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Carina Castaneda

Family Attorney at Manhattan Beach, CA

5.0   40 reviews
  • Licensed for 28 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1995
    Status
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Carina

Learn Carina’s areas of practice.

2
Practice areas
  1. Family
    70%

    29 years

  2. Criminal defense
    30%
    Federal and State Crimes.

    29 years

I am first and foremost a trial attorney. I value and work towards settlement but if a jury or a bench trial is needed, this is where twenty-five years of training and hard work is put in play. My commitment to public service is deeply rooted in my immigrant background.

My father was a civil engineer who was recruited to work in an engineering firm in New York City. He had a solid life in the Philippines and a young family. But an opportunity arose—one he could not decline. His work took him to Indianapolis, Albuquerque and Los Angeles, California. Through hard work, my parents were afforded the opportunities to send their three children to good schools.

I dabbled in finance working with Shearson & Lehman the summer before attending UCLA. In college, I worked with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and witnessed attorneys, present a case from picking jurors to closing arguments.

Public service piqued my interest, so I attended the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. While there, I broadened my international studies of criminal and business law at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands.

After Hastings, I worked for Judge Dickran Tevrizian at the United States Ninth District in Los Angeles, researching and drafting judicial orders and gained valuable experience in federal civil and criminal practice. Afterwards, I joined the City of Los Angeles, Mayor’s Office, as an Appeals Analyst for the Office of the Economic Development evaluating business applicants for MBE/WBE/DBE certification.

Missing the courtroom, I went back and joined the District Attorney’s Office but now as an attorney, prosecuting felony and misdemeanor cases from arraignment to trial. My work with the Department of Child Support and Services fostered my interest in children’s issues, where I established and enforced child support orders.

As an attorney, working with families is a priority, litigating all issues in a dissolution matter which may involve restraining orders, asset division, domestic and international custody orders, child and spousal support. As the managing partner of my firm, I have the ability to pick and choose the cases I take in the criminal and family law area, and most are complex. I have a team of professionals from forensic accountants, private investigators, jury selection advisors, real estate consultants, and dynamic attorneys and staff that provide efficient and effective legal representation.

My background and training in law is diverse, exciting and comprehensive. I am lucky to be immersed in the legal world while managing a personal life surrounded by family and friends. I am a California girl with a deep love for the island mentality. Philippines after all, is an archipelago of more than 7,100 islands. Traveling the world is my idea of a lucky life combined with work that is always challenging and relevant.

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Location

LAW OFFICE OF CARINA CASTAÑEDA
1230 Rosecrans Avenue Suite 300
3rd Floor
Manhattan Beach, CA, 90266
LAW OFFICE OF CARINA CASTAÑEDA - BRANCH
9701 Wilshire Boulevard Suite 1000
10th Floor
Beverly Hills, CA, 90212
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Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  40 customer reviews
5 Star
 
98%
4 Star
 
3%
3 Star
 
0%
2 Star
 
0%
1 Star
 
0%
Posted by Eddy | January 18, 2024
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Legal counsel
Thank you, Carina for your time and assistance. You’re very informational and honest. I appreciate your honest feedback and advice. You took the time to listen, advise and counsel me like you knew me. Your advice and attention made me feel comfortable and reassured me that sticking to the facts is the way to go! Thank you!
Response from Carina Castaneda January 21, 2024
Thank you Eddy and I wish you all the best. You will do fine in court but if you need further advise, email me directly at [email protected]. Take care of yourself and your children.
Posted by anonymous | October 19, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Child Support Arrears Nightmare
My ex wife and I are the parents of two now adult children. During the divorce, we agreed on family support of $1000 per month. A couple years after the divorce, my ex turned over enforcement to DCSS. After years of payments directly (unreported) to my ex and to DCSS, there were non welfare arrears of over $200k. Our children reached the age of majority and I hired Carina to dispute the amount of arrears. Carina and I were able to get my ex to agree upon to resolve our disputed non welfare arrears in amount of $20k. My ex and I signed and notarized the agreement and submitted it to the court for approval. It was approved by the court. However, later my ex moved to set aside the order for fraud or mistake. After briefing the issue to show that the agreement was valid under accord and satisfaction, Instead, the DCSS commissioner set aside the order/judgment because of DCSS failure to sign the agreement under Family Code 4065(c) without any factual or legal explanation. We appealed.
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Response from Carina Castaneda October 19, 2023
Thank you for the 5 stars. The case is still ongoing and involves several courts and counties. It is a case worthy of an appellate review so I am pleased that it is working itself out that way. Stay tuned. Carina
Posted by Jaymes | January 16, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Carina is a "rock" and her help was invaluable
Carina was wonderful "rock" providing comfort during a very difficult time dealing with multiple out of state and a local attorneys. She is absolutely sensible, practical, trustworthy, reliable, honest, and fair in approaching settlement discussions. With extensive "home court knowledge", she took away all of the stress and worry about the multitude of paperwork and court interactions. I am so happy I found her! She brought a positive calm to a strenuous process with multiple (changing) opposing counsels. I highly recommend her guidance throughout the process and her help was invaluable.
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Response from Carina Castaneda January 18, 2023
This was a complex case for many reasons. It was a pleasure working with the original team from beginning to end! Jaymes, I am very happy that there was a conclusion to it all and that "phase" of your life is now over. Be well always. Carina
Posted by anonymous | August 21, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thank you Carina!
Being on the short end of the stick after a custody trial is easily the worst feeling a parent can have. After my original lawyer was paid in full with cash prior to doing anything, this guy failed to show up on day number three of my three day custody trial. He then failed to show up on the rescheduled date claiming to have Covid which I still think might not be true. The mountain of lies the other parent told while having a lawyer that doesn’t even bother to show up, so careless in my trial that the court had to sanction him……resulted in a bit so desirable custody time situation requiring me to have supervised visitation. Of course the other parent was in no hurry to find a supervisor as required by the new court order, the situation seemed hopeless. Until Carina got involved. Within a few emails and about a week later the visitation time began and I was able to see my child again. My situation is far from over but I’m grateful to have found a lawyer who actually responds to emails and my questions. My only regret is that I didn’t find her soon enough to be able to prevent what could have been prevented in that courtroom. Thank you Carina!
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Response from Carina Castaneda August 28, 2022
Thank you. I know the legal system is frustrating and confusing at times, especially when it involves issue(s) regarding a child. I know you love and deeply care about your child, so I am happy to assist in ensuring your bond remains strong and loving. It has been a long road but hopefully, it will become less disappointing and complicated.
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Posted by Yolanda | April 20, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great job!
I hired this atty to take care of my Spousal Support Court. I am very satisfied with her performance. Thank you Carina
Response from Carina Castaneda April 21, 2022
Thank you Yolanda. Your spousal support modification was post-Judgment so there are nuances that made it a bit more "tricky." I enjoyed working with you and your sister and a very gracious judge in Riverside County. As I said many times, I do enjoy meeting new colleagues and judicial officers outside of Los Angeles County. Stay safe and be well. Carina
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Posted by Client | February 9, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Carina Castaneda is a phenomenal attorney
Carina is absolutely amazing. She has been a guiding light through a difficult process. She is thorough, knowledgeable, attentive, and supportive. She is quick to respond to questions and takes the time to clarify processes and timelines. Carina gave me the direction and assurance I needed to move forward confidently with a domestic violence restraining order. Carina brought peace back into my children's and my life at a time I didn't think it was possible. I am extremely grateful for all Carina has done for my family. I cannot give her enough praise for her excellent work.
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Response from Carina Castaneda February 14, 2022
Thank you for your kind words. Domestic violence restraining orders are complex and it is a very frightening situation for many, especially the children involved. I am grateful for your full confidence and following my guidance throughout the process.
Posted by anonymous | September 9, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
5 years too long (got all that I requested)
I would recommend Carina as the father of my son had gotten away with paying little to nothing of child support ($317) to be exact. For almost 7 years I had been fighting myself filing paper work in two different states with no success. I finally got to the point that I couldn't deal with not receiving any support from the father and decided to hire Carina to finally help me get this done. She was awesome and helped me get everything that I had ask for including child support that was owed based on his new occupation. I really wish I had found her earlier because this could have been resolved with an attorney like her. Carina was always on time, professional and walked me through the entire process. She did not back down or agree to anything not in my favor and I would recommend her any day.
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Response from Carina Castaneda September 12, 2021
Thank you! Dealing with 2 states (Texas and Florida) along with California now took a lot of courage. You were determined and rightfully so. Keep in mind, while it is frustrating to not get the payments on time or even at all, it is accruing at a 10% interest rate, non-dischargeable, and cannot be waived by the court (only you). So good luck and best wishes. Carina
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Posted by anonymous | July 1, 2021
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
What's a Mother to Do?
What's a mother to do when a deadbeat dad doesn't pay the custodial parent what is rightfully due to their child under a court order support agreement? Call Carina Castaneda! Carina walked me through the process of opening a claim to enforce collection through the County of Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and she provided me with some of the forms required to make my case in support of non-payment. Carina’s advice was instrumental in assisting me with opening my claim online. I was able to fill out the online application and upload the necessary documents to make my case. Thanks to Carina the government is now working for me to protect my son’s interest. Carina’s advice and support were invaluable and I would highly recommend her for your legal needs.
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Response from Carina Castaneda July 5, 2021
Thank you for the review. Department of Child Support Services can assist custodial parents in establishing and enforcing current child supports as well as arrears. Good luck and I hope you collect all the monies owed plus the 10% legal interest rate! Carina
Posted by anonymous | November 6, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
#1 Lawyer
I had a case going for a couple of years, I needed an attorney for my 5yr restraining order renewal, I was searching for an attorney but having a difficult time. A friend gave me Ms. Castaneda information and there was immediate contact. Ms. Castaneda did not make promises or paint of pretty picture of an unrealistic outcome, she gave honest responses to all of my questions. She worked hard, she found resources that I could work with, she problem solved and she was very very compassionate with my 12 yrs old child , we went to court various times , we had alot of difficulty along the way with the adverse party, and finally after almost 5 months she delivered the most wonderful results to me. I not only got a renewal of a restraining order but I got a Permanent Restraining Order. This woman is amazing, shes honest, shes caring and considerate. If anyone ever need an honest ,hard working intelligent attorney who can deliver results, Carina Castaneda is the one to call.
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Response from Carina Castaneda November 7, 2020
Thank you! It was an emotional roller coaster for me too. A pleasure to work with you and everyone involved. Stay safe and healthy. Talk soon. Carina
Posted by SR | August 26, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thorough and comprehensive work
The family law judgment and orders were vague. The work Carina did was complex, well-planned and executed to get to an outcome that should have been better defined by the courts the first time the orders were made. Carina has the experience with family law post judgment issues related to support and property division to get the result that I needed.
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Response from Carina Castaneda August 27, 2020
Hello SR: As you know, I had to "undo" prior court orders and make sense of numerous orders that date back many years. Thank you for your commitment to the case since it took many hearings and your unequivocal trust in my abilities. Always interesting to go outside the LA County jurisdiction. I am very happy that the result you wanted was exactly what the court ordered!
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Posted by Cuong | June 18, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best decision I made this decade hiring Carina!
I hired Carina for what was supposed to be a simple divorce case back in 2011, but my ex-wife and her lawyer made it difficult and the case dragged on until we finally reached a settlement 9 years later. Because my marriage was over 10 years, the 1 year alimony at a reduced rate was an outcome I didn’t expect to get. And thanks to Carina, I did and I am extremely happy with the outcome! Throughout the 9 years, Carina has been very attentive, knowledgeable and professional in her handling of my case. She even suggested that I filed for bifurcation so I can marry my pregnant girlfriend. Hopefully my second marriage will last, if not I know who to call. I will for sure keep Carina in my contact if I ever need her again.
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Response from Carina Castaneda June 22, 2020
Thank you very much. Yes, it was suppose to be a "simple" divorce. Cuong, it is clear that it is best to resolve disputes in a reasonable manner. I wish you well in all your endeavors! Carina
Posted by anonymous | December 16, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly Recommend!
I hired Carina and she was there every step of the way for me. Best choice I ever made!
Response from Carina Castaneda December 19, 2019
Thank you very much. I was not expecting this review but a very nice Christmas gift. Be well, Carina
Posted by Victoria | October 11, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Dedicated, Amazing, Laborious Lawyer
I hired Carina Castaneda as my lawyer for a complicated divorce with many properties and assets. I could not have made a better decision. Carina Castaneda has made several discoveries to help with my case and has shown her skill set several times during trial dates for my divorce. She is the only reason I still have a roof over my head, she made the judge see the circumstances of my divorce and thanks to her hard work has made it possible for me to continue to be able to cover expenses while this divorce continues. She has been very caring and supportive during this very arduous divorce and I could not be more grateful for the amount of hard work that she has put into my case.
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Response from Carina Castaneda October 14, 2019
Thank you Victoria and Family! It is a very complicated case and against 2 lawyers so we will do all the best we can. I have enjoyed working with you and your family and I know going through this is not easy. Our team is focused and committed to this case and we will get to the end. It is 3 years and going but resolution is near. Carina
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Posted by anonymous | September 17, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Remain Silent and call Carina before you let the Police interview you
My family got caught in an administrative nightmare loop that involved LAPD and DCFS. We made a huge mistake and acquiesced to a police interview. We then retained Carina and her team, who helped resolve our situation before anything got filed. I cannot emphasize this enough...it is critically important that if the police ever want to interview you or a family member, politely defer the interview, remain firm on this and REMAIN SILENT, then immediately call Carina....she is a true Gem.
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Response from Carina Castaneda September 18, 2019
Thank you for your very gracious review. Yes, I have a team for each specific case--whether it is an appeal, trial, or settlement. I do "lead" the team of specialist but I am a firm believer that in some cases, a team of experts is needed. A strategy needed to be developed ASAP and this was done in a very short amount of time and resolved very quickly because it needed to be! Be well, all of you. Carina
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Posted by kayla | August 24, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
DUI Defense
Carina is very personable, but also very professional. She has extensive knowledge and experience in this area of law, and made me feel very comfortable that she would be able to handle my case effectively and efficiently. She had a complete understanding of all the issues that surrounded my situation, and knew exactly what steps to take at all times. She was able to communicate complex procedures to me very clearly and was always available to respond to my many questions and concerns. She defended me expertly and was able to obtain the best result possible. I was extremely satisfied with Carina's representation of me and I highly recommend her for any engagement in this area of law.
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Response from Carina Castaneda August 26, 2019
Hello Kayla and of course BG: Thank you very much for your review. Having to navigate both the DMV administrative hearing and the criminal court with DUI cases is overwhelming. I was very pleased with the dismissal of the DMV case and the criminal outcome. I know you were referred to me by another attorney and since I do very little advertising (my preference), the "word of mouth" type of ads are invaluable and always my preference. Kayla: you will do "big" things --I know. So I look forward to keeping contact and again many thanks. Carina
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Posted by anonymous | July 15, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Grateful
The title of my review is grateful and that’s exactly how I felt when I worked with Carina. Before hiring Carina I consulted several lawyers but did not feel like they knew what they were doing and rather instilled fear and anxiety in regard to my situation. When I met Carina she was knowledgeable about the courts, and really looked into my case and believed in me. She represented me in and out of court for almost a year and half. It was a very difficult time for me but Carina gave me reassurance every step of the way. My case eventually was dismissed all due to Carina her skills, knowledge of the laws and expertise. I would recommend at the very least a consultation with Carina if you are going through legal issues and need some direction. Once again I am grateful for Carina’s guidance and representation.
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Response from Carina Castaneda July 16, 2019
Thank you very much for your time in writing this review. I know your professional life is spectacular and I am so happy for you. You are doing important and necessary work for society! Keep in touch and be well. Carina
Posted by Jonathan | August 22, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
felt like my mom came to get me out of trouble when I met her
I was wrongly charged for a felony and two misdemeanors leaving me bewildered, scared and confused. The power of the government is overwhelming. I was referred to Ms. Castaneda by a close friend. She immediately found time in her busy schedule to accommodate a meeting with me. I felt comfortable with her the moment she greeted me. Not once did I feel anxious again regarding my case after our initial consultation. Ms. Castaneda insisted that we develop a comprehensive mitigation packet to be sent to the prosecutors BEFORE the judge even read my case. The extra work before my plea date, made all the difference in the world to keep my record clean. I have retained attorneys in the past and wondered how they could justify the fees they were charging. Not so with Ms. Castaneda. It was very evident early that her value is in her professionalism, cordial and down-to-earth personality and her experience with the various courts in the community. She is also a mother which makes her seem much more human. I would recommend Carina and her team to my own family. She is a force to be reckoned with!
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Response from Carina Castaneda August 23, 2018
Jonathan, Thank you very much for taking time to do this review. It is not easy to navigate the court system and a criminal case. It was a pleasure to work with you in your case and I foresee continued success to you and your family. As I said to you during our initial meeting, it becomes my job once retained to do the "worrying." Be well. Carina
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Posted by Tyler | June 4, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Phenomenal Experience!
Mrs. Castaneda from my first phone conversation with her to the finalization of my case was nothing less than impressive. Her attention to detail and professionalism are bar none.
Response from Carina Castaneda June 5, 2018
Hello Tyler, I wish you and your family continued success and I am very glad I was able to help you through all the issues that confronted you. It was a pleasure working with you since you were so timely in your response to all my inquires. Take care and best! Carina
Posted by Ela | January 29, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
She gave me life
Yes, she really gave me my life back. Carina helped me with a overseas move away case, helped me bring light to a prior custody agreement I’ve signed being ignorant on California family’s law. Being already away, comunicating in my poor English, she totally understood my entire situation. I recommend her with all my heart, I believe she’s great in her job and she works hard in every case she may have. Always available, gently and professional. Thank you very much . We are happy today because of you!
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Response from Carina Castaneda September 18, 2019
Thank you very much Ela for your very kind words. Your move away case like most custody cases are always legally and emotionally challenging especially for the client. I wish you and your daughter happiness and good health. Your review is a very unique one, since it involves a move away from the United States to Europe added a "twist" to an already complicated scenario. Be well and keep in touch. Carina
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Posted by Maya | January 18, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A Brilliant Attorney
Carina Castaneda is a very skilled, professional, and experienced attorney. She patiently takes her time to work on cases and puts a lot of effort to guarantee satisfactory results to her clients. In my year long divorce case which ended up being tried, Carina was exceptional in her organizational and presentation skills. She stayed in touch with me on an almost daily basis and informed me of what was happening in a timely manner. She offered expert legal advice and calmed me down when matters got rough. Not only is she knowledgeable about family law, but she is also well aware of business law and criminal law. After a serious battle over child custody, I got primary physical custody of my daughter with an acceptable amount of child and spousal support. I was truly lucky to hire a lawyer like her and I would never forget how high she lifted me up when I was down. I would describe her as a woman of steel with just the right amount of warmth and compassion! Thanks Carina!
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Response from Carina Castaneda January 30, 2018
Thank you so much Maya. I really enjoyed getting to know you and diligently working on your case. You too were always available and quickly replied to our requests and inquiries. I know you have a very bright future in both your personal and professional life. I wish you and your family many happiness, good health and success. Carina
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Cost

Rates
  • Retainer Always
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Managing Partner
  • The Law Offices of Carina Castaneda
  • 2006 - Present
  • Deputy District Attorney
  • Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office
  • 1996 - 2006
  • Small Business Enterprise/MBE/WBE Certification Analyst
  • City of Los Angeles (Mayor's Office) Office of Contract Compliance
  • 1995 - 1996
  • Judicial Extern
  • The Honorable Dickran Tevrizian
  • 1994 - 1994
View all work experience

Education

  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1994
  • Leiden University, The Netherlands
  • International Law
  • 1994
  • University of California - Los Angeles
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1989

Associations

  • Philippine American Bar Association of Los Angeles
  • Board Member
  • 2003 - 2004
  • Philippine American Bar Association of Los Angeles
  • Board Member
  • 2002 - 2003

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Tagalog

Honors and Awards

  • Client's Choice
  • Avvo
  • 2019
  • 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the United States
  • Filipina Women's Network
  • 2009

Publications

Speaking Engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (10)
Given (8)
Endorse Carina
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I am an immigration attorney, and Carina worked with one of my clients on a sentence reduction that was crucial for my client's immigration case. She was professional, persistent, and patient. I highly recommend her for similar cases!"
Family Attorney | Feb 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 28
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Dec 07
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer."
Immigration Attorney | Oct 07
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Dec 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Oct 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer.This attorney has a strong reputation, is a zealous advocate for her clients and is a credit to the legal community."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Attorney Castaneda is an outstanding attonrey with an exceptional reputation. She is a strong and zealous advocate for her clients and a credit to the legal profession. I highly endorse her."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 03
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I endorse this lawyer. She is very knowledgeable about her field having been a deputy district attorney. I have referred numerous criminal cases to her and have only heard glowing reviews."
Unknown Attorney | Aug 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Carina is one of the best family and criminal defense attorneys I know. Her combination of genuine care for her clients and tenacity in court is respected by both judges and attorneys alike. I endorse Ms. Castaneda without any reservations."
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