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About me

General Advisory and Trial Counsel with over 25 years experience in Business, Administrative, Government, Tort, Real Estate, Employment, Labor, Constitutional and Civil Rights Litigation and 19 civil jury trials.

Ms. Knefel most recently served as a deputy city attorney for 19 years in a charter city in Orange County, California advising, representing and litigating on behalf of the human resources, building and planning, public works, traffic engineering, utilities, police, fire, community services, parks and recreation departments, as well as the convention center, stadium and city entertainment venues.  Her work at the city involved many high profile trials and the successful defense of the city and its employees, mitigating or eliminating their exposure to millions of dollars in liability.

Before her tenure at the city, Ms. Knefel represented individuals and small businesses in contract and real estate transactions and litigation matters, including employment and discrimination matters.

Ms. Knefel was Assistant Vice President and Mortgage Manager at Kaufman and Broad Homes in Irvine, California before she attended law school.

Professional Affiliations and Memberships:

Supreme Court of the State of California State Bar No. 114189

United States Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Central

Orange County Bar Association

St. Thomas More Society of Orange County (Catholic Lawyers)

James P. Gray Inns of Court Barrister

Lex Romana (Italian American Lawyers of Orange County) (Past President

Certified Toastmaster


Practice areas


  1. Employment & Labor: 50%
    30 years, 100 cases
  2. Litigation: 20%
    31 years
  3. Land Use & Zoning: 10%
    23 years
  4. Car Accidents: 5%
    31 years
  5. Other: 15%
  6. More 

Attorney endorsements

2 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Mark A Irwin

    I had the pleasure of working with Deborah on several matters. She is highly knowledgeable, very articulate, and always well-prepared. Deborah is also very personable and easy to work with. I endorse this lawyer.


    Mark Irwin Child Custody Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Peter Michael Callahan

    This woman has forgotten more about how to handle a civil rights lawsuit than 90% of the lawyers that claim an expertise in this very technical area of the law. I've been a litigatator for 45+ years, with over 2000 trials behind me, and when I get a potential client with a civil rights case, I refer them to Deborah Knefel because I know that they will get the very best advice available. They may be delighted with that advice, they may be disappointed with it, but it will be 100% on the money. And on that topic, she handles these cases quickly, efficiently, and very professionally. She advocates fearlessly but not foolishly. I've never received anything but heartfelt thanks from any potential client that I sent her way.


    Peter Callahan Litigation Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Law Offices of Deborah Pernice Knefel

333 City Blvd. West.
Suite. 1700
Orange, CA, 92868


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2000
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Deputy City AttorneyCity of Anaheim1991 - 2010
Association namePosition nameDuration
St. Catherines AcademyChair (past)2002 - 2010
St. Thomas More SocietyBoard of Directors2001 - Present
Legion LexBarrister2001 - Present
Lex RomanaPresident (past)1985 - Present
Orange County Bar AssociationN/A1984 - Present
Orange County Women Lawyers AssociationBoard Member (past)1984 - Present
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
California St Univ FullertonN/AundergraduateN/A
Western State UnivN/AlawN/A