Pujari Davina

Davina Pujari

Partner

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Environmental and Natural Resources
Environmental and Natural Resources
San Francisco

Davina is an experienced trial attorney who has practiced environmental and criminal law for more than twenty years, handling complex matters in federal and state court. She specializes in the defense of environmental and white collar crimes, internal investigations, and environmental and civil litigation. Davina is also an expert in regulatory and administrative forums, defending companies in civil enforcement actions brought by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and state regulatory agencies.

Davina is a former prosecutor and brings a deep understanding of governmental priorities and procedures to her practice. As a Senior Assistant District Attorney with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, she investigated and prosecuted environmental and white collar cases involving the illegal disposal of hazardous waste, water pollution, false statements and reports, and obstruction of justice. As an Assistant United States Attorney in the Northern District of California, Davina investigated and prosecuted environmental cases under the Lacey Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and other federal statutes. Davina also prosecuted and tried cases involving bribery, false statements, fraud, identity theft, and use of the internet for criminal purposes.

Davina is a Board member of Outward Bound California, which provides leadership opportunities to disadvantaged young people through challenging outdoor excursions funded by scholarships. Davina’s own experiences hiking and climbing in the high Sierra and Appalachia inspire her to contribute time and energy to Outward Bound’s critical mission. Davina also volunteers with her children at Monument Crisis Center in Concord, California, providing food and support to families in need.

Representative Work

Representative Environmental Criminal Matters

  • Represented public agency in federal criminal investigation of alleged violations of the Clean Water Act and reporting laws. No charges were filed.
  • Represented company and its employees in federal criminal investigation of alleged violations of the Endangered Species Act relating to the importation and sale of listed species. No charges were filed.
  • Represented individual in federal investigation of alleged violations of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for unlawful filling in waters of the United States. No charges were filed.
  • Represented company in action by District Attorney alleging unlawful disposal of hazardous waste. Resolved case via civil settlement.
  • Represented company in action by District Attorney alleging violations of the California Accidental Release Prevention program. Resolved case via civil settlement.
  • Represented individual in state criminal prosecution for alleged taking of listed species. Charges were dismissed.
  • Represented individual in federal Clean Water Act prosecution for alleged falsification of reports and unlawful discharges to water. Negotiated resolution of case and reduction in Sentencing Guidelines calculation based on ambiguities in discharge permit.
  • Represented individual in state prosecution for overfishing. Probation granted.
  • Represented chemical company in parallel criminal/civil and state/federal investigation for labeling and marketing violations under pesticide laws. Resolved case via misdemeanor plea.
  • Represented employee in investigation and prosecution under the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships for alleged dumping of oil in ocean. Case was dismissed.
Representative White Collar Criminal Matters
  • Represented individual charged with antitrust crimes and mail fraud for alleged “bid-rigging” activities at public foreclosure auctions. Negotiated plea agreement with reduced Sentencing Guidelines calculations based on detailed financial and legal analysis.
  • Represented individual charged with bank fraud and tax evasion in context of mortgage and real estate transactions. Obtained variance from Sentencing Guidelines.
  • Represented material witness in Grand Jury investigation of alleged telemarketing billing violations.
  • Represented individual charged with distribution of controlled substances via internet pharmacy.
Representative Internal Investigations and Audits
  • Conducted internal investigation for company following threats of workplace violence by employee, including interviews of supervisors, threatened employees, and subject employee.
  • Conducted time-critical internal investigation for company victimized by employee fraud and theft. Assisted FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office in computation of loss and identification and prosecution of co-conspirators. Obtained restitution and negotiated civil settlement agreements.
  • Conducted internal investigation of alleged air violations made by internal whistleblower and provided recommendations for improved compliance protocols for major company.
  • Conducted multi-facility audit for biotechnology company regarding possible violations of environmental laws governing use and reporting of chemicals, and developed reporting strategy and protocols to minimize potential penalties.
  • Designed and conducted periodic facility audits for submittal to U.S. EPA, U.S. DOJ and private adverse company under federal, state and local emergency planning, worker safety and hazardous materials management laws, as well as applicable safety and building codes.
Representative Civil and Administrative Litigation Matters
  • Represent chemical company in complex arbitration and regulatory cases relating to cost allocation at active Superfund site.
  • Represented oil company in toxic tort litigation involving hundreds of plaintiffs, while defending company in civil and criminal actions filed by environmental agencies.

Publications

"U.S. Department of Justice Announces Elder Justice Task Force," co-author, Litigation & Dispute Resolution Alert (April 2016)

"EPA Enforcement Actions Reflect Shifting Priorities," co-author, Law.com (February 2016)

"The first stage in bringing Volkswagen to justice?" co-author, Daily Journal (January 2016)

"Criminal VW case may get messy," co-author, Daily Journal (October 2015)

“Criminal Prosecutions Signal New Era of Heightened Enforcement in Organic Food Industry,” Food Manufacturing (December 2014)

"Minority Powerbrokers Q&A: Barg Coffin's Davina Pujari," Law360 (November 2014)

"Learning from GM: Objectivity in Internal Investigations From The Experts," co-author, Corporate Counsel (May 2014)

"What Defense Counsel Can Learn From The W. Va. Spill," Law360 (February 2014)

"Frac Sites Facing Increased Scrutiny," co-author, The American Oil & Gas Reporter (January 2014)

"Environmental Criminal Investigations – Differences, Do's & Don'ts," San Francisco Daily Journal (July 2012)

See All Publications

Presentations

"Corporate Counsel Round Table," co-speaker, SABA's Annual Convention: Fueling Our Future (May 2016)

"Oxford Debater," Northern District of California Judicial Conference (April 2014)

“Navigating Environmental Accidents and Catastrophes – Government and Defense Perspectives,” moderator, Bar Association of San Francisco (November 2013)

“What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You – Internal Investigations & Environmental Crimes,” co-presenter, Bar Association of San Francisco (May 2012)

See All Presentations

Honors

Appellate Panel Member, Criminal Justice Act Panel, United States District Court, Northern District of California (2014-2017)

Northern California Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense: White Collar (2012-2016)

Trial Panel Member, Criminal Justice Act Panel, United States District Court, Northern District of California (2010-2013)

Department of Justice Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney (2002)

Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services (1999)

Medal for Commendable Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (1994)

Professional Affiliations

American Bar Association – Women in White Collar Committee; White Collar Crime Northern California Regional Subcommittee (Co-Chair)

Women’s White Collar Defense Association, Co-Chair of San Francisco Chapter

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Bar Association of San Francisco

South Asian Bar Association

Asian American Bar Association

Education

J.D., Lewis and Clark Law School (1992)

B.A., North Carolina State University (1988)

Admissions And Courts

California

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

San Francisco

415-995-5077 Direct Phone
415-995-3526 Fax

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Firm Leadership

Environmental Crimes & Investigations Practice Leader