Douglas R. Young

  • 415.954.4438
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Clients hire Doug Young to handle sensitive cases with complicated facts. These cover multiple subject areas, including internal investigations; international antitrust or FCPA claims; intellectual property; securities and antitrust; white collar criminal defense; and parallel civil/regulatory proceedings. Mr. Young has tried over 35 cases to verdict and has argued over 45 appellate matters. Reflecting his unusually diverse experience, and his 35-plus years of courtroom and counseling experience, Mr. Young is in demand for both his judgment and his technical expertise.

In his practice, Mr. Young adopts a primarily three-point philosophy: (1) Apply discipline and rigorous preparation to every case, no matter its size. (2) Understand the client and the client’s needs, yet be willing to challenge the client’s views if advisable. (3) Be appropriately discreet, recognizing when, where, and under what circumstances advocacy (and what type of advocacy) will be the most effective. Clients, peers, and judges attest to these principles: For example: “He is an endless source of wisdom and strategic thinking . . . the kind of guy who I bring the most serious problems to .” (Client). “He is sharp and very experienced, with real valuable insight.” (Peer). “An enormously skilled lawyer.” (Ninth Circuit judge). “One of the finest lawyers ever to practice in our courts.” (Federal district judge). “Exhibited considerable skill as an advocate [in complex jury trial], a high degree of professionalism, and a true commitment to his client and to the law.” (Federal district judge).

Mr. Young’s recent experience includes:

  • Pursuing antitrust and price-fixing claims on behalf of global technology company against foreign-based suppliers of component parts.
  • Defending public company CEO against S.E.C. accusations concerning financial statements.
  • Acting as counsel to special committee of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit investigating claim of judicial misconduct.
  • Representing former cabinet-level federal official in connection with corruption investigation.
  • Defending employees and officers of global public companies in federal investigations stemming from allegations of antitrust violations, FCPA violations, and other claims.
  • Acting as lead defense counsel in multi-district class actions involving variety of industries.

Mr. Young is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and other invitation-only organizations. He has also served on a numerous public-interest boards, as President of the Bar Association of San Francisco, and has received multiple awards including the ABA Pro Bono Publico Award and the Anti-Defamation League Distinguished Jurisprudence Award. He is a frequent speaker and author including, as co-author, the California Trial Handbook 2d and other texts. Mr. Young is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. 


  • Fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, International Society of Barristers
  • Fellow, National Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
  • Fellow, Academy of Court Appointed Masters
  • Patron Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Member, American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
  • Member, The American Law Institute
  • Member, American Judicature Society
  • Member and past-President, California Academy of Appellate Lawyers
  • Lawyer Representative from the Northern District of California to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference
  • Member, Criminal Justice Act Defense Panel, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (1986-June, 2000)
  • Appointed by Chief Judge to Ninth Circuit’s Advisory Committee on Rules of Practice and Internal Operating Procedures (28 U.S.C. § 2077)  (1993-’99)
  • Member (Master), San Francisco American Inn of Court (President, 1999-2000)
  • Member, Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Northern California Chapter (President, 2000; member, Board of Governors, 1992-2000)
  • Past President (2001), Bar Association of San Francisco (recipient, Award of Merit, 1989); (Secretary, 1998; Treasurer, 1999; President-Elect, 2000;  board member 1988-’89).
  • International Legal Exchanges: Trial and Appellate Advocacy Projects, 1989-’94.  State Department task forces (under awards of Academic Specialist Grants by United States Information Agency or sponsorship by Agency for International Development) in administration of justice legal exchange projects in Uruguay, Mexico, Panama, Egypt, and Bolivia, with protocol visits to Argentina, Chile, and Greece
  • Founding Chair, Litigation Section, Bar Association of San Francisco, 1989
  • Board member and Secretary, Institute for the Study and Development of Legal Systems.
  • Appointed by Chief Justice to Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Lawyer Regulation
  • Board Member, Nina Ireland Lung Disease Program, University of California san Francisco (2012-present)


  • Five times appointed Special Master in federal litigation
  • Judge Pro Tem: San Francisco Superior Court
  • Counsel to Ninth Circuit Special Committee under 28 U.S.C. § 353(1) (2012)

Public Interest

  • Co-founder, Berkeley Law Foundation (a public interest law foundation); Board Member, 1977-’78; Chairperson of Board, 1978-’79 (recipient, Award of Appreciation, 1983)
  • Member, Board of Directors, Legal Aid Society of San Francisco, 1981-present; Treasurer, 1988-’90; Vice President, 1991-’93; President, 1993-’95
  • Member, Board of Directors, Public Interest Clearinghouse, 1981-’88; Chairperson of Board, 1987-’88 (recipient, Award of Appreciation, 1989)
  • Member, Board of Directors (1988-’91), and Cooperating Attorney (pro bono counsel) American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California
  • Chair, Attorneys’ Task Force for Children, Legal Services for Children, 1987-’88
  • Member, Legal Advocates, Native American Rights Fund, 1989-’91;  Peta Uha Council, 1998 
  • Member, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of San Francisco
  • Recipient (1991), California State Bar/California Appellate Project Award of Appreciation for work as appointed counsel in death penalty cases
  • Recipient (1992), American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award
  • Recipient (2002), Criminal Justice Achievement Award, Criminal Trial Lawyers Association of Northern California
  • Recipient (2012), D. Lowell Jensen award for Contributions to the Criminal Bar in recognition of contributions to the Bay Area criminal law bar
  • Recipient (2012), Distinguished Jurisprudence Award from the Anti-Defamation League


  • Faculty:  National Institute for Trial Advocacy; Hastings College of Advocacy; California Continuing Education of the Bar; Practising Law Institute; Litigation Section of the State Bar of California;  Price Waterhouse/NITA Expert Witness Seminars; The Rutter Group; Federal Practice Program of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California; California Appellate Project; CACJ/CPDA Criminal Law Seminars; Federal Public Defender/CJA Seminars;  ABA White Collar Crime Institute;  ABA Institute on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; Association of Business Trial Lawyers Annual Institute
  • Visiting Lecturer in Law, School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California at Berkeley -- 1986 (Evidence Advocacy), 1990 (Advanced Appellate Advocacy), and 1991 (Advanced Appellate Advocacy)
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law, Hastings College of the Law, 1990-’91
  • Miscellaneous other educational panels, lectures, etc.


  • Purver, Young & Davis, California Trial Handbook 2d (Bancroft-Whitney, 1987); California Trial Handbook 3d, (Bancroft-Whitney, 1992) (with Honorable Richard P. Byrne as additional author)
  • Purver, Young, Davis & Kerper, The Trial Lawyer’s Book: Preparing and Winning Cases (Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Co., 1990)
  • Lynch, Young, Taylor, Purver & Davis, Negotiation and Settlement for California Lawyers and Judges (Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company, 1991) 
  • Lynch, Reed, Young, Taylor, Purver & Davis, Negotiation and Settlement (Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company, 1992)
  • Young, “Rethinking The Specific-General Intent Doctrine in California Criminal Law,” 63 Cal.L.Rev. 1352 (1976)
  • Young, “Attorney-Client Privilege in Federal Courts”, CEB Federal Practice Institute (California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1991-’99 editions)
  • Young, “Entrapment in Federal Bribery and Corruption Cases”, Complex Crime Journal (ABA 1994)
  • Young, “Advising the Corporate Client on the Duty to Preserve Electronic Evidence”, White Collar Crime Institute 2001 (ABA 2001)
  • Young, "Handling Federal Criminal Cases with Parallel Proceedings"  1997 Federal Practice Manual (California Attorneys for Criminal Justice 1997) 1
  • Young, “Advising the Corporate Client on the Duty to Preserve Electronic Evidence”, White Collar Crime Institute 2001 (ABA 2001) at T-19
  • Young and Mann, "Litigation and Resolution of Complex Class Actions: Increased Scrutiny and Liability for Attorneys and Accountants and Internal Investigations in the Sarbanes-Oxley Era" 14th Annual Institute: Litigation and Resolution of Class Actions  (Glasser Legal Works 2005) at 393
  • Young and Mann, "Investigation and Enforcement: Selected Issues Related to Internal Investigations, Enforcement Actions, and Wells Submissions" 7th Annual SEC Disclosure, Accounting & Enforcement Conference (Glasser LegalWorks 2005)
  • Young, "Issues General Counsel Must Consider in Navigating the Rubric of the SEC's "Reporting Up" Requirements",  Internal Investigations CLE International 2005) at B2-1
  • Young, “Shifting Boundaries” 8K Magazine (White Collar Crime Section), Fall 2006 at 34
  • Young and Nall, “Considerations When Conducting an Internal Investigation”, The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act:  Coping with Heightened Enforcement Rules, (Practising Law Institute 2008) at 317; Young, Nall and Padian (Practising Law Institute 2009) at 429
  • Young and Nall, “White-Collar Case Strategies in the Public and Non-Public Spheres”, White Collar Case Strategies: Leading Lawyers on Developing Winning Strategies, Communicating With Clients, and Navigating High-Profile Cases, (Aspatore Books, 2009) at 35
  • Member, Editorial Board, Northern District of California Digest (published by Bar Association of San Francisco), 1982-’84
  • Miscellaneous other journal and educational publications


  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Guide to World’s Leading Litigation Lawyers
  • Chambers U.S.A.:  America's Leading Business Lawyers
  • Who’s Who In America
  • Who’s Who In American Law
  • Who’s Who In California
  • Strathmore’s Who’s Who Registry
  • ABA Journal, September 1992
  • California Lawyer, August 1992
  • San Francisco Daily Journal,  January 26, 2001