Because I’ve never liked lawyer biographies on law firm websites, I decided to tell mine differently. Every client I’ve ever had believed it was important for me to see them as an individual, as a human being. I couldn’t agree more. And because I want to know about my clients, I feel you should know about me too. Here is your teammate and his story:
I am originally from a small mill town in Washington State. I, like many others played baseball as a kid, suffering years stuck in the outfield due to my inability to pay attention and from my habit of doing handstands during the middle of the game.
As if my small town just wasn’t small enough, after high school I moved to Pullman, Washington, a tiny town near the Idaho border to attend my beloved Washington State University. I graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree, with majors in criminal justice and sociology, and a minor in political science in 1998. I also proudly rode on the Rose Bowl Parade float on January 1, 1998, after which the Washington State Cougars were unjustly denied their rightful Rose Bowl victory. The referees will forever live with their shame.
After graduation, I worked as a Management Analyst for the United States Department of Defense at the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) at Seaside, California. With the DMDC, I conducted studies and analysis of Department of Defense programs and personnel issues. I regret not learning to scuba dive in such a beautiful location, but I did give surfing a try. I was the worst.
I went on to earn my Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan in 2001. I earned straight A’s and graduated with a 4.0 G.P.A. While at Michigan State, I interned with the Lansing Police Department and graduated from the Michigan Victim Assistance Academy. I remain in contact with my classmates and my thesis professor who are all renowned in the field of criminal justice. I even see them on TV from time to time.
After receiving my Master’s degree, I worked as a Court Programs Analyst with the Oregon Judicial Department in Salem, Oregon from 2001 to 2003. I designed and conducted research projects on case management and drug court programs. While the work was important, it was also very boring. So I packed up 3 suitcases and moved to Osaka, Japan. Just because.
In downtown Osaka (the second largest city in Japan, after Tokyo), I worked as an English teacher. I made close friends with teachers from England, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Canada, and Germany. Much karaoke was sung. Much beer was enjoyed. I also traveled around to the various countries of Southeast Asia, enjoying the local foods and bungee jumping along the way.
In 2004, I returned from Japan and became a juvenile counselor at the St. Mary’s Home for Boys in Beaverton, Oregon, just outside of Portland, next to the Nike headquarters. As a juvenile counselor, I created athletic and educational programs for at-risk youth, became a mentor to young men in desperate need of one, and will forever remember my time there as a blessing.
In 2005, I moved to Tucson, Arizona to attend law school at the University of Arizona. I was involved in many activities in law school including the Student Bar Association, the Domestic Violence Clinic, and helped run the law school football tailgate party for home games. During the summer of 2007, I participated in a study abroad program to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I did coursework in Race, Ethnicity, and the Law, and International Human Rights, studying disenfranchised citizens of Brazil and going into the favelas of Rio de Janeiro to study educational and justice programs. My professor in the International Human Rights course was one of the best I’ve ever had: Kathleen Cleaver, a critical figure in the Black Panther movement. I graduated law school in 2008.
After passing the Arizona State Bar in 2008, I began working as a criminal defense attorney at the Yuma County Legal Defender’s Office in Yuma, Arizona. I immediately took on an imposing caseload of wide-ranging criminal defense cases for indigent defendants, including drug possession, burglary, domestic violence, theft, shoplifting, and others. Fighting for my clients, I received numerous case and charge dismissals, conducted numerous hard-fought hearings, got plenty of clients out of jail, and even assisted capital attorneys on a death penalty case during my first year as an attorney. I taught a class for beginning attorneys at the statewide public defender’s conference in 2009. As if I didn’t have anything else going on, I took and passed the California State Bar (widely known as the most difficult lawyer licensing exam in the United States) in 2009. I became a member of the Federal Bar in the Federal District Court of Arizona and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2009.
In 2010, I came to Phoenix, Arizona and worked for four years as a defense attorney with the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office. Most of my time in the Public Defender’s Office was spent in the specialty Vehicular Crimes Unit. In the Vehicular Crimes Unit, I conducted and won numerous felony jury trials. I worked on cases including aggravated DUI, aggravated assault, manslaughter, murder, unlawful flight, and endangerment (to name a few). I fought and won jury acquittals on cases and charges, and obtained lesser-included charges for numerous clients. I am widely regarded as an intelligent, effective, and thoughtful advocate for my clients by prosecution adversaries and from the judges and court staff I practice in front of. After receiving a hung jury in one of my trials, one juror even gave me a hug and asked me to keep doing what I was doing, later becoming my personal friend. I’ve saved my clients decades upon decades (upon more decades) of jail and prison through hard work, creativity, perseverance, and performing well under pressure. While with the Vehicular Crimes Unit, I saved an innocent client from a decade in prison. I fought hard, outworked and outsmarted the prosecution and got his case dismissed. He told me, “If you ever start your own law firm, your motto should be We Bully the Bullies.” I took it to heart.
Now, I run my own law practice and continue fighting tooth-and-nail for my clients. I believe in defending the rights of the individual against the State. And I don’t take my clients for granted. If you are looking for a fighter and a team approach to your case or that of your loved one, I’m sure I’ll be speaking with you soon. And my motto remains “We Bully the Bullies.”