I began my legal career in San Diego where I practiced criminal law, civil litigation, and personal injury. After a very successful practice there for 17 years, my family and I moved to Fresno, California, in 1995. Since that time, I have practiced exclusively criminal law. I was the Chief Defense Attorney for a 17 attorney criminal defense law firm that handled 3-4,000 felony cases a year. I left that firm to associate and partner with a very successful criminal law practitioner where I am continuing my commitment help protect the Constitutional rights of my clients.
I estimate that I have conducted over 200 jury trials - everything from DUIs, drug cases, sex cases, domestic violence, assaults, "three-strikes," dozens of cases involving criminal street gangs, gun/deadly weapons, drive-by shootings, robberies, attempted murders, and murders, including special circumstance murder cases. I have received many outright Not Guilty verdicts for my clients in all of these types of cases, including several murder cases - at one time between 2005-2007, the jury found my clients Not Guilty in four separate cases in a row. I have handled all kinds of criminal and related criminal proceedings, from violation of probation and parole hearings, DMV hearings, writs & appeals, and many other types of proceedings in the criminal process.
I have practiced all over California, in both state and Federal Court. I am qualified as a death penalty lawyer and am on the special circumstances/death penalty panel of attorneys in Fresno, California, where I am regularly appointed to special circumstances/death penalty murder cases by the Fresno County Superior Court.
One of my greatest pleasures over my long career has been to teach and train young lawyers and law students. Most of them have gone on to be successful lawyers in their own right, and have triumphantly represented their own clients in an honest and professional way. I have been involved in many community organizations, taught classes at the local law school, been a Mock Trial Attorney Judge and team coach, served as Judge Pro-Tempore for the Fresno County Superior Court, given many seminars to other attorneys, and started an organization for criminal defense lawyers to share useful information among themselves.
Above all, I enjoy helping reunite my clients and their families during and after dealing with perhaps the most difficult time in their lives, going through the challenging criminal process with them. This is particularly true where alcohol or substance abuse issues have ripped formerly close and loving families apart. I have saved the many letters of appreciation from clients and their families to whom I have been fortunate enough to have been of service. It is most gratifying for me to see them get back together, overcome their difficulties and live happy and fulfilled lives. Helping people is, after all, what being a good lawyer is all about.
I like going to football and baseball games, fishing, surfing, and going to Hawai where I can get caught up on my reading list and swim in the warm waters of the Pacific. I love sharing the lives of my two children, and spending time with Andrea, my wife of over 30 years.
Languages spoken: English, Spanish
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|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Super Lawyer||Northern California Super Lawyers||2015|
|Top 100 Trial Lawyers||The National Trial Lawyers||2014|
|Super Lawyer||Northern California Super Lawyers||2013|
|Super Lawyer||Northern California Super Lawyers||2012|
|Criminal Law||State Bar of California - Certified Specialist||N/A|
|Attorney/Partner||HAMMERSCHMIDT BROUGHTON LAW CORPORATION||2010 - Present|
|California Mock Trial Program||Constitutional Rights Foundation||2010 - 2010|
|Judge Pro Tem||Freson County Superior Court||2003 - 2003|
|Judge Pro Tem||Fresno County Superior Court||2000 - 2000|
|Chief Defense Attorney||Ciummo & Associates||1995 - 2010|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|Fresno County Bar Association||Chairman||2014 - Present|
|Fresno County Bar Association, Criminal Law Section||Co-chair||2012 - Present|
|Leadership Fresno||Chamber of Commerce||2011 - 2012|
|Fresno County Criminal Defense Bar Association||Co-Founder, past Co-Chair||2009 - Present|
|Fresno County Bar Association, Criminal Law Section||N/A||N/A|
|People v. Armando Ortiz||Double murder conviction reversed, case dismissed|
|People v. Debra B||Not Guilty - Double Murder|
|People v. Michael T||Not Guilty - Murder|
|See all legal cases|
|Inside the Minds (Aspatore Books)||Utilizing Forensic Science in Criminal Cases||2015|
|Inside the Minds (Aspatore Books)||Homicide Defense Strategies: Leading Lawyers on Understanding Homicide Cases and Developing Effective Defense Techniques||2014|
|Inside the Minds (Aspatore Books)||Defending DUI Vehicular Homicide Cases||2012|
|Western State University College of Law||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||1977|
|University of California - San Diego||Sociology, Music||BA - Bachelor of Arts||1973|
|Trial Practice||Closing Arguments||2012|
|Trial Practice||Cross Examination and Closing Arguments||2011|
|Voir Dire, Opening Statements, Closing Arguments||Trial Practice||2010|
|MCLE Spring Seminar||Felony Sentencing||2010|
|Got MCLE?||Trial Preparation||2010|