Pamela Price


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Pamela Price earned a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University in 1978. She moved to California and attended Boalt Hall School of Law, where she earned her J.D. and M.A. in Jurisprudence & Social Policy in 1982. In 1983, she was admitted to practice law in California. She was emancipated at the age of 16 after surviving the Ohio juvenile justice and foster care systems.

Courageous Civil Rights Attorney

Sexual Harassment Cases

In June 1991, Pamela Price established her own civil litigation practice. The firm specialized in cases involving racial and sexual harassment. Price represented a female correctional Sergeant who worked at San Quentin for sixteen (16) years in a sexual harassment case against the California Department of Corrections in Marin County in 1993. Following a six (6) week court trial, the judge ruled that Price’s client had been sexually harassed by two of her supervisors and awarded compensatory and punitive damages totaling more than $1.3 million. The verdict was the largest ever for sexual harassment against the CDC at the time.

On behalf of a young female employee identified only as Alice A., Price obtained the largest settlement for a sexual harassment case ever against the City of Oakland in 1999 for $825,000. Price settled a second sexual harassment case against the City of Oakland for $750,000 in February 2001 on behalf of a minor victim identified only as Tonsa B., who worked for the same City supervisor.

In the case of Pesce v. CDC, Price won the largest sexual harassment verdict ever recorded in Amador County in December 1999, for $629,000, on behalf of another female correctional officer. In the case of Freitag v. CDC, Price won a $600,000 verdict for sexual harassment on behalf of another female correctional officer, including punitive damages, against the Warden and two Associate Wardens of Pelican Bay State Prison in April 2003. As a result of Deanna Freitag’s case, the CDC instituted a groundbreaking statewide policy to address inmate sexual harassment of female officers. The Pelican Bay pilot project also resulted in new CDCR regulations and legislation to address the problem of sexual harassment and assaults on women working inside prisons.

In the case of Underwood v. CDC, a Solano County jury awarded Price and her client $1,025,684 in a sexual harassment case against the CDCR in November 2007. In the case of Sanchez v. CDCR, a Fresno jury awarded Price and her client $565,000 in a sexual harassment case against CDCR in June 2015. In 2016, the settlement was the largest paid by the State of California that year.

Racial Harassment Case – Morgan v. Amtrak

Price made legal history in Morgan v. Amtrak, 232 F.3d 1008 (9th Cir. 2000), 536 U.S. 101, 112 S.Ct. 1516 (2002), by successfully appealing a defense verdict in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal and then arguing her case before the United States Supreme Court. Price is one of only a few African-American women to have argued a case before the United States Supreme Court. Price was named the 2002 California Lawyer Attorney of the Year in Employment for her pioneering efforts on behalf of Abner Morgan (CLAY Award). After a ten (10) year battle with Amtrak, Price won a $500,000 verdict for Mr. Morgan in May 2004.

Historic Cases

Price made legal history in Jones v. K-Mart, et al. (1998) 17 Cal.4th 3298, Nicole M. v. Martinez Unified School District (N.D.Cal. 1997) 964 F.Supp. 1369, and Freitag v. Ayers, 468 F.3d 528 (9th Cir. 2006), cert. denied, 549 U.S. 1323, 127 S.Ct. 1918. (2007).

Awards & Honors

  • 2018 – African American Policy Forum Pauli Murray Trailblazer Award
  • 2017 – Assembly District 18 Woman of the Year
  • 2016 – National Lawyers Guild (S.F. Bay Area Chapter) Champion of Justice
  • 2015 –  BWOPA/TILE (Richmond-Contra Costa) Ella Hill Hutch Honoree
  • 2012 –  NAACP (Hayward-South Alameda Chapter) Annual Service Award
  • 2012  – Nine Most Influential Actors in Title IX’s History (ACLU)
  • 2011  –  National Bar Association’s Heman Marion Sweatt Award
  • 2010 –  CAERP Arthur A. Fletcher Award of Achievement
  • 2010 –  S.F. LCCR 2009 Living The Dream Award
  • 2005 – Gamma Phi Delta Sorority Community Service Award
  • 2003 – CAERP Founders Award of Achievement
  • 2003 – Flyaway Productions’ Ten Women Campaign Award
  • 2002 – CABL’s 2002 Nominee for the ABA’s Margaret Brent Award
  • 2002 – California Lawyer Attorney of the Year in Employment
  • 1993, 2001  –  Charles Houston Bar Clinton W. White Advocacy Award
  • 1992   – Conn. Women’s Education & Legal Fund Maria Stewart Award
  • 1980 – BALSA George Benjamin Daniels Award for Community Service