Deborah B. Caplan was a partner at Olson Hagel & Fishburn LLP until December 31, 2016, and served as the Firm's Managing Partner for a number of years.
On January 1, 2017, Ms. Caplan became "of counsel" with the firm.
Ms. Caplan is certified by the California State Bar as an appellate specialist. Ms. Caplan's practice focuses on litigation matters, although she also plays a role in political advising, particularly in the area of conflicts of interest. She has extensive experience in ballot litigation and pre-election review of initiatives and referenda and has been successful in removing several proposed measures from the ballot. She has been involved in litigation on state mandates and other state regulatory matters, campaign finance, public pensions, and a number of education-related issues, including education finance and challenges to State Board of Education action. She represented the California Democratic Party in the constitutional challenge to the McCain-Feingold law before a federal three-judge panel and the U.S. Supreme Court, and she has argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals (District of Columbia), the U.S. District Court (Eastern District of California), the California Supreme Court, and several California Courts of Appeal.
Ms. Caplan received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola Marymount University and her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. in 1979. She was a Professor of Clinical Law at George Washington University Law School until 1992, specializing in administrative law and general civil practice. She relocated to Sacramento in 1992 and clerked for the Honorable David Russell, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District. She subsequently served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law until she joined Olson Hagel & Fishburn in 1998.
She is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the California Political Attorneys Association and the Sacramento County Bar.