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Joseph Shemaria

Federal crime Attorney at Beverly Hills, CA

5.0   7 reviews

also known as Joe Shemaria

  • Licensed for 54 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1970
    Active Lawyer disciplined by state licensing authority in 1999

About Joseph

Learn Joseph’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Federal crime
    A tough, fearless and savvy federal criminal defense attorney since 1970. Proven by experience to be “par excellence” by judges, prosecutors and attorneys through Martindale-Hubbell's ratings and 35 published opinions in successful appeals.

    53 years

  2. Criminal defense
    An entire career dedicated to protect the constitutional rights of his clients, Mr. Shemaria has vigorously defended criminal defendants in Los Angeles in addition to California State and Federal courts.

    53 years

  3. White collar crime
    Mr. Shemaria began specializing as a criminal defense attorney in June 1970, and has tried cases in both state and federal courts from coast to coast. He has handled over 1,000 state and federal appeals and writs, 35 of which were published in the pe

    53 years

Attorney Joseph Shemaria has over 45 years working “in the trenches” grappling with federal judges, prosecutors and law enforcement.

Mr. Shemaria has always received Martindale-Hubbell's Attorney Rating of “AV” – their highest rating – since 1976 to 2016.

Mr. Shemaria has been honored by Martindale-Hubbell's Attorney Information Directory and Rating Service (the oldest and most prestigous of its kind) from all counties and states, to have the highest possible ratings for competency and integrity, and to be selected as a Member of “The Bar Register” of Preeminent Lawyers, from 1970 to 2016!

Mr. Shemaria has been certified as a Specialist in Criminal Law (1978-2016), by the Board of Legal Specialization, California State Bar, by examination, periodic confidential interviews with other Criminal Defense Lawyers, State and Federal Prosecutors, and Judges of both the Superior Court of California and the United States District Courts.

Mr. Shemaria has handled over 275 jury trials (and courts martial) from June 1970 to 2016.

Mr. Shemaria has handled over 1,000 appeals (and petitions for Writs of Habeas Corpus) in both state and federal appellate courts, resulting in over 35 published Official Court Opinions (available on-line and in your local library). 

Mr. Shemaria has devoted his entire practice solely to criminal defense, federal and state, trial and appellate, and Habeas relief (state and federal).

Mr. Shemaria graduated in the top 10% of his class at U.C.L.A. Law School (Class of 1969). Elected to “Order of the Coif”, and served as a Senior Editor, U.C.L.A. Law Review, 1967-1969; published a nationwide Law Review article in 1968. (15 U.C.L.A. Law Review). See “Biography and Cases”.

Mr. Shemaria is a member of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Criminal Courts Bar Association, and Los Angeles County Bar Association.

Mr. Shemaria is experienced, current to the day, on Federal and California State criminal law and–as it applies to your case–meticulous trial preparation, thorough investigation (using local, former law enforcement, experienced investigators).

Call now if you are looking for an aggressive, cutting-edge (a.k.a. the “Pitbull”) Criminal Defense Representation, with a constant focus on results, guaranteed.

You can trust someone who has never worked for any State or Federal Prosecutor's office. Mr. Shemaria's first years of experience came from both The Federal Indigent Criminal Defense Panel (Central District of California) and Indigent Criminal Defense Appointments (Los Angeles County Bar Association).

Photos and videos

After 44 years of trying federal cases, I go to Court to WIN, not come in 2d.  Not all cases can be won, but I see things differently from over 350 trials. Have to know when to hold them and when to fold them. Knowledge is POWER.


Law Offices Of Joseph Shemaria
9171 Wilshire Blvd
Suite 500
Beverly Hills, CA, 90210

Federal Crime lawyers nearby


5.0 / 5.0
  7 customer reviews
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1 Star
Posted by anonymous | November 12, 2014
True Fighter!!!
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Posted by anonymous | September 22, 2014
Why you MUST hire Attorney Joe Shemaria in Los Angeles...
I had a great job, was making great money and had planned to go to law school. Suddenly my world came crashing down in July, 2013 when federal law enforcement agents arrested me at 6 AM on a Federal Indictment charging me and 10 others with: Conspiracy; Bribery of a Public Official; False Statements and "Aggravated Identity Theft". Things went from bad to worse. The magistrate judge ordered me to be detained without bail and I sat in jail for nine months awaiting trial as it was a complex case and new co-conspirators were added as time went by.. I hired Joseph to represent me in place of another private attorney who had been court-appointed. Most all of the 11 codefendants indicted along with me remained detained and most all had court-appointed attorneys. I was getting really mad at Joseph because most all the other attorneys visited their clients almost every week and Joseph was too busy for a lot of "handholding" but he always assured me-- and I always believed him-- when he said he was working on my case and he kept telling me the only way to win the case is to do a lot of legal research, investigate the facts of the case thoroughly and, most importantly, knowing exactly what moves to and when to make them, both with the Assistant United States Attorney and with the Court. I have been told by Joseph, many of my codefendants and other attorneys as well, that I was looking at 5 to 6 years in prison with an additional consecutive two years for aggravated identity theft. I was very depressed and life seemed a bit hopeless at times. But J kept telling me he was working on my case and I cannot begin to tell you how awesomely shocked and surprised I was when he told me I was in a plead guilty to a single count and receive "PROBATION, WITH TIME SERVED as my total sentence!! When I told this to my numerous codefendants in jail, none of them believe me and, to be frank, I couldn't believe it myself. However, I put all of my trust in him and pled guilty to a single count and I RECEIVED PROBATION, WITH TIME SERVED as my total sentence, just as Joseph had told me I would! Largely because of Joseph's hard work, vast experience with federal criminal litigation and "out-of-the-box" creative lawyering, not only was I saved from a long prison sentence, Joseph set the stage for all of my similarly situated codefendants to then be able to receive the same sentences I did. I never thought I would escape going to prison. Nor did I ever think my life would ever return to normal. I must say that thanks to Joseph and his hard-working office staff, I was spared from spending years in prison away from my family. Now, my life has largely returned to normal and I cannot thank Mr. Shemaria enough for what he did for me, my family and all of my codefendants who followed in my footsteps and received the same or very similar sentences. I highly recommend Mr. Shemaria for anybody who sees their life falling apart before their very eyes for violating the federal statute. Mr. Shemaria is a trailblazer and his tactics and strategy and handling my case, as well as his optimism about the outcome of my case, distinguished him from all of my codefendants' attorneys. He was the visionary; he got the results and all the others followed. I can't thank him enough. . . . M.N.C
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Posted by Anonymous | September 16, 2014
Joseph Shemaria Saved MY LIFE!!!
REALLY? Did this really happen? Oh my God, YES! It really did happen and it happened to ME! It seemed I had everything going for me at the time. I had graduated from a very prestigious private (and expensive) undergraduate school and continued right on into law school. I had also just recently married and had a child when I was arrested by the FBI and DEA for trafficking in controlled substances in July, 2011. That's when the nightmare started. I learned that I had been indicted by a grand jury for conspiracy and violating 21 USC 841--Trafficking in controlled substances. Was this the worst nightmare possible? YOU BET IT WAS. I saw my whole future go down the toilet. I had tons of college loans to pay back and a young wife and baby to support and now I was headed for the big house, according to my lawyer. I worked day and night in the law library trying to be my own lawyer and to see if my lawyer was doing the right thing. But it turns out federal court has much different procedures than state court in California and I went from July, 2011 until February, 2013 with the same private attorney who was supposed to be an expert in federal criminal law and was a part of the "panel" of private attorneys that received appointments by the federal court. I went 19 months without a good nights sleep. Just before falling asleep, I cannot help thinking about what it might be like in prison. The first thing I thought about in the morning was I did not get a good night's sleep and my nightmare was still with me. I was Internet savvy and I went through every federal criminal defense lawyer practicing in California. Being a recent law school graduate myself, I naturally looked at what law school they went to, when they graduated and how soon they were admitted to the California Bar. I looked at how many years of experience they had practicing "FEDERAL" criminal defense law. In short, I looked at everything that I could and I visited the offices of the top six or seven federal criminal defense attorneys in Southern California. While I was not that impressed with Joe Shemaria's website, because it did not have the "testimonials" from former clients like some of the other top federal defense lawyers, what I read in his website immediately struck me like a bolt of lightning. He had been an Editor on the prestigious UCLA Law Review and published an article in the UCLA Law Review. In addition, he graduated at the top of his class, earning him the prestigious award "Order of the Coif." On top of that, he commenced trying federal criminal cases in 1970 and was still going strong when I met him in February, 2013. As soon as I switched attorneys, things immediately started happening on my case! Immediately, Mr. Shemaria went to work filing motions in the United States District Court. The motions were so powerful that I thought I was going to go to the bathroom in my pants when the federal prosecutor complimented Mr. Shemaria in open court in front of the federal judge and all of the people in the courtroom who, like me, were amazed by what was said. The federal prosecutor thanked Mr. Shemaria for digging into the discovery and finding a tiny, but very, very critical to my case, error that the prosecutor had overlooked. From that day on, once again-- after 19 months of never getting but to three hours of decent sleep at night due to worry--I once again, slept like a baby after that day in court. Shortly after winning the motions, the case came to a rather dramatic and fantastic ending! MY CASE WAS DISMISSED!!! JOE KNOWS HOW TO WIN!!
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Posted by May | July 7, 2014
Knowledgable,Aggressive and a go getter.
Mr. Shemaria is a great lawyer. He is honest with us from the beginning of my brothers case. He is very professional and i don't think that we can ask for more. We thank Mr. Shemaria for getting my brother out. Our family was grateful for his help. He is worth every penny, i know he didn't graduate from UCLA for nothing... he is the best lawyer we can ever ask for.
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Posted by Elena | October 8, 2013
Joseph Shemaria Thank you
I was arrested last year for shoplifting and because I was intoxicated, I fought with the store security personnel that tried to arrest me outside of the market. The woman security guard claimed I bit her and she still had permanent scars she showed the court at my felony preliminary hearing. Both me and my wife have green cards and work five or six days a week. I had a prior conviction before I met Mr. Shemaria. I must say that Mr. Shemaria "stayed the course" fr me. His tenacity and unending legal fight for me and his experience to do the necessary work to expose the background and lack of experience of one if the security guards caused the prosecution to drop the felony charges to a misdemeanor that did not hurt my immigration status! I received only "time served"(one day). Joe would meet us on Saturdays and Sundays at a convenient place between his office and where we lived as both me and my wife worked long hours Monday through Friday and could only meet on the weekends. His fees were very reasonable and he allowed us a payment plan. Were it not for Mr. Shemaria, my children, grandchildren and my wife would all have to had to go on with their lives without me or visit me in my home country, very far away. I recommend Mr. Shemaria very highly as he would go to any extreme lengths in fighting for his client even though the evidence against his client was very strong. Mr. Shemaria convinced us that he was not in law just for money, but it was his "life's work" to do good things for ordinary people like us and to keep families together, keep people from having to pay with their right to remain in this Country for their own sometimes stupid mistakes.
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Posted by Tony C | September 26, 2013
Best Criminal Lawyer in Los Angeles
I have known Joe for over 6 years and he is the hardest working attorney there is.His record proves it.He really cares about his clients and he always finds the angle to win.If I had to hire a attorney for any variety of problem, it would be Joe.He is the best hands down.
Posted by anonymous | March 17, 2009
Outstanding. Excellent. Pitbull in the courtroom.
God Blessed the Earth when this MAN was born. He gave us back my sons life when my son was wrongly convicted on a mistaken identity charge. When my sons previous do nothing lawyers allowed my son to be convicted, we dismissed them. When heaven sent this MAN to us. Mr. Shemaria kept my son from being railroaded into a life sentence for a crime he did not commit. He will fight for Justice in the courtroom. He knows his Business and does it very well. I cannot thank you enough Mr. Joseph Shemaria.
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  • Free Consultation 120 minutes
Payment methods
Cash, Check


AVVO RATING 9.9 (Superb)

Professional misconduct

This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in 1999.

Public reproval with/duties issued in CA, 1999
updated on 07/20/2017

A censure or reprimand issued by the Supreme Court or the State Bar Court that is not a matter of public record unless imposed after the initiation of formal disciplinary proceedings. No period of suspension is imposed. The reproval may be imposed with duties or conditions.

Joseph's comment: “This "public reproval" had absolutely nothing to do with my abilities as an attorney. It was strictly an accounting error wherein my trust account fell $13,000 below the $400,000 that was supposed to be in there. Nobody was adversely affected; nobody lost anything. Please write for further details. There has been no complaints in 27 years before; and no complaints in 18 years after.”

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Law Offices Of Joseph Shemaria
  • 1970 - Present


  • University of California at Los Angeles School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1969
  • University of Arizona
  • BS - Bachelor of Science
  • 1966

Sample of Legal Cases

  • In re Earl Lloyd Jackson
  • Habeas Granted; New Penalty Trial
  • USA v. Jacobson,
  • Total Acquittal
  • People v. Humphries
View all legal cases


  • Criminal Courts Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1974 - Present
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Life Member
  • 1972 - Present
  • California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
  • Member
  • 1971 - Present
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1971 - Present
  • California Public Defenders Association
  • Member
  • 1971 - Present
  • State Bar of California
  • Member
  • 1970 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Mandarin

Honors and Awards

  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2017
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2016
  • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2015
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2014
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2013
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2012
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2011
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2010
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2009
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2008
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2007
View all awards

Attorney endorsements

Received (2)
Given (1)
Endorse Joseph
Criminal defense Attorney | Jun 07
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. A pillar in the criminal defense community."
Appeals Attorney | Jan 05
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense
Beverly Hills Federal crime Lawyer Joseph Shemaria
Joseph Shemaria
Federal crime Attorney
Beverly Hills, CA
Licensed for 54 years
Free Consultation
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in 1999. See details