Who is your Lawyer?

I have been practicing law for more than 20 years.  My practice focuses on Family Law, Civil (Constitutional) Rights, Appellate Work, and a little bit of Criminal Law.

My thoughts on hiring a lawyer:

     Hiring a lawyer should be a lot like hiring a good mechanic. If you knew how to fix your car yourself, you would do it yourself. If you knew the law and how to prepare a case for trial and present it to a judge, you would do it yourself.
    But here you are shopping for an attorney on the internet.
  • You want competent work and you want that work explained to you in plain language.
  • You want someone who has been through this process and can assist you with making tough decisons.
  • You want to know what steps are next and you want some idea of when the whole thing can be done. 
  • And finally, you want someone who will solve your current problems, and will suggest ways to stay out of trouble down the road.
  • You are in luck.
  • Before I became a lawyer, I was a mechanic.

I have also been an Adjunct Professor of Law at Lincoln University the Law School since 2001.

The courses I teach included:

  • Constitutional Law I & II - Core curriculum taught to 2L and 3L students as a required course.

  • Constitutional Adjudication - A survey course about the relationship between the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the other "political" branches of government. Discussion and course work included how constitutional law gets interpreted, litigated and decided. The course also took up the underlying stories and personalities behind some of the most famous and infamous cases dealing with constitutional law issues.

  • Firearms Law - Constitution, Statutes, Regulations – An elective course that covered federal and state laws regulating the "right to keep and bear arms." The course also addressed California’s unique role in shaping modern gun policy, including issues as diverse as domestic violence, mental health, commercial sales, movie props, assault weapons, self-defense and the civil rights movement. The course also covered the significant Supreme Court cases interpreting the Second Amendment and developing cases in the Circuit Courts of Appeal and State Courts.

  • I have also taught firearm law to fellow members of the California State Bar and the Santa Clara County Bar Association for Continuing Education Credits.

  • I have also testified as a witness and was a contributor to the Judicial Council’s Domestic Violence Practice and Procedure Task Force with respect to Firearm Relinquishment and Safe-Keeping Pending Domestic Violence Protective Order Adjudication in California.

Notable Federal Cases include:

  • Santa Clara Citizens for Free Speech v. Santa Clara County, USDC-NDCA.
  • Nordyke v. King, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Fisher v. City of San Jose, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Benanti v. Alvarado, USDC-NDCA.
  • Madrid, et al., v. City of Los Angeles, et al., USDC-CDCA.
  • Richards v. Prieto; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Pena v. Lindley, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Silvester v. Harris, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Haynie v. Harris, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Enos v. Lynch, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Teixeira v. Alameda County, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • N.W. School of Safety v. Ferguson, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • United States v. Early (Criminal Jury Trial), USDC-EDCA.

Family Law Appellate Work:

  • In re Marcus, Case Nos.: H029853, H028332, H038866, H029192.
  • In re Marriage of Campell, Case No.: H118618.
  • Mendonca v. Mendonca, Case No.: H015936.
  • Guasch v. Guasch, Case No.: H036582.

I am licensed to practice law in:

  • United States Supreme Court
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States District (Trial) Courts for the Northern, Eastern and Central Districts of California
  • All California Trial and Appellate Courts

Other work I am proud of:
  • Military Service in the United States Naval Reserve from 1978 - 1984.
  • Automotive Service Technician from 1985-1997 and membership (inactive but in good standing) of Machinist's Lodge Local 1101.