Professional Biography
Image of Samantha Ettari-Contreras

Samantha V. Ettari Senior Counsel

  • Dallas

    T +1.214.965.7700

    F +1.214.965.7799


    500 North Akard Street, Suite 3300

    Dallas, TX 75201-3347




Samantha Ettari counsels clients on privacy, data security, and data management. She has significant experience with legal, practical, and reputational risk counseling, often in the context of mergers, acquisitions, and technology-driven strategic and investment transactions. She advises clients on both domestic and international privacy statutes and regulations, as well as cross-border transfers of data.

Sam represents clients in data access, data sharing, data transfers, and vendor management matters, as well as data breach management, readiness, and prevention, incident response, law enforcement coordination, and post-breach recovery. She assists clients in drafting and implementing global privacy policies, terms of use, data retention policies, information security procedures, and incident response and breach communication plans.

Sam has an extensive and diverse background in commercial litigation, including complex contract and licensing disputes, advertising litigation, business torts, consumer fraud defense securities suits, and regulatory investigations defense—all of which she brings to her privacy and data security work. She has first- and second-chaired numerous federal and state trials and hearings, as well as domestic and international arbitrations. Her cybersecurity experience includes working with clients in the aftermath of security incidents and man-in-the-middle attacks, helping clients establish robust privacy programs, and advising on vendor and licensing agreements that contemplate the transfer and security of data. She has advised leading private equity firms, SaaS service providers, and e-commerce clients on privacy and data security issues in technology-driven acquisitions.

As a seasoned litigator, Sam also has significant experience guiding clients through their obligations in the rapidly evolving area of electronic discovery, including implementing timely legal holds, minimizing spoliation, preserving and collecting evidence, and establishing and complying with information governance and email, text, and social media use policies.

Sam is a Certified Information Privacy Professional for the European Union (CIPP/E) and for the United States (CIPP/U) and a Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM). Prior to her relocation to Dallas, she served as co-chair of the New York State Bar Association Commercial and Federal Litigation Section’s committees on privacy, data security, and information technology litigation. Sam has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times on workplace privacy and geolocation tracking, and is a prolific writer on international and domestic privacy and data security law developments.

Sam maintains an active pro bono practice, including advising small businesses and nonprofits in establishing or developing existing privacy programs, helping draft global privacy and data retention policies, terms of use, information security procedures, and internal trainings. For over 10 years, she also represented indigent clients in high-conflict contested divorce proceedings, working with the New York City-based nonprofit Her Justice. In recognition of her commitment to pro bono work, Sam has received numerous awards from the New York State Bar Association, the New York City Family Court, and Her Justice, including most recently the Her Justice 2021 Commitment to Justice Award.

Professional Recognition

  • Her Justice (formerly In-Motion) Commitment to Justice Award Recipient, 2013, 2021
  • Recognized as a Super Lawyer by New York Super Lawyers, 2021
  • Recognized as a Rising Star by New York Super Lawyers, 2014 – 2020
  • Named on list of Women Attorneys by New York Super Lawyers, 2014 – 2017
  • New York State Bar Association’s Empire State Counsel Honor, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2015 – 2016, 2019

Professional Leadership

  • International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)
    • KnowledgeNet Chapter Chair, 2021
    • Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM)
    • Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP/US, CIPP/E)
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, Committee on Privacy, Data Security and Information Technology Litigation, Co-Chair, 2021
    • Committee on Electronic Discovery, Member; Committee on Social Media, Member – Advertising Subcommittee, Chair, 2019 – 2021
  • Federal Bar Council's Inn of Court
  • Lloyd F. MacMahon Fellow

Related Employment

  • Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, Privacy Counsel and Special Counsel, 2008 – 2021
  • White & Case LLP, Litigation Associate, 2006 – 2007


  • Hon. Edward R. Korman, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 2007 - 2008
  • Hon. Joan M. Azrack, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, 2005 - 2006



Bar and Court Admissions

  • Texas
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan


  • Brooklyn Law School, J.D., magna cum laude, 2005, Editorial Board, Brooklyn Journal of International Law
  • State University of New York at Geneseo, B.A., magna cum laude, 2000