Amber Maltbie is a campaign finance and election law attorney, providing strategic counsel to individuals, nonprofits, agencies, and organizations engaged in political and lobbying activity. She has advised clients at the federal, state, and local levels and across all 50 states. Amber’s practice includes advising on campaign rules, government ethics, lobbying compliance, and all aspects of nonprofit entity formation. Additionally, she leverages the resources of Nossaman’s other practice groups to provide campaign organizations and nonprofit entities with assistance for their related employment law, tax law, and insurance needs. Amber has been recognized as an expert witness on campaign finance in both civil and administrative proceedings. She also is a frequent speaker and panelist on trending issues nationally.
In addition to her legal practice, Amber serves the community in a variety of capacities. In 2016, she was elected to the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council (DLANC), which helps shape the Los Angeles City Council’s agenda to reflect the priorities of the City’s neighborhoods. In 2019, Amber chaired the DLANC Election Committee, exercising oversight on such decisions as polling location, preparation of voter information guides, and voter outreach to ensure a high turnout election. For the past six years, Amber has served on the board of Emerge California, an organization that has trained over 500 women to run for office in California. She chaired the board during the 2018 election, which saw a record number of women run and win in California and across the country. Amber is currently on the board of APIs Mobilize, a 501c.3 nonprofit that encourage young Asian and Pacific Islander leaders to step into civic roles at all levels of government. Finally, Amber teaches Election Law at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.
Prior to her legal career, Amber spent more than a decade working in politics. She served as Communications Director to a member of the California State Legislature and Campaign Manager and Political Director for a Member of Congress. For two election cycles, Amber worked in targeted congressional districts developing and implementing voter engagement programs around the country.
Amber’s background as a seasoned political and communications professional, combined with her leadership positions within nonprofit organizations, positions her to truly partner with clients to achieve their advocacy goals.
Amber also excels in matters at the intersection between U.S. and international election law, gender issues, and women's political participation. She has been widely recognized as a leading expert in gender and elections. Her work on women's voting rights in emerging democracies has been cited in United Nations Development Programme reports and published by international NGOs. In addition to her scholarly work on women's voting rights, Amber has worked with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems in North Mitrovica, Kosovo during Kosovo’s first Parliamentary elections in 2010.
Major Donor and Political Giving. Provides strategic counsel and legal advice to nonprofits, for profits, and individuals seeking to support candidates and ballot measures in all 50 states. Political giving goals are vetted for permissibility, limits, registration requirements, reporting and disclosure.
Candidates & Campaign General Counsel. Worked with dozens of Federal and state candidates from the inception of their campaigns. Amber has advised candidate clients through contentious political battles, including fending off recall efforts and successfully pursuing enforcement actions against political opponents who were violating ethics laws.
Nonprofits. Advises 501c.3 and 501c.4 nonprofit entities on lobbying and political activities, including reporting and disclosure. Also provides advice on all aspects of entity formation, including preparing forms that must be filed with the Internal Revenue Service, Attorney General’s office, and Secretary of State’s office forms; draft bylaws, internal policies and related corporate governance materials; and navigate charitable registration requirements.
Ballot Measures. Advises on all aspects of state and local ballot measures, including drafting language, qualification and petition gathering, campaign finance obligations, and pre-election litigation challenges. Advises major donors support ballot measures on their compliance requirements.
Election Litigation. Successfully defended defamation claims against clients for allegedly libelous campaign mail. Successfully challenged opponents’ preferred candidate ballot designations, as well as defended the same.
Expert Witness. Amber was an expert witness on behalf of Redondo Beach Mayor Bill Brand and other defendants in the case Arnette Travis and Chris Voisey v. Bill Brand, Nils Nehrenheim, et al. (Los Angeles Superior Court / BC665330). The judge in the case cited to Amber’s testimony when ruling in favor of the defendants.
State and Federal "Super PACS." Advises PACS from formation, including creation of PAC bylaws, ethics and compliance training of principal officers and PAC board members, review political advertisements, and fundraising solicitations.
Government Ethics and Open Government Laws. Advises on Political Reform Act and Government Code Section 1090 conflicts of interest; sunshine laws such as the Brown Act, Bagley-Keene, and the California Public Records Act; advise government agencies and public employees on the misuse of public resources, particularly with regard to supporting or opposing ballot measures; and advice former government employees on "revolving door" restrictions when leaving state service for private employment.
Training and Manuals. Provides tailored trainings, manuals and guidebooks for clients on government ethics, campaign finance rules, gift issues for public employees, and nonprofit political activity.
Enforcement and Audits. Represents clients undergoing audit or investigations by the California Fair Political Practices Commission, Los Angeles Ethics Commission, San Francisco Ethics Commission and other local agencies.
- 01.12.2021 | Nossaman eAlert
- 11.19.2020 | Nossaman eAlert
- 07.07.2020 | Nossaman eAlert
- 05.28.2020 | Nossaman eAlert
- California’s April 1 Deadline to File Statements of Economic Interests Retroactively Extended to June 1, 202004.03.2020 | Nossaman eAlert
- 03.27.2020 | Nossaman eAlert
- California’s Campaign Watchdog Announces Guidelines for Campaign and Lobby Reporting During Stay-at-Home Orders03.25.2020 | Nossaman eAlert
- 03.24.2020 | Nossaman eAlert
- 01.14.2020 | Nossaman eAlert
- 08.08.2019 | Daily Journal
- 12.20.2018 | Law360
- 08.17.2018 | Law360
- 08.01.2011 | ElectionGuide Digest
- 06.02.2011 | IMPOWR Imprints
- 11.01.2010 | McGeorge Law Review (Vol. 41)
- 11.03.2008 | California Initiative Review
- American Bar Association CLE Webinar08.24.2020
- Campaigning in California: The Not So Wild West - Understanding the Legal Considerations for Running a CampaignEmerge California Training Course05.20.2020
- American Bar Association Webinar01.27.2020
- The Riveter x Moms in Office Program01.16.2020
- Babysitting? 'Hush' Payments? Legal Expenses? The Appropriate (and Inappropriate) Uses of Campaign Funds41st Annual Council for Governmental Ethics Laws Conference12.16.2019
- Nossaman Government Relations & Regulation Live Webcast11.05.2019
- American Bar Association's 2019 Fall CLE & Networking Conference10.11.2019
- 2018 Annual California Political Attorneys Association Retreat09.15.2018
- I Got My Toes in the Water & My PAC in the Sand: Addressing Disclosure & Enforcement Issues When Federal PACs Splash into State & Local Elections39th Annual Council on Governmental Ethics Laws Conference12.06.2017
- San Francisco County Transportation Authority Citizens Advisory Council2015
- California Center for Research on Women and Children's "Pathways to Policy" Summit2014, 2015
- Emerge California Trainings2013, 2014, 2015
- Nossaman State and Local Ethics Rules Seminar12.12.2012
- Gifts, Influence, and Public Policy - Navigating the Complex and Strict California Gift Rules for Elected Officials and Form 700 FilersTri-County Lawyers Association09.20.2012
- Tri-County Association of Latino Elected Officials Summit05.05.2012
- 11.04.2020 | Daily Journal
- 06.23.2020 | National Law Journal
- 04.2020 | Nossaman Announcement
- 10.09.2019 | Ms. Magazine and ShareBlue Media
- 04.23.2019 | Huffington Post
- 01.16.2019 | San Francisco Chronicle; Sacramento Bee
- 08.05.2015 | Super Lawyers
- 09.19.2014 | Leadership California Institute Inaugural Report
- 07.03.2014 | Super Lawyers
- 02.10.2014 | The Sacramento Bee
- 05.23.2013 | Election Law Blog
- 03.30.2013 | The Sacramento Bee
- 02.08.2013 | Sacramento Business Journal
- 12.06.2012 | The Modesto Bee
- 09.14.2012 | Access Sacramento
- 03.08.2012 | The Jerusalem Post
- Digging Out of the 2020 Elections
Community & Professional
Fair Political Practices Commission, Digital Transparency Task Force
American Bar Association, Election Law Advisory Committee
Emerge California, Board of Directors
APIs Mobilize, Board of Directors
Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council, 2016-2019
California Political Attorneys Association, Member
Fem Dems of Sacramento, Founder, Former President, General Counsel
McGeorge Capital Center Advisory Board
Honors & Recognitions
Recognized as one of the “Top Women Lawyers” by the Daily Journal, 2020
Selected to the Rising Stars list for 2014-2015, 2017, 2019
Four Witkin Awards for academic excellence, including California Initiative Seminar Traynor Honor Society
- University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D., 2009, with distinction
- Mills College, B.A., 2002, with honors
OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Election Observation Certificate