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About me

I have been a lawyer for over 20 years, passing the California bar exam in June 1993.  I opened up my own law practice spealizing in personal injury plantiff ligitation taking on large insurance companies who refused to pay out settlements to the little guy.  Also, I began to handle some criminal law cases winning a major felony case that led me into becoming a public defender.  I was hired by the Yolo County Public Defender's office and was there for 10 years.  I moved up the ranks becoming a senior felony public defender handling major felony cases such as homicide and three strikes cases.  After 10 years, I decided I needed a break and went over to Italy and taught law at the University of Parma, Italy.

Coming back from Italy, I was immediately hired by Monterey County Public Defender's office to handle misdemeanor cases.  I eventually became the misdemeanor team supervisor and then was promoted to team leader for the domestic violence court where I handled most of the more complicated cases in that court.


Languages spoken: Spanish

Practice areas


  1. Criminal Defense: 80%
    23 years, 5 thousand cases
  2. Personal Injury: 20%
    23 years, 500 cases



Retainer (sometimes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check

Attorney endorsements

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Contact info

Law Office of John Klopfenstein

9 Gabilan Street, Suite 6
Salinas, CA, 93901


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Best attorney of 2007Barry Nelton2007
"One of the Best"Yolo County Public Defender’s Award2007
Best in TrialJames Egar Award2001
Excellence in TrialBobby Evans Award1998
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
OwnerLaw Office of John Klopfenstein1993 - Present
Deputy Public DefenderMonterey County Public Defender's Office2008 - 2012
ProfessorUniversity of Parma2007 - 2008
Deputy Public DefenderYolo County Public Defender's Office1997 - 2007
Association namePosition nameDuration
California Attorneys for Criminal JusticeMember1997 - Present
California Public Defenders AssociationMember1997 - Present
Federal Bar AssociationMember1993 - 1993
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
People v. AlmanzaAffirmed
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of California - Los AngelesN/APost-graduate litigation certificate1998
Thomas Jefferson School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1993
University of WashingtonHistoryBA - Bachelor of Arts1978