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About me

Josh is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. While over 9,200 attorneys in California list criminal law as a practice area on Avvo, under four hundred are Certified Specialists. Before achieving this distinction an applicant must complete a 6 hour examination, demonstrate a broad range of criminal law experience in jury trials, writs, and appeals, and submit dozens of references from judges, defense attorneys, and prosecutors.

Josh has handled thousands of criminal cases, ranging from DUI to homicide, and has tried over 60 cases to a jury. Josh is a graduate of Cornell Law School, an Ivy League institution and one of the top 10 law schools in the country.  At Cornell, Josh was a general editor of the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, and published a law journal article titled Finding a Forum in the Simulated City: Mega Malls, Gated Towns, and the Promise of Pruneyard, which focused on free speech rights in quasi-public forums where property owners and police are trying to curtail individual rights and freedom. Josh knew early in his law school career that his passion was in criminal law, defending individuals who had made a mistake and were now facing punishment in one of the harshest and most punitive criminal “justice” systems in the world.  Josh externed for a judge in New York and experienced firsthand the inner workings of judicial decision making in a criminal courtroom.  In that position, Josh provided the judge input about judicial decisions and drafted written opinions for the court. During law school, Josh also worked part-time for a criminal defense attorney, doing research on a death penalty case and writing the appellate brief in a murder case. Josh relocated his third year to work full-time in the motion and research department of the Alameda County Public Defender Office, which is widely considered to be the most prestigious motions unit of any public defender office in California. Josh practiced criminal law as a public defender for almost 9 years, including 6 ½ years at the Public Defender Office in Indio.  Josh has shown his vigor and ability as a trial attorney, taking over 20 misdemeanor and 40 felony cases to trial.  Josh has done jury trials in almost every kind of criminal case, ranging from simple DUIs and misdemeanor domestic violence to sexual assault, rape, child molest, mayhem, and murder.  Josh has been very successful in jury trials and his hard work and creative defenses have resulted in dozens of ‘not guilty’ verdicts for his clients. Josh has presented creative defenses in his practice that have led juries to acquittals in seemingly hopeless cases.  For example, in an auto theft case where the stolen vehicle was found in his client’s garage, Josh researched and utilized an obscure and seldom-used mental health defense that resulted in an acquittal without subjecting his client to a lifetime in a state mental hospital. On a separate occasion, Josh was able to qualify a homeless scrap metal collector as an expert, and the jury relied on the man’s expertise in acquitting Josh’s client.. Josh’s thorough and smart approach to cases also helped his clients get amazing results in plea-bargaining.  Josh recently persuaded prosecutors to accept pleas to manslaughter in two separate homicide cases, a rare success in Riverside County.  In another recent case, Josh was able to avoid a 12-year sentence for a client by aggressively pursuing an extensive and judicially acceptable rehabilitation package for a client over the prosecution’s strenuous objection.  Now Josh’s client is seriously addressing his addiction issues in a posh rehabilitation facility, rather than rotting in the county jail. No attorney can guarantee results, but the Wilkerson & Mulligan Law Firm can guarantee fair dealing, personal service, and a smart and strong defense.  We fight hard to get the best possible result for every client.  


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Sex Crime: 20%
    12 years, 100 cases
  2. DUI & DWI: 20%
    12 years, 500 cases
  3. Criminal Defense: 20%
    12 years, 5 thousand cases
  4. Violent Crime: 15%
    12 years, 200 cases
  5. Other: 25%
  6. More 



Fixed (always), Free consultation (90 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

9 total 

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  • Megan J. Beaman Carlson

    It is my pleasure to work in a legal community where Joshua Mulligan and his partner Forest Wilkerson are defending clients charged with criminal defenses. My work in civil rights often overlaps with these types of cases and client communities, and I feel privileged that Josh and Forest are available to offer guidance to me, and also to serve as a resource and potential attorneys for my clients who need them.


    Megan Carlson Employment and labor Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Shaun Anderson Sullivan

    Mr. Mulligan has an unblemished reputation in the community as a serious, seasoned, and intelligent advocate for his clients. I asked Mr. Mulligan for some input a few months back, and he gladly listened and then provided valuable advice. I came away very impressed with him. I would not hesitate to recommend Mr. Mulligan.


    Shaun Sullivan Personal injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact info

Wilkerson & Mulligan

78060 Calle Estado
Suite 21
La Quinta, CA, 92253


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Top LawyerPalm Springs Life Magazine2016
Certified Criminal Law SpecialistThe State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization2016
Nation's Top One PercentNational Association of Distinguished Counsel2015
Top Lawyer, Coachella ValleyPalm Springs Life Magazine2015
Top Attorney, Coachella ValleyPalm Springs Life Magazine2014
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerWilkerson & Mulligan2013 - Present
Deputy Public DefenderRiverside County Public Defender's Office2007 - 2013
Deputy Public DefenderTulare County Public Defender2005 - 2007
Full time internshipAlameda County Public Defender's Office2004 - 2004
Summer InternSan Francisco Public Defender2003 - 2003
Association namePosition nameDuration
The National Association of Distinguished CounselMember2015 - Present
California Attorneys for Criminal JusticeMember2013 - Present
California Public Defenders AssociationMember2007 - Present
Cornell Journal of Law and Public PolicyGeneral Editor2003 - 2004
Cornell Journal of Law and Public PolicyAssociate2002 - 2003
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
People v. T.M.dismissed
People v. RJlesser charge
People v. Johnsonlesser charge
See all legal cases 
Publication nameTitleDate
Wilkerson & Mulligan BlogCan the alleged victim in a Domestic Violence case get the case dropped?2013
Cornell Journal of Law and Public PolicyFinding a Forum in the Simulated City: Mega Malls, Gated Towns, and the Promise of Pruneyard2004
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Cornell Law SchoolLawJD - Juris Doctor2004
University of MontanaHistoryBA - Bachelor of Arts1999
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Ron Siegel Home and Finance RadioFinding a Criminal Defense Attorney2013