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Diane Therese Letarte

Criminal defense Attorney at San Diego, CA

4.9   31 reviews

About Diane

Learn Diane’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Criminal defense
    Lifer Suitability hearing - BPH Post conviction, P36 Three Strikes (Re-sentencing)

  2. Appeals
    Writs from Lifer Parole Hearing

Criminal Defense attorney mostly in the area of Post-Conviction law helping inmates.


This includes Lifer Parole Hearings and Appeals from the Board of Parole Hearings across 35 State Prison in all of California..


French Canadian Snowbird from Montreal that landed in San Diego in 1979 and never left Beautiful city of San Diego!

Photos and videos

Licensed for 25 years
State DC
Status Good Standing
Acquired 1998
Updated 06/08/2022
State CA
Status Active
Acquired 1997
Updated 09/10/2022
State FL
Status Inactive
Acquired 1998
Updated 11/23/2022

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

Contact Diane

Diane Therese Letarte
1080 Park Blvd Unit 1008
San Diego, CA, 92101


4.9 / 5.0
  31 customer reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
Posted by Rudy Gonzalez | June 21, 2022
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Diane Is Top Notch
I worked on a complex case years ago regarding lifer parole law. Specifically, the In re Butler decision that affects how the BPH calculates time served/time owed. While other attorneys struggled with the concept and disagreed at the pro se level, Diane understood the issue, and dove in as a sounding board to help the cause. It speaks volumes about her keen understanding of actual parole law, and she's not afraid to stand up for the good of her clients. Almost a decade later, we can clearly see the outcome of that case, and how it changed the legal landscape. Diane is thoughtful and analytical, not dismissive, and she's very humble and kind. You can't teach those things. She has had a very long streak of success for a reason. I wouldn't hesitate to hire her if I ever had to face the Board. She is the only person among the big names I would actually consult first for representation actually....
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Posted by anonymous | May 2, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Renegade Comes Through Again!
Diane Letarte has been working for my loved one since 2015. She skillfully took his case to Los Angeles in 2016 where she had LWOP removed from his life sentence. She relentlessly fought for his freedom and thoroughly navigated him through the successful granting of his parole last month by the commissioners in his Board of Parole Hearing even in the middle of this deadly pandemic over zoom videos! My loved one has been incarcerated for 26 years!!! He is coming home before Christmas now and I can't thank Diane and Yolanda enough for helping us ( and putting up with my whiny phone calls) ! She's the BEST ever! OUR MOST GRATEFUL THANKS AND APPRECIATION!
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Posted by Celia Barrera | March 15, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Very happy she did a great job excellent a lawyer very satisfied personal I recommend Diane Therese Letarte
Posted by Alex | February 28, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
2 for 2 on Helping Us Get our Family Home
We first hired Ms Letarte for one of our family members 3 years ago or so. Then hired her again for a different family member this year. Both times our family members were found suitable for release. Both were given life sentences and with the help of Ms Letarte both have another chance at living a life outside of prison walls. Thanks once again and we highly recommend her services.
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Posted by anonymous | January 13, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
True Professionalism and Successful
Ms Letarte: Me and my family cant express enough how grateful we are for Ms. Letarte's service!! My brother was sentenced to 25 to Life, it seemed hopeless to think that he would ever come out. Ms. Letarte was referred to us by a family that had a family member doing life and was granted parole with the help of Ms. Letarte, long story short Ms. Letarte was direct and moved swiftly in reviewing my brothers case and made the impossible possible. Ms. Letarte's staff team was also awesome in their professionalism and swift to respond to matters. My brother is now coming home thanks to Ms. Letarte and her team, we will forever be grateful for her services. If you have a family member that needs professional help I'm telling you that YOU CAN NOT GO WRONG BY HIRING Ms. Letarte!!!!! Thank you Ms. Letarte!!!
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Posted by Lydia C. | December 8, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
I would like to express , my thanks to Diane T and Yolanda navarro, with out their help and working hard to get my son home. They are the best in what they do . they fight very hard for your family. Am telling everyone i know about them, thank you so much, Lydia V. Carbajal
Posted by Rachel | August 29, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Navigate a successful parole
Diane Letarte has been invaluable in preparing my son for his parole. She has constructively guided us in the path of what is needed by the inmate to be successful in his parole appearance. Diane was hired, she in California, my son in a Midwest state, but governed by the State of California. Negotiating a long distance parole has been challenging as these two states run on different programs, expectations, what is offered for jobs, libraries, programs. Diane and her team, Thank you Yolanda, coached him, found programs for him to participate in and knew what needed to be done. Taking accountability is a high priority for Diane's clients and she knows this is one of the biggest pluses when going before the parole board. It is abundantly clear she knows what her job and performance means to her clients and their family. After the second parole hearing we were successful...Diane and staff...we thank you for helping us and paving the way for our son to come home. My personal opinion? You could not find a better firm to help you with your legal defense.
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Posted by Randal | April 16, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best b.p.h. lawyer in the country
I was a difficult person to defend in a hearing and Diane was awesome. After 13 hearings with other attorneys she got me out. Then she went on to get my special child out who is the love of my life. No other attorney is even close for b.p.h. hearings
Posted by Darlene | January 8, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best lawyer we ever used
Our family would like to thank Mrs latartte for all her help she is a wonderful lawyer God Bless you and your work
Posted by anonymous | May 20, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Job well done
My husband and I can’t thank Ms. Letarte enough for doing such a wonderful job representing at my husband’s Board of Parole Hearing. Her level of professionalism and knowledge of the process is beyond measure. We couldn’t be more pleased. Thank you, Ms. Letarte. Warmest regards, J & T L.
Posted by KimberlyWhite | February 21, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A million Thank You's
My husband had a life sentence and after 40 years of being locked up and denied parole several times, I contacted Attorney LeTarte. Her and her staff went above and beyond to help my husband. First there was a suitability hearing and he was found suitable....but then the Governor said no. I contacted Attorney Letarte again and she was on his case right away, flew to his En Banc hearing and now my Husband is coming home! She is absolutely amazing, dedicated, sincere and well educated. Her staff is amazing too. If you want a fighting chance I suggest you hire her. Thank you Diane, Yolanda and the rest of the staff for your hard work and sincere dedication to helping men and women get back home to their families.
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Posted by S.F. | April 5, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Lifer Attorney
We retained Ms. Letarte a few years ago for my husband's parole board hearing. After carefully reviewing my husband's case it was decided to waive his initial hearing in order to be better prepared. It was great advice, my husband was able to complete additional self help courses and gain employment at the prison which helped him tremendously. He was far more prepared when he did eventually go in front of the board this year. With the help of Ms.Letarte and staff and of course my husband's hard work and determination he was granted parole. He is now a free man. We are so grateful for the effort put forth by Ms. Letarte, she was a blessing to have on our team. A million thank yous!!!!!
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Posted by Nelwyn | November 9, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thank You
My husband is granted parole because of Diane Letarte and staff. She prepared my husband for the parole board hearing and gave him confidence that parole could happen to him. . My husband told me that when she came to visit for his preparation for the board hearing , she went over his last board hearing, gave him ideas and to be transparent to the commissioners. His last lawyer was a poor example and didn't fight for my husband freedom. Diane Letarte was in the trenches with him and I am very thankful. My husband was granted parole because we got a lawyer that sees a person and not a price tag. Thank you and God Bless you Diane Letarte and staff.
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Posted by James | July 4, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Praise for Ms. Letarte
Ms. Letarte represented me for two hearings. I couldn't have been more prepared she did a fantastic job. My second hearing was an S. B. 261 and It was granted and I am now released. I recommend attorney D. Letarte to anybody who is serious about going home.
Posted by Richard | April 17, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Greatest Parole Hearing Attorney
“Diane it was your constant reminder that I should not give-up. Again Thank You for believing in me and standing up to the hardest parole hearing I have ever had. Diane you did a Great job and like I said you did the ‘impossible’ in getting me a GRANT!” Shaputis R.
Posted by Michael | June 16, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Lawyer Ever
On June 3, 2015, I was found suitable for parole. This was no easy task being that from day one of my arrest on April 26, 1983, I consistently maintained my innocence. With that said, every attorney prior to Ms. Letarte, informed me that I would never be found suitable for parole as long as I maintained my innocence. I contacted Ms. Letarte's office in January 2015, explaining my situation and asked if she would be willing to come visit me for possible retaining her for my upcoming Parole hearing. She visited me, heard what I had to say, and agreed to represent me. With Ms. Letarte's brilliance and expertise on parole hearings, I was found suitable for parole! Again, despite being told that I "would never" be found suitable by other soo called attorneys. To my disappointment my fight for actually being freed after being found suitable for parole was far from over. On September 2015, two days prior to my parole grant becoming final, the Governor referred my case to the En Banc panel. On October 2015, the motion was approved by the majority of the commissioners. I was then scheduled for a Rescission hearing for February 5, 2016. Once again I contacted Ms. Letarte, if she would represent me at the hearing, and she did. Before and during the hearing, I was a nervous wreck, it's nothing like having someone take something away from you that you fought so hard for. But just as in the previous hearing, Ms. Letarte's impeccable skills prevailed, and my original parole grant was affirmed! Today I am a free man after serving 32 years & 8 months for a crime “I did not commit”. Thanks to Ms. Diane T. Letarte, MBA, LLM and her support staff. I truly am a believer in her motto which states, "It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog." She is the real deal!!! I am so grateful and blessed to have retained Ms. Letarte, as my attorney, and I would recommend her to anyone who is serious about regaining their freedom! Thanks again Ms. Letarte for helping get my life back! Sincerely, Michael D. V, former lifer
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Posted by anonymous | February 10, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Helping my husband and I achieve his freedom
We so appreciate your sincere efforts in giving us a new start. Our finances were "not" wasted. Not one cent. Your experience and expertise in this area of our need was impeccable. Would I recommend you to others? Most definitely!
Posted by anonymous | February 3, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
My husband hired Diane to advance his hearing date. We are very happy with the service we received. She works quickly and efficiently. With her help, my husband got a hearing date much sooner!
Posted by Su | November 10, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommend.
We hired Diane Letarte to handle a family member upcoming hearing. After reading about Diane my family and I were convinced we had the right person to get our family member out prison after having served almost 3 decades. Needless to say our family member is coming home thanks to Diane. Furthermore her staff Yolanda is awesome, she was very attentive and caring. You ladies rock. Thanks again.
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Posted by Blair | October 30, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Robert Blair
Diane represented me at a board of parole hearing for two murders that I did not commit. Maintaining my innocence was always the elephant in the room for 39 years. She removed the elephant by guiding and coaching me before and throughout the hearing I am convinced I would still be in prison if she had not represented me.
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Contact for Details


AVVO RATING 9.5 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Attorney - Owner
  • Law Office of Diane T. Letarte
  • 1998 - Present
  • Internship
  • Vista Public Defender's Office
  • 2002 - 2002


  • Walden University
  • MS - Master of Science
  • 2011
  • University of San Diego School of Law
  • LL.M - Master of Laws
  • 2002
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1996
  • University of Redlands
  • MBA - Master of Business Administration
  • 1991
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1979
View all education

Legal Cases

  • Fitz v. NCR Corp., 118 Cal. App. 4th 702.
  • Employee Procedural win impacting ALL NCR California employee.


  • San Diego Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2000 - Present
  • North County Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1999 - Present
  • Lawyers Club of San Diego (North County chapter)
  • Former President
  • N/A
  • Lawyers Club of San Diego (North County chapter)
  • President
  • 2005 - 2006
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • French
  • Spanish
  • English


  • Attorney of the Month
  • Attorney Journal
  • 2013
  • Judge Pro tem Contribution
  • Judge Advocates Association
  • 2012
  • Distinguished Service Award
  • San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program
  • 2000
  • Service Award
  • North County Bar Association
  • N/A
View all awards


Speaking Engagements

  • LIFER SEMINAR - Prison
  • 2011
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (5)
Given (4)
Appeals Attorney | Mar 28
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"I had the pleasure of working with Diane when I was a new attorney in California. She was an inspiring mentor and remarkable lawyer. Her passion for justice and for her clients is truly one of a kind. Lawyers have a bad reputation for being money hungry, but Diane is the polar opposite of this stereotype - putting "the cause" as number one, and being willing to sacrifice everything for her clients. If only all lawyers could be as dedicated, passionate, and selfless as Diane."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 29
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"This attorney works very hard for the client and keeps up with the law by attending legal seminars to assist them in this regard. I endorse this attorney."
Appeals Attorney | Sep 30
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Your resume speaks for itself and I consider you a valuable member of the attorney community. I would recommend you to anyone and everyone who needs your services. I whole heartedly endorse this lawyer!"
Appeals Attorney | Jul 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Attorney Letarte has dedicated her career to assisting a population within our community that needs zealous advocacy. A true professional."
Appeals Attorney | Jul 02
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"I work under the guidance of Ms. Letarte in the area of parole suitability hearings. I gravitated to her because of her extensive knowledge and experience in the field. Her bright personality and honesty is refreshing, making her one of my favorite attorneys to work with."
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
Criminal defense
San Diego Criminal defense Lawyer Diane Therese Letarte
Diane Therese Letarte
Criminal defense Attorney
San Diego, CA
Licensed for 25 years