Angelica Acosta Samaniego returned to Varner & Brandt’s Riverside litigation team in 2015 after accepting a special assignment position with a law enforcement oversight agency in 2008. Angelica brings over 15 years of both private and public sector legal experience to Varner & Brandt.
Her private sector practice focuses primarily on civil litigation involving a wide variety of areas of law. Angelica’s public sector experience involved representation of numerous public entities on litigation matters, including governmental tort claims, CEQA matters and defense of law enforcement in use of force cases.
Additionally, Angelica was an attorney for a nationally recognized oversight agency in Los Angeles called the Office of Independent Review (OIR). At the OIR, Angelica provided civilian oversight for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau’s investigations into officer misconduct, use of force, officer involved shootings and other critical incidents.
Angelica has successfully litigated hundreds of cases from start to finish. While most civil cases in California settle before heading to trial, Angelica has served as lead trial counsel for several cases. She obtained a 2018 defense verdict for one of Varner & Brandt’s largest business clients where the potential exposure was in the multi-millions. She has a deep passion for the law and creatively brings that passion into the courtroom for all her clients.
Angelica has been recognized for service by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Sheriff of Los Angeles for service to the citizens of Los Angeles County and the National Association for Equal Justice in America for service to the Black and Latino communities. She has presented to criminal justice students regarding officer involved shootings and was recently honored to be the keynote speaker for La Sierra University’s 2019 graduating class, Criminal Justice Division.
Angelica received two B.A degrees, Political Science and Liberal Studies, with honors from California State University at Fullerton and her Juris Doctorate from Fowler School of Law (formerly known as Chapman Law School).
- Business Litigation
- Trial Practice - Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego Counties
- Insurance Defense
- Personal Injury
- Public Entity Representation
Honors & Awards
- Dean's Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy and Advanced Evidence, Chapman University School of Law
- Regional Finalist, Mock Trial ALTA Competitions 2003 and 2004
- First President, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, California State University at Fullerton
Community Involvement & Pro Bono
- Volunteer, Attorney Judge for the Riverside High School Mock Trial Competition
- Chapman University School of Law (Fowler School of Law), JD, 2004
- California State University at Fullerton, BA, with Honors, 1999
- The State Bar of California
- Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Supreme Court of California
- Riverside County Bar Association
- San Bernardino County Bar Association