"Even a dog knows the difference between being tripped over and kicked."

O. W. Holmes

Bruce W. Leppla

Bruce W. Leppla

San Francisco, California

A Business Leader, Innovator and Defender of Investor Rights

Bruce W. Leppla is a partner in the firm’s San Francisco office. His responsibilities include securities case evaluation and analysis, legal and financial, as well as directing the firm’s institutional investor and client outreach. Bruce was part of the litigation team on the McKesson, America Online, Broadcom, Qwest and Brooks Automation cases, with varying responsibilities that included case initiation, complaint preparation, and preparing and deposing expert witnesses on accounting and finance issues.

Bruce brings a unique set of skills to the firm’s financial fraud practice. A lawyer for over 30 years, he has also enjoyed distinguished careers in the fields of finance, real estate and technology. From 1983 to 1998, Bruce served as the CEO and President of Redwood Bank, a San Francisco-based commercial bank, which he grew into one of California's most successful regional banks and sold in 1998 at a substantial premium to a national bank. From 1993 to 1998, Bruce served as a Director of the California Bankers Association. During that period, he also served as a Guest Lecturer on real estate finance and law at U.C. Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.

In recent years, Bruce has served as Chairman and Founder or Co-Founder of Leppla Capital Management LLC, an investment securities advisory business; Susquehanna Corporation, a real estate development and management company operating in Kyushu Prefecture, Japan; the Stitzel-Leppla Company, a high fashion real estate development firm whose principal project was The Pacific Center, San Francisco, CA; C.B.I.S., a technology company offering online employee benefit programs and administration; Trusted Systems Laboratories (operating system security software); and Pantheon Research Corp., a consumer products company. He has raised over $135 million for his various start-up ventures.

Bruce has written extensively on securities law issues, serves on the Editorial Board of Wall Street Lawyer, and is a frequent speaker at both U.S. and European institutional investor conferences, including, recently, conferences of the Union Internationale des Avocats in Frankfurt and Istanbul.

Bruce is the co-author of 11 United States and international patents in electronic commerce technology and commercial product design, including the foundational patent "A Method for Storing and Retrieving Digital Data Transmissions," U.S. Patent No. 5,659,746, issued on August 19, 1997.

Areas of Practice

Areas of Practice

  • Securities & Investor Fraud


  • Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley, California
    • J.D.
    • Honors: M.G. Reade Scholarship Award
  • Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
    • B.A. (Magna Cum Laude)
    • Honors: Highest Honors in Economics
    • Major: Economics
  • University of California, Berkeley, California
    • M.S.
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Major: Quantitative Economics
    • Major: Law and Economics
Bar Admissions

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1976
  • Colorado, 2006
  • New York, 1978
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1976
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1976
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California, 1976
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1976
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
Professional Associations and Memberships

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • California Bankers Association, Director, 1993 - 1999
  • California State Small Business Development Board, 1989 - 1997
  • Community Reinvestment Institute, Founding Director, 1989 - 1990
  • National Association of Public Pension Attorneys
  • New York State Bar Association
  • San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Council, 1990 - 1992
  • State Bar of California
  • Union Internationale des Avocats, Winter Corporate Governance Seminar, Seminar Chairman, 2012
  • University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall Alumni, Board of Directors, 1993 - 1996
  • Wall Street Lawyer, Member, Editorial Board
  • Yale University Alumni Board of Directors, Director, 2001 - 2005
  • Yale Whiffenpoofs
Published Works

Published Works

  • “Stay in the Class or Opt-Out? Institutional Investors Are Increasingly Opting-Out of Securities Class Litigation,” Securities Litigation Report, West LegalWorks, Vol. 3, No. 8, September 2006
  • Co-Author with Elizabeth J. Cabraser and Joy A. Kruse, “Selected Waiver: Recent Developments in the Ninth Circuit and California, Part 2,” Securities Litigation Report, Vol. I, No. 10, pp. 1, 3-9, June 2005
  • Co-Author with Elizabeth J. Cabraser and Joy A. Kruse , "Selected Waiver: Recent Developments in the Ninth Circuit and California, Part 1," Securities Litigation Report, Vol. I, No. 9, pp. 1, 3-7, May 2005
  • Author, Co-Author of 11 different U.S. and International patents in electronic commerce and commercial product design, including “A Method for Storing and Retrieving Digital Data Transmissions,” United States Patent No. 5,659,746, issue August 19, 1997, 1997
  • "Securities Powers for Community Banks," California Bankers Association Legislative Journal, 1987


  • “Recent Developments in Cross-Border Litigation”, Union Internationale des Avocats, Frankfurt, Germany, Spring meeting, 2010
  • “Legal and Economic Aspects of Securities Class and Opt-out Litigation”, Union Internationale des Avocats, Park City, Utah, Winter Meeting, 2010
  • “Legal and Global Economic Implications of the U.S. Subprime Lending Crisis”, EPI European Pension Fund Summit, Montreux, Switzerland, May 2, 2008
  • “Impact of Spitzer’s Litigation and Attempted Reforms on the Investment Banking and Insurance Industries”, Bar Association of San Francisco, May 19, 2005
  • “Basic Principles of Securities Litigation”, Opal Financial Conference, National Public Fund System Legal Conference, Phoenix, AZ, January 14, 2005
  • “Betting on the Horse After the Race is Over—In Defense of Mutual Fund Litigation Related to Undisclosed After Hours Order Submission”, American Enterprise Institute, September 30, 2004
  • Lecturer, Lending Documentation, Financial Institutions Litigation and similar topics, California Bankers Association General Counsel Seminars, 1993 - 1996
  • Lecturer, Real Estate Law and Finance, University of California at Berkeley, Haas School of Business, 1993 - 1996
Past Employment Positions

Past Employment Positions

  • California-licensed Real Estate Broker, 2009 - Present
  • FINRA and California-licensed Registered Investment Adviser, 2008 - Present
  • Susquehanna Corporation, Chairman, 2006 - Present
  • Leppla Capital Management, LLC, Chairman, 2008 - Present
  • Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, Partner, 2004 - 2008
  • Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, Counsel, 2002 - 2003
  • California Bankers Insurance Services Inc., CEO and President, 1999 - 2001
  • Redwood Bank, CEO and President, 1985 - 1998
  • Redwood Bank, CFO and General Counsel, 1981 - 1984
  • Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, 1980
  • Davis Polk & Wardwell, 1976 - 1980

"One of the nation's premier plaintiffs' firms." American Lawyer

"Representing the best qualities of the plaintiffs' bar." The National Law Journal

National Law Journal Hot List Hall of Fame Badge 2014Best Lawyers Law Firm of the Year26 Lieff Cabraser Super Lawyers Nationwide National Law Journal Midsize Hot List Badge 2014 Benchmark Litigation