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 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.
- 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
- University of Houston Law Center, J.D., 1997
- University of Southern California, M.A., 1994
- University of Southern California, B.A., 1992
- 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 District of Colorado
- United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- Member, Garland R. Walker American Inn of Court, 2021-2023
- Fellow, Trial Lawyer Honorary Society of Litigation Counsel of America, 2015
Featured Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- Southern District of Texas 2022 Bench Bar Conference, An Update on Discovery and Proportionality, Panelist, Houston, Texas, October 25, 2022
- 38th Annual Fall Institute on Intellectual Property Law sponsored by Houston Intellectual Property Association, Judicial Panel, Panelist, Galveston, Texas, September 29, 2022
- Webinar sponsored by the American Health Lawyers Association, The Future of the False Claims Act and Qui Tam Litigation: Emerging Trends and Issues for Health Plans and Providers, Featured Speaker, February 28, 2018
- 5th Advanced Forum on False Claims & Qui Tam Enforcement, How the USDOJ and Relator’s Counsel Interact: Cases When They Work Together and Considerations When They Don’t, Featured Speaker, New York, New York, January 29, 2018
- Healthcare Enforcement Compliance Institute, Handling a Criminal Healthcare Fraud Case, Featured Speaker, Washington, D.C., October 23, 2016
- Fraud Against the Government & SEC Whistleblower Actions Training, The Government as the Victim-Interplay of the False Claims Act and Securities Fraud, Panelist, Atlanta, Georgia, February 18, 2016
- Fraud Against the Government & SEC Whistleblower Actions, Putting a Case Together, Panelist, November 2015
- Law Seminars International’s Third Annual Conference on Litigating Class Actions, Recent Developments in Qui Tam Litigation and Parallel Government Investigations, Featured Speaker, Chicago, Illinois, December 9, 2013
- National Health Care Fraud Training at the National Advocacy Center conducted by the Executive Office for United States Attorneys, Featured Speaker, June 2012
- National Health Care Fraud Training conducted by the FBI, Featured Speaker, May 2012