Scotia is an experienced appellate attorney and civil litigator, who has briefed and argued appeals before the federal and California state courts of appeal, as well as before the California Supreme Court and the United States Supreme Court.

She specializes in appeals and critical motions, and has more than 10 years of experience in business litigation.  She has represented clients at trial and on appeal, in high-stakes disputes in the areas of business torts, contracts, intellectual property, real estate and construction, and state and local tax litigation. In addition to her business litigation practice, Scotia has a passion for representing clients in immigration and civil rights matters.

Scotia received her B.A. in Psychology and East Asian Languages from the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with high honors. She then obtained her M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Arizona, where her primary research focus was on the use of criminal profiling as an investigative tool.

Scotia received her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where she was a Notes and Comments Editor for the California Law Review. While in law school, Scotia won the American Jurisprudence Award in Appellate Advocacy, and the Prosser Award in First Amendment Constitutional Law.

Away from the office, Scotia teaches Appellate Advocacy at Berkeley Law, directs the McBaine Honors Moot Court Competition, and has coached Berkeley Law’s National Moot Court Competition Teams for over 10 years. Outside of work, Scotia can be found spending time with her husband and two young children. She enjoys cooking, YA fiction, and ballet.

Scotia Hicks

(510) 833-7339

Successful Cases

  • Obtained–and successfully defended on appeal–summary judgment for a national bank in litigation alleging that a former employee committed fraud and violated California’s Unfair Competition Law.
  • Secured an appellate court victory upholding a costs and attorney fee award following a trial court victory involving a property tax assessment.
  • Represented a Fortune 500 wine, beer and spirits company before the California Supreme Court, on appeal of the trial court’s ruling on a writ of mandate.
  • Prevailed on two successive appeals of a final order of removal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in an immigration case.
  • First-chaired a successful defense of a critically acclaimed artist and designer against breach-of-contract claims in a AAA arbitration hearing.
  • Obtained a $5.3 million award in client’s favor (including recovery of attorney fees) following a two-week complex commercial and construction arbitration hearing concerning a large commercial solar energy project.
  • Successfully defended a Fortune 100 technology company against contract and business tort claims in a week-long JAMS arbitration hearing.
  • Conducted offensive and defensive representation of a Fortune 100 company in connection with business torts, breach of contract, trade secrets, and IP rights.
  • Represented the foundation of DHL founder Larry L. Hillblom against an heir’s claims to more than $600 million in estate funds.
  • Represented a beneficiary of the late comedian Joey Bishop’s trust in an action to set aside Bishop’s gifts to his attorneys, and for related damages.
  • Represented employees of a national pipeline company in connection with a criminal investigation and trial for environmental crimes.
  • Counseled and prepared multiple clients in response to DOJ subpoenas and reported violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • Obtained settlements on behalf of two arrestees who alleged violation of their civil rights by police and correctional officers.

Publications and Presentations



  • Hicks, S.J. and Sales, B.D., Criminal Profiling: Developing an Effective Science and Practice. APA Books 2006.
  • “An Evaluation of Juvenile Sex Offender Policy” Paper presentation at the American Psychology-Law Society Annual Conference, March 4, 2004.
  • Becker, J.V., Hicks, S.J.: “Juvenile Sex Offenders: Characteristics, interventions, and policy issues.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Vol. 989, 397-410 (2003).
  • Arean, P.A., Alvidrez, J., Barrera, A. Robinson, G., Hicks, S. “Would older medical patients use psychological services?” Gerontologist, 392-398 (2002).