Chief Legal Counsel

Margaret Baumgartner

Margaret Baumgartner

Margaret Baumgartner joined the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office (SFSO) as Chief Legal Counsel in April 2020.

A member of SFSO’s executive management team, Baumgartner provides legal counsel on a variety of subjects including criminal and labor law, civil proceedings, department policies and procedures, legislative matters, and memoranda of understanding. She also serves as the department liaison with the Office of the City Attorney.

She brings 29 years of experience to the SFSO from her career as a legal advisor and litigator at the San Francisco’s Office of the City Attorney. In that role, Baumgartner acted as lead counsel on more than 15 jury trials, including high-profile officer-involved shooting cases, a testament to her extensive knowledge of the law, persuasive communication skills, and finely-tuned legal analysis and strategy skills.

Baumgartner also served on the City Attorney’s labor team, where she advised City departments on employment- and labor-related matters, litigated employment cases in state, federal, and appellate courts, and negotiated collective bargaining agreements. She also served as the Public Safety General Advice Counsel, providing legal counsel to law enforcement and other public safety agencies.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Juris Doctor, summa cum laude, from the University of San Francisco School of Law. 

A triathlete, Baumgartner is married with two adult children. She loves to read, cook, and eat when she isn’t working or training for the next triathlon.