207. An Insider's View of United States of America v. Pacific Gas and Electric Company

DATE: Friday, July 21, 2017      TIME: 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
LOCATION: USPTO, 1st floor, California Room

On September 9, 2010, a high pressure gas transmission pipeline explosion occurred just south of San Francisco in San Bruno, California, resulting in 8 deaths, numerous injuries and massive property damage. Numerous legal actions and regulatory proceedings then followed, including a 28-count federal criminal case for violations of federal pipeline safety regulations and obstruction of the NTSB investigation. While corporate criminal cases rarely go to trial, the PG&E case was tried to a jury in a U.S. District Court in San Francisco in the summer of 2016. You will have a rare look at what was involved in trying a corporate criminal case from the defendant’s perspective. This panel discussion will be led by the former general counsel of PG&E who participated in managing every aspect of this case and one of the lead trial lawyers who tried the case for the company.

No CLE credit will be provided for this panel.


Hyun Park

Senior Vice President and Special Counsel to the Chairman, PG&E Corporation

Hyun Park, with over 25 years in the legal sector, is senior vice president and special counsel to the Chairman of PG&E Corporation. From November, 2006 to February, 2017, he served as senior vice president and general counsel for PG&E Corporation and its businesses, including its principal subsidiary, Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Prior to joining PG&E Corporation in 2006, he was vice president, general counsel and secretary at Allegheny Energy, Inc. Park previously served as senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary of Sithe Energies, Inc. He also was a partner with the law firm of Latham & Watkins, where he specialized in corporate transactions and finance. Park is a graduate of Harvard Law School. In addition, he holds a graduate degree in economics from Oxford University and a bachelor's degree in economics from Columbia University. He is a member of the State Bar of California and serves on the boards of directors of the SF-Marin Food Bank and Council of Korean Americans.

Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP

Margaret Tough

Margaret Tough is a litigation partner with Latham & Watkins LLP in its San Francisco office. She is an experienced civil and criminal trial lawyer. Her practice focuses on protecting individuals and companies facing complex attacks on multiple fronts by plaintiffs, regulators, and prosecutors. She recently represented Pacific Gas and Electric Company in a series of matters (civil, regulatory and criminal) arising from a tragic natural gas pipeline rupture in San Bruno, California. Ms. Tough tried a rare corporate criminal case in a two month jury trial in federal court in San Francisco, reducing the company’s exposure by more than 99%: from over US$1.1 billion to just US$3 million. In addition to her trial work, Ms. Tough has also successfully defended many clients facing complex civil cases and government investigations and has conducted numerous internal investigations in the United States and around the world. Ms. Tough has been recognized among the top women lawyers in California by the Daily Journal and as a “rising star” by Chambers.