Sam S. Sheldon

Sam S. Sheldon



Sam Sheldon is a partner in Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP’s San Diego office, where he focuses on securities fraud and other complex civil litigation. Before joining the Firm in January 2024, Sam served more than five years as a United States Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of Texas, primarily in Houston. He wrote opinions in almost every area of the law, including securities fraud, intellectual property, class actions, labor and employment, False Claims Act, and criminal law.

Before taking the federal bench, Sam was a partner with Quinn Emanuel in the Washington, D.C. office and headed the firm’s Health Care Practice Group. He represented plaintiffs in landmark cases brought under the federal False Claims Act.

Sam previously served as Chief of the Health Care Fraud Unit in the DOJ Criminal Division in Washington, D.C., where he oversaw the prosecution of federal health care fraud throughout the United States. He also was an Assistant United States Attorney in Texas. Earlier in his career, Sam was a partner with Cozen O’Connor in the San Diego office.

Sam has tried 25 cases as a federal prosecutor and civil litigator. He received numerous awards for his successful federal prosecutions from the DOJ and other federal agencies including the Special Achievement Award presented by the United States Attorney General. Sam has also been named a Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer by Lawdragon.

Sam is most proud of his pro bono accomplishments, including successfully persuading Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama to grant eight federal clemency petitions. Feature stories describing his legal victories have appeared in The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, Los Angeles Daily Journal, The San Diego-Union Tribune, San Diego Lawyer, ABC Nightly News, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. A victory in one of Sam’s pro bono cases was selected by the Editor of The American Lawyer as the “Most Inspiring Pro Bono Win of 2015.”

Sam grew up in San Diego and received his Bachelor of Arts degree and Master of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Southern California, where he proudly served as the Student Body President. Sam received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Houston Law Center.


  • Leading Plaintiff Financial Lawyer, Lawdragon, 2024
  • Prosecutor Leadership Award presented by the Inspector General for the United States Department of Health and Human Services, 2013
  • Special Award from the Director of the FBI for excellent work with the Medicare Fraud Taskforce, 2013
  • Exceptional Service Award presented by the United States Assistant Attorney General, 2011
  • Special Achievement Award presented by the United States Attorney General for Sustained Superior Performance of Duty, 2010
  • International Achievement Award from the Assistant Director of the Department of Homeland Security for prosecuting the first illegal exportation of goods case in the Southern District of Texas (under 18 U.S.C. §554), 2010
  • Special Award from the Director of the FBI for prosecuting the first agricultural fraud case in the United States (under 7 U.S.C. §7711), 2009

Practice Areas


  • University of Houston Law Center, J.D., 1997
  • University of Southern California, M.A., 1994
  • University of Southern California, B.A., 1992


  • California
  • District of Columbia
  • United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Federal Circuits
  • United States District Courts for the Central and Southern Districts of California
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas


Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Garland R. Walker American Inn of Court, 2021-2023
  • Fellow, Trial Lawyer Honorary Society of Litigation Counsel of America, 2015
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