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Margaret Forbes Mendoza

About Me


Ms. Mendoza has represented clients in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange counties, charged with such offenses as: Attempted murder, Assault and Battery, Criminal Threats, Possession of  Weapons,  Sexual Battery, Lewd Conduct and Indecent Exposure,  Child Molestation and Pornography, Counterfeiting, Robbery, Conspiracy, Burglary, Drug Trafficking and Manufacturing, Marijuana Cultivation, Domestic Violence, Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol/Drugs, Drug Sales and Possession and Gang Crimes.


 Ms. Mendoza obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Secondary Education at Hood College and her Juris Doctorate degree from Southwestern University School of Law. She was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1988.  She practiced civil law for several years, where she was successful in preserving the rights of a toxic shock victim before the California Supreme Court. In 1990, Ms. Mendoza accepted a position with the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, where she remained for eleven years. During that time, she successfully defended indigent clients, from arraignment through trial, charged with a variety of criminal offenses, conducted research, drafted and argued substantive and procedural motions, placed qualified clients in rehabilitation programs, monitored program attendance and completion, and assisted with the training of newly hired attorneys.  In 2001, Ms. Mendoza resigned from the Public defender’s Office.  In addition to her solo practice, she obtained her Broker’s License and was on the annual planning committee for The Sunshine Kids, an organization that raises funds for children with cancer.  She also coached students involved in the LA County Mock Trial competition, and saw her team win the 2004 Los Angeles County competition. She was President of the PTO for three years and a member of the School Board for six years, as well as serving on various committees at her church.  In 2008, she joined a small criminal defense in the South Bay as a Senior Associate and met her future law partner the following year. Although she enjoyed her years of solo practice, the prospect of working with an attorney as knowledgeable and experienced as Ms. Mattern, and who shared her passion for criminal defense, was too exciting and challenging to pass up.


 Ms. Mendoza is a member in good standing of:


 ·         The State Bar of California


·         California Public Defenders Association


·         California DUI Lawyers Association


·         Los Angeles Country Bar Association


·         California NORML Legal Committee


·         Long Beach Bar Association


·         South Bay Bar Association



Languages Spoken: Spanish, English

Photos and Videos

219554 1377293158

Practice Areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 100%
    27 years



Free Consultation (30 minutes)

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

16 total 

  • Peter John Marek

    26 years of practicing law with 11 of those as a deputy public defender is experienced. Her knowledge of law and procedure is stellar. Clients love her which is evident from her reviews. Read them! If you are in or near Los Angeles do yourself a favor and call her for a consultation.


    Peter Marek Criminal Defense Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Gay Tokie Lathrom

    I have known Margaret personally and professionally for many years. She is an exceptional lawyer--skilled, caring and extremely diligent. I have worked with her at a criminal defense firm in the past and saw her in action. Impressive.


    Gay Lathrom Estate Planning Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact Info

Mattern & Mendoza, LLP

Howard Hughes Center
6601 Center Drive West, Suite 500
Los Angeles, CA, 90045

Mattern & Mendoza, LLP

One World Trade Center
8th Floor
Long Beach, CA, 90831

Mattern & Mendoza, LLP

3655 Torrance Boulevard
Third Floor
Torrance, CA, 90503




Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Nation's Top One PercentNational Association of Distinguished Counsel2015
Top 100 Trial LawyersNational Trial Lawyers2014
Top Contributer (Criminal Defense)Avvo2014
Admitted to PracticeUnited States Central Court, Central District of California2013
Top 100 Trial LawyersNational Trial Lawyers2013
Ionic SocietyHood College1978
Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
PartnerMattern & Mendoza, LLP2011 - Present
Associate AttorneyBird and Bird, APLC2008 - 2009
AttorneyLaw Office of Margaret F. Mendoza2001 - 2011
Deputy Public DefenderLaw Offices Of The Los Angeles County Public Defender1990 - 2001
Association NamePosition NameDuration
San Fernando Valley Bar AssociationAttorney Member2013 - Present
Western San Bernardino County Bar AssociationAttorney Member2013 - Present
California Attorneys for Criminal JusticeAttorney Member2013 - Present
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana LawsLifetime Member2012 - Present
California DUI Lawyers AssociationAttorney Member2011 - Present
Long Beach Bar AssociationAttorney Member2011 - Present
South Bay Bar AssociationAttorney Member2008 - Present
California Public Defenders AssociationAttorney Member1990 - Present
Los Angeles County Bar AssociationAttorney Member1988 - Present
State Bar of CaliforniaAttorney Member1988 - Present
Legal Cases
Case NameOutcome
P. v. L.S. (Downey Courthouse)1538.5 granted. case dismissed
P.v. E.F. (Compton Courthouse)plea to PC 242, battery with parenting classes.
P. v. A.L. (Compton Courthouse)case dismissed after completion of NA classes
See all Legal Cases 
Publication NameTitleDate
MatternMendozaLaw.comWhat are Your Speedy Trial Rights2013
MatternMendozaLaw.comYour Version of Events in a DUI case2013
School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
Southwestern Univ SOLLawJD - Juris Doctor1987
Hood CollegeHistory/Secondary EducationBA - Bachelor of Arts1979
Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
"Step Together for Success"Veterans and Veterans' Families2013