A co-host of the twice Emmy-nominated Hot Bench (CBS Television Distribution), Tanya Acker is also host of The Tanya Acker Show podcast. Her first book, MAKE YOUR CASE: Finding Your Win in Civil Court, releases in October 2020 from Diversion Books.
Tanya is an experienced civil litigator who has represented a wide array of clients, from major automobile manufacturers in high stakes product liability litigation to media companies in hotly contested trade secret disputes. She has been a featured commentator on various broadcasts (Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, The O’Reilly Factor, Larry King Live, CNN Reports, Anderson Cooper 360, Your World With Neil Cavuto, CNBC Reports, HLN’s Special Report, Great Britain’s GMTV and Sky News, among others) and has guest co-hosted CNBC’s Power Lunch. C Magazine included her in an election season profile on noteworthy California women in politics and Women Inc. recently named her one of 2019’s Most Influential Corporate Board Directors. Tanya also has contributed to the Huffington Post and served as a Temporary Judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court Temporary Judge Program.
While a student at Yale Law School, Tanya represented low-income women in family law cases and served as a teaching assistant in Constitutional Law and Civil Procedure courses. She also worked at the Office of White House Counsel, the Civil Rights Division in the United States Department of Justice, and the private law firms Irell & Manella, O’Melveny & Myers, and Williams & Connolly; at Williams & Connolly, she assisted President Clinton’s personal lawyers with press interviews, worked on the preparation of Congressional testimony for pending product liability legislation, and researched First Amendment issues. After graduating from Yale, Tanya served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Dorothy Wright Nelson on the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. After her clerkship, the Office of the Solicitor General in the U.S. Department of Justice awarded Tanya a Bristow Fellowship. While working as a Bristow Fellow, Tanya drafted Supreme Court briefs and helped prepare the Solicitor General for oral argument before the High Court. Among the cases on which Tanya worked was Clinton v. Jones, where she assisted both the Solicitor General and President Clinton’s personal attorneys in preparing for oral argument.
In private practice, Tanya’s legal work spanned a broad variety of matters, from civil litigation involving public and private entities, to various constitutional cases, to the provision of business counseling and advice. She also maintained a commitment to pro bono work, receiving the ACLU’s First Amendment Award for her successful representation of a group of homeless individuals against the City of Santa Barbara. Tanya later worked in entertainment industry outreach for the Kerry/Edwards presidential campaign and as Deputy Campaign Manager for the Los Angeles mayoral campaign of City Councilman Bernard C. Parks. After that, she worked as the General Counsel of a company that manufactured emissions control products.
Tanya received her B.A. degree from Howard University in 1992, where she graduated summa cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She was awarded a Luard Scholarship for study at St. Anne’s College at Oxford University, and served there as the co-editor-in-chief of the Oxford University Women’s Magazine. At Yale Law School, she was awarded an Earl Warren Scholarship by the NAACP and a Coker Fellowship by the Yale faculty.
Tanya maintains an active involvement in various philanthropic, civic and business organizations. A volunteer with Love Takes Root, she has traveled to Haiti to work in a clinic and orphanage founded by that organization. She is a member of the Beverly Hills West (CA) chapter of The Links, Incorporated and additionally serves on the boards of Public Counsel; the Western Justice Center; the Boy Scouts of America; PacWest Bancorp; and also as a trustee of the Pacific Battleship Center, which operates the Battleship USS IOWA Museum. She is also a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the Yale Law Fund Board.