"CACJ is an essential state-wide organization for all criminal defense attorneys.  The seminars, seminar materials, and Forum magazine are outstanding, addressing the latest issues and developments in criminal law, procedure and evidence.  All of the committees are accomplished and hardworking. The Legislative Committee and Ignacio is a prime example: an important and respected voice in the legislature continually achieving impressive results."

Robert Boyce

"CACJ has been the key guide to my becoming a more effective and inventive advocate for the clients I serve, by offering the great minds and strategists of our craft as inspiring mentors."

Jefferey R. Stein, Past President

"The Brady bill is the latest example of CACJ's Leg Comm and Ignacio's group having unlimited creativity to overcome all obstacles and limitless tenacity to keep battling when lesser souls would give up on exhaustion. It is an honor and privilege to be allowed to work with all of you."

Steve Rease, CACJ Secretary

"CACJ is like a beacon in the distance through the fog and heavy mist.  It is where we will strive to meet and find our finest selves, where we will become the best lawyers we can be, and where we will work together to change the world and make it a better place for ourselves, our children, and most importantly, our clients."

John Crouch

"There is nothing better that I could do to advance the interests of the clients and the criminal defense bar than by being an active member of CACJ. "

Jefferey R. Stein, Past President

"I have always been inspired and assisted by my colleagues in CACJ. I first got involved in CACJ by testifying and help refining the first California DNA laws almost 25 years ago, and was so moved that CACJ had taken the lead in the legislative testimony on the proposed DNA Act, I became actively involved. Our legislative and amicus presence, as well as our FORUM magazine, have only become stronger over time. I am more impressed than ever that a private organization like ours is generally the strongest voice, and often the only voice, on issues crucial to criminal defense."

Jeff Thoma, Past President 2015

"Strength comes from unity.  CACJ is a great criminal defense organization of public and private defense attorneys who are joined for self-education, mutual support, making our collective voices known, and continuing the historic, continuing struggle for justice for the accused."

Chuck Sevilla, Past President

"For 40 years, CACJ has been a powerful voice for criminal defense attorneys and their clients. It has impacted laws that protect the rights of the convicted and accused and provided defense attorneys with education, advocacy  and community. CACJ's strength, purpose and longevity make it a cornerstone of criminal justice in California."

Laurel Headley

"There are countless pieces of catastrophic legislation dead on the floor of the legislature as the direct result of the dedicated, articulate and dogged work, over the years, of the CACJ Legislative Committee and our lobbyists."

Jefferey R. Stein, Past President

"California Attorneys for Criminal Justice is the home for those attorneys in California who understand and truly appreciate the liberties and freedoms recognized by our Founding Fathers and embodied in the United States Constitution. More importantly, these women and men of the bar recognize that these inalienable rights enunciated in the Constitution will be ignored, belittled and ultimately stolen from us by the state without champions taking a stand -- this is who we are -- this is who YOU are!"

Jonathan Willis

"CACJ is a family of criminal defense lawyers. We share knowledge, experience and affection. It is a mirror in which we bond with others like us to experience the best in law and lawyers. It is a message that we are not alone."

Ephraim Margolin, Past President & Founding Member

To fight the horrors of class warfare, mass incarceration, and the torture of solitary confinement, we must stand together. We do this through our membership in the CACJ, the single most powerful state-based group of criminal defense lawyers in the nation. Join us. We're making a difference.

Jacqueline Goodman, CACJ Secretary

"It has been my pleasure to serve as President of CACJ. In that capacity I have met and worked with many people who are truly committed to the defense of others and the idea that there can and should be equal justice for all. Thank you for the opportunity."

Christopher Chaney, Past President

"CACJ's great contribution to criminal justice is our work in the Legislature. As a member of the Legislative Committee since 1984, I have seen our organization become a real power for justice in the Legislature. CACJ is now a sought-after voice in the Legislature and our view on bills is given serious weight by Legislators and their staff. Yes, a lot of bad bills have become bad law. But brother, you should see the stuff CACJ has stopped. And many times, CACJ was the only organized opposition to these terrible, terrible bills. "

Steve Rease, CACJ Treasurer

"It is an exciting time to be a part of CACJ in this changing landscape of criminal justice . The resulting sea-change is the result of budgetary woes from inflated prison sentences. I am inspired every time I attend a meeting and learn of the efforts members make on behalf of the accused without compensation or commendation to put "rehabilitation" back into the system which for so long just sought to warehouse those society deemed unsuitable. I am particularly hopeful that I can address the problems of elderly prisoners seeking compassionate release. No one should die in prison."

Oliver Cleary, Board Member

"As defense counsel is the accused's friend in court, CACJ is the accused's friend in the Legislature. By lobbying together for shorter sentences and fewer crimes, we can make our state more just, and our world more free."

Jesse Stout, Board Member

"It is such an honor to be part of CACJ and to watch the heroic efforts of CACJ members fighting to achieve fairness in our legal system.  When I first joined the Board I had no idea about the incredible efforts and success CACJ advocates make on a daily basis throughout our great state.  The collective wisdom of the outstanding attorneys that comprise the CACJ Board is inspiring and makes me a better attorney and citizen.  The efforts and support of CACJ members ensures the protection  of liberty and justice for all."

Deedra Edgar, Board Member

"CACJ is important to the criminal defense bar and to the personal rights and liberties of everyone in California. CACJ's presence in Sacramento is unmatched and often is the only voice to promote or defeat bills before the State Legislature.  CACJ provides the highest quality Seminars and Webinars to educate practitioners and to give them a sense of community. CACJ also conducts the National Trial Advocacy Competition which attracts teams from law schools all over the country."

Robert Sanger

"For over 30 years CACJ has provided me with access to the leading criminal defense practitioners in California, and the opportunity to know about and respond to pending legislation - which I otherwise would not have had."

The Late Michael Millman, Past President

"CACJ is the organization that is pushing back against unreasonable laws and unjust treatment for people accused of crimes. Because of the state of the law, criminal defense work is a tough, Sisyphean endeavor. My colleagues at CACJ give me the inspiration and strength I need to zealously push that boulder up a hill over and over again. Because of them, I remember that there is strength in numbers and solace in camaraderie."

Cris Lamb, CACJ Vice-President

"As criminal defense attorneys we regularly make difference in our individual clients’ lives. However, standing alone, our efforts only go that far. In order to bring about a real change to the criminal justice system, we must work together as a team. CACJ provides the framework for that cooperation. As Helen Keller once said: “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”

Orchid Vaghti, Board Member

"Defense attorneys are warriors - for our clients and in defense of their constitutional rights.  We fight more effectively and successfully when we band together, when we support each other through out membership in, and commitment to, CACJ.  We gain strength in our often lonely fights for our clients from the men and women who are engaged in similar struggles for other defendants.  CACJ is a vital means to support one another."

Scott Sugarman, Past President 2014

“We are the gladiators fighting to protect the liberty of the citizens who are investigated or accused of crimes. While most of us are sole practitioners, CACJ makes us into a powerful Criminal Defense law firm with the resources to even the playing field against the government. Whether it is the connections you make at the great seminars, the Brief Bank, the legislative updates and lobbying or what you learn at the seminars, it makes you a better warrior and therefore, helps your clients.”

David S. Kestenbaum, Board Member

"CACJ has represented the interests of the defense bar and our clients for almost 40 years. Our legislative efforts, educational programs, amicus support, publications, just to mention a few, have been invaluable to my practice, to our members, and for all those who represent people accused of crime"

Alex Landon

"Being a member of CACJ is belonging to dedicated, professional community that has a very tangible effect on the lives of our clients and the public who benefit from our efforts to keep the government accountable and works together to ensure that the citizen's privacy rights, due process and concepts of fundamental fairness are protected and strengthened. Training, outreach and legislative advocacy are cornerstones of CACJ's 40 years."

Matthew Guerrero, CACJ President

EXTENDED: Register for DUI Rules of the Road XIX, Deadline for Discounted Registration - Monday October 24th

October 29, 2016
Renaissance Hotel
Palm Springs

Speakers and Sessions:

DUI Legislation and Case Law Update
Ignacio Hernández

You Want a Not Guilty? Here’s How
Richard A. Hutton

Can You Defend This Joint?
Pamela Tedeschi

What the Heck Are They Doing At the DMV?
Darrell Kidd

How To Stay Out Of Trouble With The State Bar
Steve Yee

Bartell’s Brand New, Breakthrough Breath Defense
Don Bartell

Jury Selection Panel
Moderator Bob Schwartz. Panel: Winston McKesson, Chris Chaney, and Virginia Landry

Registration Open: 43rd Annual Criminal Defense Seminar & Awards Luncheon

December 9th & 10th, 2016
Hyatt Regency
San Francisco

Friday, December 9th, 2016
Charles R. Garry Memorial Lecture
5:00pm - 6:00pm
6:00pm - 7:00pm

Saturday, December 10th, 2016:
Registration and Check-in
7:30am - 8:30am
Seminar Sessions
8:30am - 5:00pm
Awards Luncheon
12:00pm -1:30pm

Speakers and Sessions:

The Year in Review
Al Menaster, Esq.

Discovery Update, featuring Brady
Traci Owens, Esq. & Michael Ogul, Esq.

Themes Through Closing
Katy O'Donnell, Esq.

Your Opening Act
Yasmin Cader, Esq.

Sargon & Experts
Chuck Sevilla, Esq.

Fighting Gang Enhancements from Every Angle
Jeff Adachi, SF Public Defender, Esq.

Yes on 62 campaign needs your help: Lawn Signs and Phone Banking

With less than 3 weeks until Election Day,
we need your help!

Yes on 62 has 5 locations across California where you can pick up lawn signs, window signs and buttons! Click here to see the 2 locations in Northern California and 3 in Southern California.
We also need your help calling voters to let them know about Yes on 62 and No on 66. Join our phone bank every Tuesday and Thursday until Election Day. You can participate remotely from the comfort of your own home - you just need a computer with internet access and a phone - or you can join us at our offices in San Francisco or San Diego.

Sign up today

We will provide training, time for practice, and all the resources you need to effectively communicate with voters. With your help we will end California’s costly, failed death penalty system.

Every conversation with a voter matters!

Help us spread the word about Yes on 62/No on 66!

Jackson Browne is doing two shows to benefit Yes on 62, one with Steve Earle and one with Peter Case!

These concerts are a great opportunity to enjoy some great music and support a very important cause: ending the death penalty in California.

These shows are certain to be a great time but also provide much needed support in the final stretch!

To go see Jackson Browne and Steve Earle in San Diego on October 24th:

And to go see Jackson Browne and Peter Case in Sacramento on October 26th:

We hope to see you at either one of these great concerts!

California Attorneys for Criminal Justice congratulates Board of Governors Member Keri Klein on her appointment as Nevada County Public Defender!

Before entering the field of indigent defense, Keri had a private criminal defense practice in San Francisco. She received her law degree from Golden Gate University, School of Law and her undergraduate degree in Law and Society from UC Irvine’s School of Social Ecology.

Read more here

CACJ and the NCTAC Committee would like to congratulate the winner of the 2016 National Criminal Trial Advocacy Competition

1st Place Whittier Law School

Coaches: Dale Durham, Elizabeth Karsokas, Gautam Sood
Students: Kellen Davis, Talia Gallo, Rhoneil Pascual, Kyle Tang

Find the rest of the participants and winners here.

CACJ's legislation to fight prosecutorial misconduct continues to make headlines since obtaining Gov. Brown’s signature

CACJ Sponsored bill AB 1909, which now makes it a felony for a prosecutor to intentionally withhold exculpatory evidence, makes headlines once again. CACJ President Matthew Guerrero comments to the LA Times about the passage of the bill and how the OC jail-house informant scandal “really invigorated our organization to recognize that there’s a problem. The prosecution in that situation seemed to be acting with impunity, so we wanted to send a strong signal that the criminal justice system needs to do the right thing in the right way.” Obie Anthony, an advocate and exoneree who has worked alongside CACJ on this issue, stated, “I’m glad the governor decided to put his foot down,” “I went to talk to [Legislators] about how those bad-acting prosecutors took 17 years of my life.”

Read LA Times article here.

Here are some articles highlighting this groundbreaking new law:

UPDATE: Adachi Wants Judge Removed in BART Case, Charging Bias

Jeff Adachi asks SF judge to recuse herself from a case after she prohibited defense attorneys from questioning jurors regarding Black Lives Matters. Adachi is personally defending the man accused of resisting arrest on the BART train in July, citing self-defense from the excessive force initiated by the police as his defense. Bystander cellphone footage shows officers continuing to assault the defendant once he was handcuffed and on the ground.

Read the update with incident video here.
Read more here.

SF Public Defender's Story: Bad Guys by Jeff Adachi

Last week, Jeff Adachi and a fellow Public Defender in San Francisco noticed a sign-up sheet being distributed around the courtroom using the label of "Bad Guy" to describe the defendants. When this was brought to the judge’s attention, he dismissed it as a joke, saying that “it says the same thing, the defendant is the accused. The “bad guy”, it is a semantics thing.”

If you are labeled as the “bad guy”, especially in a document circulated in the courthouse where it can be seen by witnesses and family members of the accused, it strips away their presumption of innocence, and “attacks the credibility of a system that promises to be fair,” explains Adachi.

Read the story here.

Current Issue is now on-line!

Current Legislation

| AB 813 | AB 1909 | AB 2655 |
| SB 1052 | SB 1202 |
| SB 1242 | SB 1389 |

Justice That Works 2016


Upcoming Events

DUI Rules of the Road XIX Seminar
October 29, 2016
Renaissance Hotel
Palm Springs, CA

43rd Annual Criminal Defense Seminar
December 9-10, 2016
Hyatt Regency
San Francisco, CA

CACJ Calendar

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this or associated pages, documents, comments, answers, emails, or other communications should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information on this website is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing of this information does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

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