Stephanie Wargo-Wilson brings over 14 years of litigation experience to Bonjour, Thorman, Burns, Dahm & Wargo. She served as a deputy public defender in the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office from 2002 until 2014. As a deputy public defender, Stephanie helped to defend thousands of people who could not otherwise afford an attorney, and was trained to lofty standards of excellence in criminal defense. Stephanie worked on cases ranging from misdemeanors to homicides, and tried numerous cases to verdict. She has a reputation as a zealous advocate who uses intelligence, strategy, and good judgment to achieve great results for her clients.
Stephanie served in the misdemeanor, domestic violence, felony, and research units of the Public Defender’s office. As a research attorney, for three years she trained new attorneys, attorneys moving from the misdemeanor unit to the felony unit, and volunteer attorneys. She also conducted monthly trainings to keep all of the lawyers updated on developments in criminal law and relevant new cases. Stephanie handled thousands of misdemeanor and felony cases, involving a diverse array of crimes, including all forms of theft, fraud and identity theft, multiple defendant matters, “Three Strikes” cases, vehicular manslaughter, attempted murder, driving under the influence (DUI), drug possession and sales, sex crimes, theft, burglary, robbery, gang crimes, domestic violence and stalking, assault and battery, and illegal weapons possession.
Over the years Stephanie has given presentations outside of the Public Defender’s Office on domestic violence defenses, closing arguments, cross examination, and trial skills for the California Public Defenders Association, and at Hastings and University of California at Berkeley law schools.
Stephanie then worked for Kazan, McClain, Satterley & Greenwood, the premier plaintiff’s side asbestos litigation firm in Oakland. There, she worked in the law and motion unit, writing motions and conducting research on each of the firm’s trial cases.
Stephanie graduated from the University of California Los Angeles School of Law in 2001, with the distinction of Order of the Coif.1 While at UCLA, she was a board member and volunteer at the UCLA Free Legal Clinic, held every other Sunday at the FAME Renaissance Church in South Central Los Angeles. The FAME Legal Clinic provides services to thousands of low-income residents in the greater Los Angeles area.
During law school, Stephanie worked at Bet Tzedek Legal Services, fighting against landlords who failed to maintain their properties, resulting in tenants living in unsafe and uninhabitable conditions. She also clerked at the Los Angeles Federal Public Defender’s Office, in the Capital Habeas Unit. There, she worked exclusively on federal habeas corpus petitions for prisoners on death row in California.
Stephanie was also privileged to extern during law school for the Honorable Harry Pregerson, who served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
At Vassar College, Stephanie double majored in mathematics and psychology. Her background in math and science renders her fearless in the face of forensic evidence such as fingerprints, DNA, ballistics, handwriting, band toxicology analysis.
- UCLA School of Law, Los Angeles, CA (J.D., 2001)
- Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, Mathematics and Psychology (B.A., 1998)
- United States District Court, Northern and Central districts
1 The Order of the Coif is an honorary scholastic society the purpose of which is to encourage excellence in legal education by fostering a spirit of careful study, recognizing those who as law students attained a high grade of scholarship, and honoring those who as lawyers, judges and teachers attained high distinction for their scholarly or professional accomplishments.