Winifred Botha

Deputy County Counsel

Winifred Botha joined the Office of the County Counsel in 1999.  Winifred started her legal career as a prosecutor, trying hundreds of cases, including complex homicide with aggravating circumstances, robbery, fraud, burglary, and industrial crimes.  She next worked as a Law Clerk, Attorney, and Partner at a number of private law firms in Alaska and California, where she handled a large variety of civil-defense lawsuits, including products liability, significant personal injury, and insurance bad faith.

At County Counsel’s Office, she started as a litigation attorney, defending the County in a variety of lawsuits, including 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil-rights violations, dangerous conditions of public property, and employment claims.  Winifred was promoted to Lead Deputy County Counsel in 2002 overseeing Litigation, and to her present position as an Assistant in 2005.  As an Assistant, Winifred is part of Executive Management and has been overseeing many practice areas, including Litigation, Land Use and Planning, Impact Litigation, Worker’s Compensation, Legislation, Probate, and Disaster Planning.

Winifred’s professional expertise includes:

  • Complex litigation in state and federal courts
  • 42 U.S.C. § 1983 litigation
  • Appellate litigation
  • Risk management


  • University of South Africa, LL.B., 1984
  • University of Pretoria, B Juris, 1980 (Merit Award)
    • Department of Justice Scholarship (1977-1979)

Professional Associations

  • Santa Clara County Bar Association (1990-present)
    • Federal Courts Committee (2013-present)

Prior Experience

  • Partner and Associate at Williams, Pinelli & Cullen, San Jose, California (1997-1999)
  • Attorney at Green, Chauvel, Descalso and Tully, San Mateo, California (1995-1997)
  • Attorney at Popelka, Allard/Jones, LaMore, et al., San Jose, California (1989-1995)
  • Law Clerk at Staley, DeLisio, Cook & Sherry, Fairbanks, Alaska (1986-1989)
  • Advocate at Supreme Court of South Africa (1984-1985)
  • Control Prosecutor of Regional Courts; Regional Court Prosecutor; Control Prosecutor of Prosecutions; Statutory and Industrial Court Prosecutor; District Court Prosecutor, South Africa (1979-1984)


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