Experience and


Pacific Legal Group, PC is a professional law corporation headquartered in San Francisco, California but with a practice throughout the western United States.  In addition to prosecuting and defending all stages of civil litigation and prosecuting probate claims in both California and Hawaii, our firm specializes in representing clients in appeals in the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (California, Hawaii, Washington State, Oregon, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, Alaska, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands) and the state appellate courts in California and Hawaii.  For demonstrated experience, knowledge and expertise, the firm's founder has been certified as an appellate specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization. 

Our attorneys have decades of experience in helping people and businesses resolve their disputes, both before a lawsuit has been filed and afterward, from the inception of case all the way to the United States Supreme Court.  Whether you are confronting a business dispute and hope to avoid the court system through mediation, arbitration or other alternative dispute processes, or whether you have already been through a grueling trial and are now facing an appeal, we can help. 


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Finding the right attorney is not always easy.  That is why we offer free consultations to discuss your needs and to assist you in deciding if we are the right choice for you.

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Managing Attorneys



Douglas A. Applegate

Since 1989, Doug has worked in San Francisco as a civil trial and appellate lawyer.  He has represented clients in all phases of civil litigation, and his practice has included jury trials, arbitration proceedings and bench trials, together with appeals in both the state and federal courts.  He acted as the primary appellate counsel in several leading cases that established new law, including North South Finance Corp. v. Al-Turki (2nd Cir. 1996), in which the New York federal appellate court established new standards for the extra-territorial reach of the federal racketeering laws, County of Contra Costa v. Pinole Point Properties, Inc. (Cal. App. 1994), in which the California appellate court established new rules governing the use of appraisals in eminent domain proceedings, Montgomery v. McMath (9th Cir. 2000), addressing the federal preemption doctrine under ERISA, and Zack’s, Inc. v. City of Sausalito (Cal. App. 2008), discussing the public trust doctrine and limitations on the public use of underwater streets.  Doug is certified as an appellate specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

Doug holds the highest AV 5 star peer rating from Martindale-Hubbell, is certified as a top attorney in North America by Who's Who and for more than ten years has been designated as Super Lawyer with a ranking in the top 5% of attorneys practicing in Northern California.



The Law School
The University of Chicago
Juris Doctor, 1989, with honors

University of Dayton
B.A., summa cum laude, 1986

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Activities & Affiliations

• Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
• Bar Association of San Francisco
• Who's Who in American Law, 14th edition
• Super Lawyer
• Who's Who Top Attorneys in North America

Bar Admissions

• United States Supreme Court
• State Bar of California
• State Bar of Hawaii
• United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit
• United States District Court for the Northern District of California
• United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
• United States District Court for the Central District of California
• United States District Court for the District of Hawaii
• United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin




Laura Woodward

Laura Woodward is available for probate matters at Pacific Legal Group, PC, and also continues a successful practice as a mediator. Ms. Woodward started her career at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Division of Corporation Finance, in Washington D.C., where she became the Senior Attorney in one of two tax shelter branches.  In 1976 she joined Cooley, Godward, Castro, Huddleson and Tatum in San Francisco, California, handling transactional corporate and securities work including public and private offerings, business entity formation and contract work.  In 1979, she formed her own firm, focusing on business, securities, intellectual property, real estate transactions and litigation and estate and trust work and has continuously practiced in these areas.

In 1980, Ms. Woodward was invited to serve as an arbitrator for the San Francisco Superior Court.  In 1996, she was invited to serve as a panelist in the Bar Association of San Francisco Early Settlement Program, for which she conducted more than 600 mediations, failing to settle six. She conducts private mediations and arbitrations, predominantly in estate, securities, construction, real estate, contract, employment, entity dissolution, intellectual property and other complex business disputes, both before and during litigation.

Ms. Wodoward holds the highest AV 5 star peer rating from Martindale-Hubbell.   



University of California at Berkeley
School of Law (Boalt Hall)

Juris Doctor, 1974


University of California at Davis
B.A., English, with highest honors