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2023 Law Victories

January to December

  • Grant of parole at initial parole hearing for high profile client convicted of life crime sex offenses.

  • Conducted two-day resentencing trial in Santa Cruz County Superior Court.

  • Two parole grants in first week of January 2023.

  • Expert witness in transfer of prisoner from California to Israel pursuant to international prisoner compact multilateral treaty.

  • Expert witness for high profile law firm on resentencing matter and illegal confinement.

  • Expert witness for billionaire client and Chinese citizen in United States District Court for Northern District of California on conditions in California prisons for purposes of opposing extradition.

  • Retained counsel on successful extradition matter on four felony counts.

  • Lectured at St. Mary’s College in Forensic Psychology class.

  • Four releases in one week of life inmates.

  • Lead counsel in case before Court of Appeals in which the Court ordered additional briefing re: governor reversal of parole.

  • Expert consultant for double murder client in San Mateo County.

  • Invited moderator at first-ever dialogue between district attorneys and women serving life sentences in California at CCWF.

  • Published decision in second appellate division on parole law and governor reversals of parole denials.

  • Three grants of parole for lifers in one week.

  • Grant of parole for client who spent over 40 years in prison.

  • Webinar presentation to over 70 families of prisoners on new laws affecting prisoners.

  • Multiple grants of parole before Board of Parole Hearings and En Banc panel.


2022 Law Victories

January to December

  • Won two en bancs in one day.


  • Two grants at two initials in one week.

  • Retained by reggae music icon to assist in criminal representation of his first born son.

  • Won numerous grants of parole including numerous grants at initial hearings.

  • Release of high profile client whose crime was notorious in state due to matricide.

  • Won high profile reversal of Governor in parole case in CA superior court.

  • Won concessions from Orange County DA re: resentencing of attempted murder charges.

  • Weekly grants of parole for clients. 

  • Guest lecturer at Georgia State University, Criminal Justice class. 

  • Averaging one release per week for clients.

  • Three grants of parole and freedom at a single en banc parole hearing before the entire parole board. No known case of a single lawyer winning three cases at one en banc hearing.

  • Invited guest lecturer at St. Mary’s College (women’s college) in Psychology Department on topic of sociopathy and antisocial personality disorder.

  • Overturned Governor in his reversal of parole in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court on highest profile case in history of the county.

  • Presented continuing legal education on parole law to the Marin County public defenders’ office.

  • Presented to SECTOR and reentry partners in California on CA’s Fair Chance Act regarding barriers to re-entry for employment.

  • Grant at initial on 1st degree murder case

  • Retained expert on parole policies for famed firm of Keker & VanNess LLP.


2021 Law Victories

January to December

  • Won reversal of Governor at en banc parole hearing for client who unfortunately had 5 homicides. As far as I know, that’s never been done before in California.


  • Argued before Court of Appeals on resentencing matter for LWOP conviction.


  • Conducted legal seminar to families throughout California on COVID-19 in prisons.

  • Won parole grant at initial hearing for crime for which Judge said it was the first time she had ever granted parole on crime of that magnitude. 

  • Won release for client convicted of attempted murder of a police officer. 

  • Appeared on NPR in Los Angeles relating to excessive sentences/denials by the Board of Parole Hearings. 

  • Appeared on NPR in Los Angeles relating to DA Gascon’s sentencing reforms. 

  • Won parole grant for what was described as one of worst crimes in history of California and did so with grateful benefit of the victim’s family supporting parole. 

  • Lectured to Southwestern School of Law on long term solitary confinement with Frontline filmmakers. 

  • Obtained medical assistance for seriously ill prisoner client who was otherwise being neglected and left to needlessly suffer. 

  • Parole grant at initial parole hearing for 2nd degree murder. 

  • Published decision in LWOP special circumstances resentencing matter from Court of Appeals, First Appellate District. 

  • Grant of parole on first degree murder with high risk assessment from BPH psychologist. 

  • Took depositions of Director of Adult Prisons in California, Warden of San Quentin, and former Warden of Salinas Valley State Prison. 

  • Court appointed senior consultant on winning Petition for Recall on life sentence in SF County Superior Court. 

  • Won release of client after 38 years before En Banc panel of Board of Parole Hearings. 

  • Lead attorney who cross-examined the Warden of San Quentin and Associate Warden during COVID-19 trial for 8th Amendment violations. 

  • Articles in the Washington Post and the LA Times regarding the release of a client serving a life sentence. 

  • The traditionally conservative editorial board of the Fresno Bee supported my client’s release.

  • Four clients walk out of prison in one week.

  • Won the reversal of the denial of resentencing in Court of Appeals on SB1437 case.

  • Articles in Bakersfield newspapers and local television stations regarding release of high-profile client.

  • Won numerous Petitions to Advance, permitting clients to appear before the parole board earlier.

  • Won resentencing of murder conviction in Sonoma County resulting in reduction of over 10 years from prison sentence.

  • Won declaratory findings of deliberate indifference and 8th amendment violations in trial against San Quentin relating to Covid-19.

  • Evaluator for Vino Veritas moot court competition at Golden Gate Law School.

  • Consultant on San Mateo LWOP plea agreement for top defense attorney in that county.


2020 - Law Victories

January to December

  • Commutation petition granted for client serving a life sentence.


  • Won client's reinstatement of good time credits, resulting in an earlier release from prison.


  • Numerous parole grants before the Board of Parole Hearings.


  • Won Orders to Show Cause in SB1437 Resentencing in murder cases in Sonoma, Santa Cruz, and Sacramento Counties.


  • Overturned a client's serious rules violation on court ordered appointed case in Marin county.


  • Provided a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) on prisoner litigation to the San Francisco Public Defenders Office.


  • Won a rarely granted additional round of briefing on federal criminal appeal.


  • Won a decision affirming the constitutionality in the Court of Appeals of SB1437 - resulting in client’s immediate release from life sentence.


  • In one week, 3 clients walked out of prison, 1 client won a resentencing in the court of appeals, and another level four inmate/client with over 200 points was granted parole -- all in one week.

  • Won diversion of LWOP conviction from adult court to juvenile court.

  • Appointed counsel in Marin county case dealing with COVID19 and health and safety of San Quentin prisoners.

  • Appeared in the SF Chronicle and National Public Radio on Covid19 and the lack of rehab programs in prison.

  • Appeared on National Public Radio on Covid and San Quentin.

  • Won the paroled release of transgender inmate serving life sentence.

  • Won 3 parole grants in one week.

  • Won a rare parole grant in attempted murder of a police officer.

  • Selected as the attorney to depose the warden of San Quentin which had the largest COVID19 outbreak in America regarding 8th Amendment violations.

  • Argued before the Second Appellate Court of Appeals in lifer case.

  • Won dismissal of erroneous civil suit for client sued by inmate on superficial grounds.

  • Won parole grant for lifer at his initial appearance before parole board on 2nd degree murder case.

  • Obtain support from the Attorney General of California to file an amicus brief supporting client’s position on constitutionality of SB 1437.

  • Clemency application won for female client serving a life sentence.

  • Won a parole grant for level 4 inmate.

  • Appeared on KPFA fm on Covid and San Quentin.

  • Composed and led five legal seminars via Zoom with hundreds of family members of prisoners on topics related to parole, reforms to criminal justice, and prisoner rights.

2019 Law Victories

January to December

  • Multiple grants of parole and release of 30 plus clients who were serving life sentences.


  • Won an extension of monitoring and enforcement over California’s use of solitary confinement and its implications on parole.


  • Won 4 grants of parole and release in one week.


  • Won a reduction of literally 140 years off a client’s sentence.


  • Quoted in the Los Angeles times on California prison policy.


  • Won a grant and release for a disabled client on Medical Parole.


  • Presented sworn expert testimony on parole law related to the extradition of a German citizen to the United States for murder charges in Los Angeles County.


  • Successfully defended the constitutionality of SB 1437 in San Luis Obispo.

  • Won a ruling on the constitutionality on SB 1437 in Sonoma County.

  • Five in a row winning streak of parole grants.

  • Quoted in The New York Times on California prison’s integrated yards.

  • Presented Continuing Legal Education seminars before the defense lawyers of the Tulare County Public Defenders Office and the Solano County Public Defenders Office.

  • Court recognized expert witness on standards for competent legal representation for California parole attorneys in Alameida County Superior Court.

  • Court recognized expert witness for SF public defenders office on parole hearings and parole law, resulting in the reversal of a murder conviction.

  • Won a parole grant on double first degree murder.

  • Won a parole grant on first degree murder case at initial parole hearing.

2018 - Law Victories

January to December

  • Parole grant at an initial parole hearing for a client with a 1st Degree Murder Conviction and who had incurred a relatively recent rules violation.


  • Two Clemency Applications granted by the Governor of California reducing the sentences from Life Without the Possibility of Parole to a new sentence of Life with the Possibility of parole.


  • Three parole grants for clients serving a life sentence in one week.


  • One “streak” in a row of four parole grants for clients serving a life sentence.


  • Parole grant at an initial parole hearing for a client with a 1st Degree Murder Conviction.


  • Overturned a serious rules violation via an appeal in Superior Court for lifer inmate.


  • One “streak” of 5 out of 6 parole grants for clients serving a life sentence.


  • Presented legal education seminar to the San Mateo County Criminal Defense Lawyers Bar Association as an expert on juvenile and youth offender prison sentences and convictions.


  • Appeared as radio guest on KPFA 94.1 FM on behalf of former Black Panther client who is serving a life sentence.

2017 Law Victories

January to December

  • Won a parole grant for a client who unfortunately killed five people – an outcome – as you can imagine mightily rare given the severity and multiplicity of his crimes.


  • Successful appeal before the First Appellate District ordering a reversal of a Governor denial of parole for client serving a life sentence – resulting in the client’s release from prison.


  • Numerous parole grants at initial parole consideration hearings for lifer inmates.


  • Interviewed by the national press on the OJ Simpson case on parole law.


  • Clemency application granted reducing a Life Without the Possibility of Parole Sentence to a sentence with the possibility of parole.


  • Release of lifer inmate client who I represented pro bono for the long haul of over 17 years.


  • Four parole grants of lifer inmates who at the time of the parole grant were Level 4 – high security inmates.


  • Invited Speaker and Expert on California prisons at human rights symposium at University of Buenos Aires, Law School, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

2016 Law Victories

January to


  • Won the release of just shy of 20 life inmates, who undoubtedly would've spent decades more in prison.


  • Won parole grants for numerous clients at all levels of security including those housed at maximum security prison, as well as those housed on sensitive needs yards.


  • Obtained medical care and treatment for multiple clients whose critical medical conditions were unmet and uncared for by the CDCR.


  • Won multiple visiting-related appeals which permitted increased visiting, as well as family visits for clients.


  • Lead counsel on the enforcement of constitutional prison conditions in California high-security prisons.

  • Interviewed by numerous media outlets including NPR, KPFA, and the NBC affiliate in San Francisco.

  • Counseled hundreds of prisoner families concerning sentencing issues, prison conditions, and parole matters.

2015 - Law Victories

January to December

  • Co-attorney in the landmark settlement of Ashker v. Brown which abolished long-term solitary confinement in California and which changed fundamentally the rules by which prisoners are placed in Security Housing Units.


  • Numerous reversals in California courts of the Governor’s denial of parole for clients serving life sentences, having won multiple cases in the Superior Courts and the California Courts of Appeal.


  • Conducted a trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Proposition 36.


  • Won numerous releases of inmates serving life sentences (approximately 50 life inmates).


  • Won numerous parole grants for clients serving life sentences at their initial parole hearings (approximately 6).


  • Featured on National Public Radio on the topic of solitary confinement in California.


  • Quoted and consulted in Mother Jones feature article on prisons.


  • Awarded the Client Choice Award by, the preeminent review site for lawyers.


  • Appeared on KQED Public Radio on the topic of solitary confinement in California.


  • Won In re Wimberly in the California Court of Appeals thereby requiring client’s immediate release from prison.

2014 - Law Victories

January to December

  • Invited honorary witness before the California legislature on the topic o f solitary confinement.


  • Client featured on National Public Radio broadcast on lifer inmates in California.


  • Featured in British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) feature documentary film on prisons in the United States.


  • Won the release of a client otherwise serving a life sentence under Proposition 36.


  • Won the reversal of a prison gang validation along with a court order requiring his immediate release to a prison mainline.


  • Won numerous grants of parole for former juvenile life inmates under the new law of SB260, affording their immediate release from prison.


  • Interviewed by Newsweek Magazine on the issue of censorship in prisons.


  • Won the early release of a client whose release was advanced by three years.


  • Won reinstatement of a parole grant after client incurred after a parole grant. The chance of success -- which we won -- was less than 2%.


  • Won numerous releases of inmates serving life sentences (approximately 50 life inmates).

2013 - Law Victories

January to December

  • Won the freedom for nearly 40 prisoners who were previously serving life sentences.

  • Won parole dates for over 60 prisoners before the California parole board.

  • Won the court ordered freedom in a single day of two prisoners serving life sentences.

  • Won numerous Superior Court and Court of Appeals cases requiring either the release or the rehearing of parole for prisoners serving life sentences.

  • Appeared on NBC Today Show on topic of pay-to-stay county jails.

  • Won the release of three (3) prisoners serving life sentences in a single day.

  • Won four (4) court cases in a row which overturned the Governor resulting in the immediate release of all four prisoners.

  • Won the early discharge of parole for a former life inmate.

  • Lead counsel in landmark case challenging the use of super-max prisons in California.

  • Counseled and advised several hundred prisoners and their family members on topics of civil rights, visiting, appeals, and general prison conditions.

2012 - Law Victories

January to December

  • Won 23 out of 25 parole grants before Board of Parole Hearings in a row.


  • Won over 30 parole grants and or releases for clients serving a life sentence.


  • Visited more prisons than any defense lawyer in California for 2012.


  • Lead Counsel in landmark civil rights case with the Center for Constitutional Rights against long-term solitary confinement in California.


  • Recognized as expert and consultant to Amnesty International on long-term solitary confinement in California's prisons.


  • Quoted in New York Times on solitary confinement policies in California.


  • Graded and supervised over 100 prisoner students in rehabilitation and re-entry program (


  • Consulted with Rolling Stone Magazine on feature story on prisons in California.


  • Reversed the Board of Parole Hearings and the Governor on numerous parole appeals.


  • Litigated published decision on parole denial known as In re Shigeumra.


  • Conducted trial against Pelican Bay State Prison on gang validation procedures and use of Security Housing Units.


  • Client featured in Mother Jones Magazine for full length cover story article.


  • Appeared in largest newspaper in Ireland (The Irish Times) on prisons in California.


  • Counseled and advised several hundred family members and prisoners on legal rights.

2011 - Law Victories

January to December

  • Won the release and/or parole dates for over 40 life inmates in California's prisons.


  • Appeared on National Geographic Channel on the topic of prison relationships.


  • Case heard before U.S. Supreme Court, Pollard v. Geo Group, Inc. relating to liability for private prisons.


  • Client's case featured on award winning "This American Life" on National Public Radio.


  • Won several successful resolutions of medical concerns for prisoners being denied medical treatment.


  • Reversed Governor and Board of Parole Hearing in numerous decisions before the Court of Appeals and a variety of Superior Court decisions.


  • Visited more prisons than any other lawyer in California for the year.


  • Authored Afterword for book authored by famed criminal defense attorney Tony Serra.


  • Spokesperson for prisoner hunger strike for SHU prisoners.


  • Only person to debate Director of Dept. of Corrections on Sacramento public radio regarding super-max policies in California.


  • Testified before California State Assembly on Public Safety on use of Security Housing Units.


  • Interviewed by KQED regarding solitary confinement:

  1. A Tale of 2 Inmates: Gang Lord, Petty Thief Both Wind Up in Windowless Isolation Units - September 15, 2011

  2. Inside Pelican Bay Prison: A Tale of Two Inmates - August 23, 2011 - Audio


2010 - Law Victories

January to December

  • Won precedent setting case for Muslim prisoners to have Halal meals and Muslim diet.

  • Won the release and/or parole dates for over 35 life inmates in California's prisons.

  • Won historic release of four life prisoners in ONE day.

  • Won landmark published case before Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals holding private prisons to same standards as public prisons.

  • Founded Prisoner Correspondence Self-Help School.

  • Won precedent setting, published case of In re Macias in California Court of Appeals relating to level of "insight" required for release of lifers.

  • Won eight parole dates in two weeks.

  • Won precedent setting landmark case in Court of Appeals disallowing parole boards from requiring compliance with Jessica's Law prior to release.

  • Won several successful hardship transfers and numerous instances of improved medical care for inmates.

  • Won numerous parole reversals in California Superior Court.

  • Visited more prisons in the State of California than any other lawyer in 2010.

  • Appeared on National Geographic Channel on prisons.

  • Filed more appeals on gang validations in 2010 than any other California lawyer.

2009 - Law Victories

January to December

  • Won several (5) victories for improved medical care for California

  • Achieved first known release date for maximum security life inmate before Board of Parole Hearings.

  • Overturned sentence for vehicular manslaughter conviction resulting in early release.

  • Won freedom for many (15) men and women serving life sentences in California prisons.

  • Consulted on landmark case involving challenges to California's gang management policies and use of solitary confinement.

2008 - 2001 Law Victories

December 2008 to

January 2001


  • Won freedom for many (15) men and women serving life sentences in California prisons.


  • Won freedom for several (six) men and women who were previously serving life sentences in California Prisons.

  • Won greater due process lawsuit victory for SHU prisoner at Pelican Bay State Prison.

2002 - 2007

  • Lead counsel in numerous (over 25) legal proceedings involving prison gang members on issues ranging from prison gang validations, civil rights, and conditions of confinement in state and federal court.


  • Co-counsel as intervener in Thompson case to improve conditions on California's death row.


  • Co-counsel in landmark Freedom of Speech case for California death row prisoner in In re Flinner.


  • Lead counsel in numerous (over 100) parole cases for representation of life inmates with many achieving release dates before the California Board of Parole Hearings.

  • Lead counsel in numerous prisoner state and federal cases involving excessive force, medical neglect, parole release for lifer prisoners, and prisoners living in solitary confinement.


  • Lead counsel in Castillo v. Alamedia, C-94-2847 MJJ JCS which forced major policy changes to the California Department of Corrections gang management policies and confinement of prisoners in Security Housing Units.

  • Lead counsel in five coordinated prison gang validation cases – In re Chavez, Pina, Padilla, Sosa, & Gonzalez -- which won greater due process procedural protections for super-maximum security prisoners in California.


  • Lead counsel in In re Ngo which challenged racial segregation in housing and lockdowns of California prisoners at San Quentin State Prison.


  • Lead counsel in winning class action suit against AT&T for unlawful hidden charges on pre-paid calling cards resulting in nation-wide changes to AT&T’s calling cards.


  • Associate counsel in class suit in Massachusetts Federal Court against Cable and Wireless, Inc. for systemic overcharges of Pre subscribed Carrier Line Charges, and pending class suit in California federal court against MCI/Worldcom for overcharges of local and long-distance service.


  • Associate counsel to plaintiffs in largest consumer class action settlement in telecommunications case in U.S. history against MCI/Worldcom for settlement valued at $90 million.

2000 - 1996 Law Victories

December 2000 to

January 1996


  • Lead advocate for UCAN complaint case in which Pacific Bell was fined over $20 million for deceptive and misleading sales practices of local residential telephone customers. The fine was the largest ever against the phone company and one of largest in the California Public Utilities Commission's history.

  • Lead advocate for case against Choctaw Communications for violations of telephony universal service deficiencies.

  • Lead advocate for case against MCI/Worldcom for unlawful billing practices for collect calls that originate from California prisons that secured a half-million dollar judgment.


  • Lead advocate for case against MCI/Worldcom for over-billing and privacy violations of local phone service in California. Judgment for over $9 million in restitution.


  • Co-advocate on CPUC's OIR/OII proceeding for customer service standards for all providers of local telephone service in the State of California.


  • Co-advocate in opposition of $ 2.5 billion merger application of SDG&E and Pacific Enterprises. Judgment for return of $150 million to ratepayers of California.


  • Lead advocate in opposition of $16 billion (3rd largest merger in U.S. History at the time) merger application Pacific Telesis and SBC Communications Inc. Judgment of nearly $500 million to ratepayers of California and creation of $150 million technology trust fund.


  • Lead advocate in Federal Communications Commission filings including dockets for Truth-in-Billing, Inmate Collect Calls and Slamming/Cramming.

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