I've been a lawyer for twenty-five years.
A West Los Angeles native, I skipped from high school into law school by passing a battery of tests after serving in the United States Air Force as a Security Specialist. Upon returning from a tour of duty in England, I went to law school at night while raising two young sons and working full-time as a United States Postal Service letter carrier. I was awarded full tuition scholarships for legal writing three years out of four, wrote an award-winning Law Review note, and was editor of the Law Review. I won the Corpus Juris Secundum and American Jurisprudence Awards in contracts my first year and graduated on the dean's list. I passed the California bar exam on my first attempt with no bar review and received the results on my birthday in 1997.
Straight out of law school, while still a letter carrier, on my days off I did volunteer work as a research attorney in the law and motion department of the Van Nuys Superior Court. I reviewed pretrial motions, including demurrers, MSJs, and motions to dismiss or suppress. I briefed them for the judge, reducing them to about a tenth of their original length, and made tentative rulings. My goal was to obtain a permanent position there as a research attorney. As fate would have it though, an opening did not occur before the USPS presented me with an opportunity in their Department of Labor Relations. This entailed litigating arbitrations and practicing before the EEOC, MSPB, and NLRB. When the postal service began restructuring, not long after 9-11, I left to go into solo practice, switching sides to defend the weak, continuing to practice before the EEOC, and ultimately, in federal court, but on the side of the employees. I eventually took a job at a firm and for years I appealed denials of disability benefits up through the federal court.
A quarter of a century is a long time, and during that period I have handled cases ranging from employment discrimination to personal injury to disability to probate, wills, and trusts. I am a writer at heart, and have drafted many hundreds of briefs and motions to State and Federal courts and agencies. I'm an internationally published poet who has written four books of poetry and have been translated into seven languages. My favorite book is the dictionary.