Focus & Work History
Firm Focus and History
Note: I am currently taking a leave of absence from law practice and I am not taking on new clients.
I am primarily a criminal defense lawyer. I also provide representation in quasi-criminal matters, such as license revocation proceedings. I have a broad range of experience in general legal matters. I am and have been a musician all of my adult life, and I have always helped other artists and musicians with legal issues.
I began a private law practice in 1982, but I left private practice in 1994 to work in the public sector. I retired from government employment as Public Defender of Yolo County effective June 30, 2009; however, I remained on staff at the Yolo County Public Defender's Office until March 2010 to facilitate the transition to new management. I took a six-month break from law practice from April through September 2010 and recommenced a private practice from October 2010 through December 2016.
Previous Employment Summary
(1982 - 1994) In private practice in San Francisco, California
(1994 - 1998) Deputy Public Defender, Mendocino County
(1998 - 1999) Deputy State Public Defender
(Office of the State Public Defender of California)
(1999 - 2000) Chief Deputy Public Defender, Yolo County
(2000 - 2009) Chief Public Defender, Yolo County
(2010 through 2016) Private Defense Practice, Lake County, California.
Activities and Awards
::: Member, Board of Governors, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice [CACJ ] (2015-2016)
::: President (2006-2007) and Member, Board of Directors, California Public Defenders Association [CPDA] (1999-2010)
::: Interim CAO, Yolo County (6/23/05-7/3/05)
::: President, Yolo County Bar Association (2004)
::: Master, Milton L. Schwartz/David F. Levi American Inn of Court (2001-present)
::: Member, Prop. 36 Statewide Advisory Group, Calif. Dept. of Alcohol and Drug Programs (2000-2008)
::: Lecturer, CPDA juvenile and criminal defense seminars and contributor to various criminal law practice publications (1994-2009)
::: Rated "AV" by Martindale Hubbell (1993-present)
::: Biography, "Who's Who in American Law" (5th Edition to present), "Who's Who in America" (55th Edition to present)
::: Faculty Member, CACJ/CPDA Capital Case Defense Seminar (1997-2002)
::: President, Mendocino County Criminal Defense Bar Association (1995)
::: rated "well qualified" by Judicial Qualifications Committee of Bar Association of San Francisco (as judicial candidate, 1992)
::: State Bar of California, Board of Governors Awards for participation in Volunteer Legal Services Program (1984-1989, inclusive)
::: Member, San Francisco Community Youth Services Advisory Commission (1988)
::: Co Chair, Juvenile Law Section, Bar Association of San Francisco (1985-1986)
::: selected "Outstanding Lawyer in Public Service" (Bar Association of San Francisco, 1985)
Area of Practice
I am currently taking a leave of absence from my law practice, and I am not taking on new clients.
Over the course of my career, I have defended virtually every type of criminal case -- from DUI's, low-level misdemeanors and drug offenses, to serious felonies and capital murder cases. I retired from government service as Yolo County's Public Defender in 2009, but I stayed on in a transitional role through March 2010. During my 10-year term in office, I was the attorney of record for literally thousands of people each year. I strive to provide each of my clients with the best representation possible.
I realize that this may be a difficult time for you. Contact me for a free and confidential consultation, protected by the attorney-client privilege.
Admitted to the State Bar of California (1982)
Certified as a Specialist in Criminal Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization (1993 - 2017)
News & Publications
The story of my retirement as Yolo County Public Defender:
A more recent San Francisco Chronicle article about me as a musician: