Sherry Hartel Haus

Sherry Hartel Haus

Partner / General Counsel

Sherry Hartel Haus

Partner / General Counsel

Sherry Haus is a partner in Downey Brand’s litigation practice group and serves as the Firm’s General Counsel.  

As General Counsel, Sherry Haus manages Downey Brand’s legal affairs, and serves as counselor to the Firm’s attorneys at all levels.  She oversees and advises on a vast range of matters, including litigation, policy development and enforcement, risk management, compliance, ethics, and insurance matters.

In addition to her responsibilities to the firm, Sherry is a seasoned litigator with deep experience in white collar criminal defense, securities litigation and counseling, and internal investigations. A former federal prosecutor and a former special assistant district attorney, Sherry has tried over 15 cases to verdict in federal and state courts.

Sherry’s current practice focuses on complex business litigation, white collar criminal defense, government investigations, internal investigations, and class action defense.

Sherry has extensive experience counseling and litigating on behalf of public companies, as well as officers and directors, in both civil and criminal matters. She has represented numerous Fortune 500 companies and financial institutions in investigations by DOJ, the SEC, and other government agencies. Sherry provides guidance on compliance policies and issues such as anti-money laundering requirements and conducts internal investigations for companies and their audit committees.

From 2013 to 2016, Sherry served as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) for the Eastern District of California, where she investigated, prosecuted, and tried cases for the white collar criminal division of one of the largest and busiest federal districts in the country. She focused on economic crimes including tax fraud, financial fraud, public corruption, procurement fraud, healthcare fraud, and cases involving child exploitation. As an AUSA, Sherry successfully tried multiple cases to conviction. She prosecuted a massive unemployment and disability fraud case, involving hundreds of claimants. Chief United States District Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. called the case “one of the longest-running, most sophisticated fraud schemes that [the court has] ever seen.”

Prior to her work as a federal prosecutor, Sherry specialized in white collar criminal defense and securities litigation and counseling at a major international law firm.

Sherry is staunchly committed to pro bono legal work in a variety of arenas. She has done pro bono work in the areas of criminal legislation, diplomatic immunity, and international human trafficking as well as domestic violence matters. She was a key member of a team that provided legal advice regarding amendments to a country's peace agreement. She also recently served on a team that drafted legislation to criminalize sexual extortion as part of a national effort to craft state laws to address what the FBI has identified as "by far the most significant growing threat to children" on the Internet. In 2017, Governor Brown signed SB 500, making California the 5th state to adopt laws criminalizing “sextortion,” joining Utah, Arkansas, Texas and Alabama.


  • Representation of many public companies, officers and directors, in securities class actions and parallel derivative actions and government investigations.
  • Advised Fortune 500 technology company on anti-money laundering policies.
  • Conducted internal investigation in Central America of a Fortune 500 company into alleged anti-money laundering violations related to its vendors.
  • Representation of numerous financial services companies, including banks, broker dealers, mutual funds and hedge funds, in SEC investigations involving alleged trading irregularities and insider trading
  • Advised clean energy financing company on issues related to the Bank Secrecy Act.
  • Representation of a large bank in government investigations concerning foreign exchange pricing and ERISA claims.
  • Advised major financial services institution with respect to anti-money laundering issues.
  • Successfully represented clients in the healthcare industry in civil and criminal proceedings involving the Anti-Kickback Statute and the False Claims Act.
  • Representation of medical device manufacturers in federal criminal and civil healthcare fraud investigations.
  • Obtained dismissal of a qui tam False Claims Act suit against a medical device manufacturer.
  • Obtained dismissal of class action against a major provider of student loans and its officials, which accused defendants of making false claims about the company’s loan portfolios.
  • Obtained denial of class certification in and voluntary dismissal of a securities class action for a life sciences company.

Professional, Community And Pro Bono Involvement

  • Capital Stage, Board of Directors
  • Sacramento Synchronized Swim Team, Board of Directors
  • Sacramento County Bar Association, Criminal Section, 2018
  • Federal Bar Association, Sacramento Chapter

Honors And Rankings

  • Super Lawyers, New England Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2009-2011
  • Sacramento Magazine, Top Lawyer, Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2015-2019
  • Harvard Kennedy Fellowship
  • UCLA Chancellor's Service Award

The Downey Brand Story

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