Skip to main content
Procopio Logo
Elaine F. Harwell

Elaine F. Harwell

Partner and Privacy Officer

Elaine F. Harwell


New Jersey;
New York;
USDC, Central District of California;
USDC, District of New Jersey;
USDC, Eastern District of California;
USDC, Eastern District of New York;
USDC, Southern District of California;
USDC, Southern District of New York




525 B Street, Suite 2200, San Diego, CA 92101

Office Tel.





Elaine focuses on representing clients in privacy and data security matters, including litigating claims involving privacy issues, helping clients manage emerging risks and conduct privacy risk assessments, and advising on regulatory and compliance issues. She been involved in numerous trials as well as arbitration proceedings related to contract and general business disputes, trade secret matters, complex unfair competition and business practice claims, and professional liability. Elaine has earned the ANSI-accredited Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US) and the Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) credentials through the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), and is the leader of Procopio’s Privacy and Cybersecurity practice and the firm’s Privacy Officer.

  • Represented rehabilitation center in litigation involving privacy violations and Confidentiality of Medical Information Act claims.
  • Litigated multiple consumer class action cases involving privacy issues and claims of unfair business practices.
  • Assist organizations with complying with various data privacy and security laws, including the California Consumer Privacy Act.
  • Work with clients to build data privacy programs, including forming policies and procedures around data privacy and cybersecurity.
  • Represented communications and technology company through trial in a multi-million dollar breach of contract and trade secret dispute.
  • Successfully defended national accounting firm against claims of breach of contract and unfair competition and business claims in state court trial and on appeal.

  • Super Lawyers® Rising Star, 2015-2018
  • Best Lawyers® Commercial Litigation and Consumer Law, 2024-present
  • Best of the Bar, San Diego Business Journal, 2015-2016
  • ANSI-accredited Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US), International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
  • ANSI-accredited Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM), IAPP

  • JD, Seton Hall University School of Law, 2004
  • BA, University of California, Los Angeles, 2000

  • Panelist. “Maximizing the Value of IP: Artificial Intelligence and Other Challenges,” IP Counsel Cafe, New York City, November 1, 2023.
  • Panelist. “Procopio International Litigation & Arbitration Retreat: Resolution of Conflicts involving the U.S. and Mexico,” San Diego, September 29, 2023.
  • Panelist. “Addressing Your Worries about Artificial Intelligence Security,” Bird Rock Systems panel, San Diego, CA, August 29.
  • Author. “Ten Tips for Creating an Effective Document Retention Policy,” Association of Corporate Counsel, June 23, 2023.
  • Co-presenter. “How Companies Should Navigate Increasing Privacy and Cybersecurity Complexity (Part 2),” ACC San Diego, San Diego, CA, June 8, 2023.
  • Co-presenter. “Latest Developments in Privacy Law – What’s Happening Now & What to Expect in the Near Future (Part 1),” ACC San Diego, San Diego, CA, May 16, 2023.
  • Presenter. “Do We Need to Keep This? An Overview of Document Retention Requirements,” ACC Small Law Development Network, webinar, May 11, 2023.
  • Moderator. “”Data and AI Risk: Acquiring, Protecting and Monetizing Your Data,” IP Counsel Cafe, Palo Alto, CA, May 4, 2023.
  • Panelist. “Data Sovereignty: The Free Flow of Data is Over; What Can You Do?,” Keizai Silicon Valley, Palo Alto, CA, April 13, 2023.
  • Moderator. “Privacy Law in the Courts – Updates on Class Action Developments from Both Sides of the Aisle,” California Lawyers Association Inaugural Annual Privacy Summit, Los Angeles, CA, February 9, 2023.
  • Co-presenter. “CCPA 2.0: What Companies Need to Know About the CPRA and Expiring Exemptions for Employee-Related and Business to Business Data,” Procopio Perspectives podcast, December 7, 2022.
  • Co-author. “New Class Action Litigation Aimed At Website Chat Features,” December 2, 2022.
  • Co-presenter. “Are You Exposed? What the Construction Industry Needs to Know About Cybersecurity,” Procopio’s Annual Construction Law seminar, webinar, November 10, 2022.
  • Co-presenter. “How to Tap the Insight and Influence of Mentors and Sponsors to Advance Your Career,” Women of Color CMCP, May 26, 2022.
  • Co-presenter. “What Businesses Need to Know About the CPRA and the New Enforcement Agency,” May 24, 2022, Procopio webinar with ACC San Diego (Recording).
  • Co-presenter. “The Conundrum of CPRA’s Exception and California Employment Laws,” Procopio Perspectives podcast, March 28, 2022.
  • Author. “What to Consider and How to Prepare for a New Privacy Landscape With the Approach of the California Privacy Rights Act,” Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), November 17, 2021.
  • Co-author. “U.S. Government Contractors Face Increased Risk of Cybersecurity Enforcement,” October 13, 2021.
  • Co-author. “Electronic Discovery Considerations In 2021,” June 30, 2021.
  • Co-presenter. “Latest Legal Issues In The U.S. and China In The New Biden Era – Data Privacy and Export Control Laws,” an HHP and Wolters Kluwer webinar, January 21, 2021.
  • Co-presenter. “What the Future Holds for Enforcement of Privacy Laws: What to Expect from Privacy Regulators and How to Respond,” February 9, 2021. Video and PowerPoint.
  • Speaker. “The Legal Implications of the PCI Data Security Standard,” November 5, 2020, PCI Expert Summit, RSI Security.
  • Co-author. “Ransomware Attacks Are On The Rise: Are You Prepared?,” October 30, 2020.
  • Author. “Just When You Thought You Had a Handle on California Consumer Privacy Law: Significant Recent Developments in the California Consumer Privacy Law Landscape,” October 27, 2020.
  • Co-presenter. “GDPR & the Basics of Data Privacy,” October 2, 2020, San Diego Regional EDC, MetroConnect presentation.
  • Co-presenter. “Overview of California Privacy Rights Act of 2020,” September 17, 2020, IAPP, San Diego Chapter.
  • Panelist. “CCPA Enforcement – The Actions Have Begun!” August 13, 2020, Privacy OC Webinar.
  • Co-presenter. “Part One: Navigating Anticipated CCPA Enforcement & Mitigating Litigation,” July 21, 2020, Procopio and Association of Corporate Counsel, San Diego Chapter Webinar.
  • Co-presenter. “Litigation: Big Changes or Minor Tweaks – Considerations for Managing (and Adapting) Litigation in the New Normal,” June 18, 2020, Procopio Webinar.
  • Panelist. “Trade Secrets and Cybersecurity in the COVID-19 World: Tips and Trends,” May 20, 2020.
  • Panelist. “Key Privacy and Cybersecurity Issues to Address During COVID-19,” April 2, 2020.
  • Author. “Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Considerations During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” March 24, 2020.
  • Panelist. “CCPA. Opens the Floodgates of Litigation. Or Does it?” Privacy OC Conference, Tustin, California, January 28, 2020.
  • Author. “The California Consumer Privacy Act’s Applicability to Tribes and Tribal Gaming Enterprises,” January 2020
  • Panelist. “The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018,” Procopio Webinar, San Diego, December 5, 2019.
  • Speaker. “California Consumer Privacy Act: The Basics,” Kojima Law Seminar, Tokyo, Japan, November 19, 2019.
  • Panelist. “Key Legal Issues in California,” TMI Associates Seminar, Tokyo, Japan, November 18, 2019.
  • Panelist. “Data Protection & Privacy and its Effects on Businesses Worldwide,” Meritas Asia Regional Meeting, Manila, Philippines, November 14, 2019.
  • Speaker. “Data Privacy for Startups,” Procopio seminar for Launchpad Incubator Program, San Diego, November 6, 2019.
  • Panelist. “CCPA Summit: Privacy, Technology, and Law Firm Growth in the Digital Age,” Alameda County Bar Association, Oakland, California, November 1, 2019.
  • Speaker. “Updates on Data Privacy in California and the United States,” LINE and Intertrust Privacy Summit, Paris, October 29, 2019.
  • Panelist. “Global Privacy Update,” LINE X / Intertrust Privacy Summit Fall 2019, Paris, France, October 29, 2019.
  • Speaker. “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You (Part II): Top Tips for Minimizing Your Data Breach Risks,” Access Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley, October 23, 2019.
  • Author. “Privacy Regulations Proposed for CCPA by CA Attorney General,” October 21, 2019.
  • Speaker. “What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You Part I: The Top 3 Data Privacy Laws Every Startup Needs to Know About,” Access Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley, September 25, 2019.
  • Moderator. “The Privacy Tsunami: The GDPR is here.  The CCPA is coming.  Have you prepared?” Keizai Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley, September 24, 2019.
  • Speaker. “Compliance Seminar: A New California Privacy Law Goes into Effect in 2020,” Procopio Seminar, Silicon Valley, September 12, 2019.
  • Panelist. “You’ve Been Hacked!” Mortgage Innovators Conference, San Diego, August 12, 2019.
  • Author. “Keeping Up With the Latest on the California Consumer Privacy Act,” August 5, 2019.
  • Author. “What Will the California Consumer Privacy Act Actually Bring in 2020?,” May 23, 2019.
  • Panelist. “Become Cyber-Trained In-House Counsel, Part Three,” Procopio seminar with ACC San Diego, May 21, 2019.
  • Moderator. “Become Cyber-Trained In-House Counsel, Part Two,” Procopio seminar with ACC San Diego, April 16, 2019.
  • Panelist. “Become Cyber-Trained In-House Counsel, Part One,” Procopio seminar with ACC San Diego, March 26, 2019.
  • Speaker. “The California Consumer Privacy Act: What You Need to Know Now,” ACC San Diego, March 14, 2019.
  • Author. “Expanded Private Right of Action Proposed for California Consumer Privacy Act,” February 27, 2019.
  • Speaker. “GDPR & CCPA Workshop,” San Diego Regional Economic Development Council, February 26, 2019.
  • Panelist. “Private Eyes are Watching You: The Lawyer’s Role in Cyber Security and Data Privacy,” Public Interest Law Foundation, Thomas Jefferson Law School, September 7, 2018.
  • Moderator. “An Update on Cyber Insurance: Emerging Insurance Coverage & Allocation Issues,” Perrin Conference, Philadelphia, April 11, 2018.
  • Panelist. “Cyber Security Panel Discussion,” inewsource, San Diego State University, April 3, 2018.
  • Author. “No Signs of Slowing Down: Privacy Litigation Update,” For the Defense (DRI), October 2017.
  • Speaker. “Privacy Litigation Update,” DRI Cybersecurity and Data Privacy Conference, Chicago, September 7, 2017.
  • Author. “You May Not be Covered for that Fraudulent Wire Transfer,” Law360, November 4, 2016.
  • Panelist. “Nightmares on Cyber Street: Recent Developments in Data Privacy Litigation and Cyber Insurance Coverage,” San Diego County Bar Association, October 17, 2016.

  • California Lawyers Association, Privacy Law Section Executive Committee
  • San Diego County Bar Association’s Service Members Civil Relief Act Pro Bono Panel Program, assisting active duty military personnel
  • Lawyers Club of San Diego, active leader and member
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers of San Diego, member
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals, member
  • Meritas, Vice Chair of US/Canada Data Privacy Practice Group


Send a message to Elaine F. Harwell