulting in settlement in client’s favor of $250,000 
  • Successful defense of various wage and hour and harassment claims  
  • Defense of restaurant group sued under the TCPA resulting in dismissal with prejudice
  • Representation of family law clients in particularly complicated cases  
  • Investigation of harassment claims for independent city  
  • Representation of two pharmaceuticals companies in case that settled in clients’ favor for over two billion dollars 
  • Defense of private school in breach of contract case resulting in favorable settlement 
  • Representation of California-based industry consortium in patent infringement action resulting in favorable trial judgment upheld on appeal 
  • George Mason University School of Law, 2007, J.D., first in class
  • The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, 1995, M.B.A., with the highest distinction and Palmer Scholar designation (top 5%)
  • University of Maryland, 1988, B.S. in Management Science and Economics, valedictorian
  • Member at Large, Executive Committee, Civil Litigation Section, San Diego County Bar Association (2019) 
  • Barrister, Enright Inn of Court
  • Member of the San Diego County Bar Association
  • Member of the Federal Bar Association, San Diego Chapter
  • Member of the Lawyers Club
  • Admitted to practice at the Southern District of California, the Central District of California, and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit