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Jonah Chaplin Chew

Criminal defense Attorney at San Francisco, CA

4.9   69 reviews
  • Licensed for 25 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1998
    Status
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Jonah

Learn Jonah’s areas of practice.

2
Practice areas

Jonah Chew has over 20 years of experience in the courtroom, earning him a reputation as one of San Francisco’s most aggressive and effective criminal litigators. His work and expertise in a wide range of criminal cases has earned him media coverage in numerous Bay Area publications.

After earning his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1998 and being admitted to the California State Bar the same year, he opened a private criminal practice with another attorney. Three years later, he was hired at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office, considered among the best public defender offices in the United States. It was there he sharpened his skills as a top trial attorney, representing thousands of clients, writing and arguing hundreds of motions and successfully defending people in cases ranging from simple drug possession to serious felonies.

Whether he is defending clients in federal court or in state court, Jonah Chew is a trial attorney who consistently obtains outstanding results. He is aggressive and negotiates the best deals for his clients and guides them towards treatment and rehabilitation when necessary. He is an expert in dealing with complex criminal issues and assists all of his clients in navigating through the intricacies of the legal system.

 

Photos and videos

Chew Law Offices employs top Bay Area criminal defense attorneys who provide aggressive representation and personal attention to each client. Our experience includes  DUIs and drug offenses, white collar crime and more.

Location

Law Office of Jonah Chew
1388 Sutter Street
Suite 805
San Francisco, CA, 94109

Criminal Defense lawyers nearby

Reviews

4.9 / 5.0
  69 customer reviews
Posted by Neal | May 18, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great Attorney!!!
Jonah was great to work with! He was always there when I needed him and took a very professional and personal approach to my situation. He is smart and knows the ins and outs of the legal system. I would highly recommend him!
Posted by anonymous | March 18, 2024
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thank you, Jonah!
I never had any interactions with the law in my life and after an unfortunate incident everything was scary and stressful. Jonah helped to reduce the stress and patiently explained things to me and answered my questions, as I was clueless about how the justice system works. He was very responsive throughout the multi-year process and was willing to jump on a phone call to talk things over. Jonah is compassionate yet explains things how they are without sugarcoating. He's been in the Bay Area judicial system for a long while and understands well how it works. Case was terminated and I'm back to the happy life thanks to Jonah.
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Posted by anonymous | July 18, 2023
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Attorney
Jonah was such a blessing. I was facing multiple felonies, but after strategically playing the long game, he was able to get my case dismissed 5 years later. He was always there to answer any questions, or concerns that I had. I would highly recommend him to anyone.
Posted by anonymous | April 22, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Hands Down Best Criminal Attorney in San Francisco
Jonah Chew, Esq. was there for me on the worst day of my life. After being arrested and wrongly charged with several criminal offenses, I was desperate to find the best criminal attorney in San Francisco. I read reviews online, which resulted in my finding Jonah and his firm; all the reviews on Attorney Chew were positive. Jonah had me as a client for four years, fighting for and representing me at every step along the way. He took time to explain everything to me and was always available by phone or email for questions. He was always at my hearings on time, and often would meet with me at a local coffee shop an hour before our hearings to check in with me, strategize, explain next steps, and answer any questions. I noticed that, when Jonah enters the courtroom, he is respected by the legal community right away. I believe that his positive relationships with Judges, Court Personnel, and other attorneys greatly assists his clients when he negotiates on their behalf- the legal community knows Jonah will courteously fight to get the best deal for his client. He did for me- thankfully all my charges were dropped in the end due to his considerate persistence with finding a positive resolution for me. Jonah is a hard worker working late into the evening and even on weekends to make sure he is prepared for each hearing and his motions are prepared. He is passionate about his cases, genuinely cares for the well-being of his clients, and is a great listener. I would recommend him to anyone- if you have a criminal matter, you are doing yourself a disservice going to anyone else. He guided me through the most stressful, anxiety-filled, and depressing four years of my life, with an extremely favorable outcome. I have my charges cleared because of him.
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Posted by Colin | October 28, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Exceptional lawyer
Jonah is an excellent lawyer. He and his law firm represented me on a tricky case that potentially could have landed me in jail or prison. It was a dire situation, but Jonah handled things with confidence, assertiveness, and an appropriate sense of humor. Ultimately, he was able to get my case dismissed via mental health diversion and I now have a clean legal record again. Jonah was always professional, detailed, and a good communicator. He was reassuring when things looked very bad, detail oriented in drafting motions and, most of all compassionate to my situation. Never once did I feel uncomfortable or doubtful of his abilities and skills. If you unfortunately find yourself on the wrong side of the law, do yourself a favor and hire Jonah Chew Law Firm. You’ll be in good hands.
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Posted by anonymous | May 25, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Choice Hands Down
Jonah saved my life. I was facing two charges - DUI with refusal enhancement and a hit and run with property damage. Jonah was able to get the DUI charge dismissed, and settled the hit and run with a civil compromise. Many lawyers will urge their clients to plea, so they can get through the case quickly and move on to the next client. Jonah is a fighter. He will fight tooth and nail to win your case with no compromise.
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Posted by anonymous | April 23, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Client
Jonah Chew’s law office is no ordinary sway, nor is it intended to financially burden anyone because he understands homogeneous backgrounds. He understood me, a black student who had been wronged by society because of mental restrictions and street norms that were placed in my community. This law office has provided a second chance at life, even though my circumstances seemed futile. This is not just an office it is a family. A family that will not leave you stranded even when the process of judiciary power takes control and overwhelms individuals. Thank you Jonah chew’s law office all I can say is that this is a guaranteed success because Jonah chew does not rest until liberty is served.
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Posted by anonymous | December 23, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
First time needing an attorney and I couldn’t have been happier with the outcome thanks to Jonah
I'm so glad I decided to choose Jonah as my attorney. Getting my first DUI was an experience full of uncertainty, fear, and an overall feeling that I had never felt before. From the first day I met him, I knew I was in good hands. His cool and calm attitude definitely put me at ease. He is straight to the point and doesn't BS the facts.. but you just know having him on your side is extremely beneficial. I was facing some pretty serious charges that should have landed me in jail. He instructed me on what I should do prior to sentencing (start a drug/alcohol dependency program, enroll in dui classes, stay out of trouble, etc..). After a year of going to court.. I was able to stay out of jail and am on probation. I was facing 3 felonies but he was able to knock it down to one which will hopefully be dropped down to a misdemeanor after my 3 years of probation. Without going into too much detail.. I could easily have faced a minimum of 6 months in jail. He was always there throughout the process and answered any and all of my questions with detail. His demeanor with the judges, court clerks, and other attorneys let's you know he is experienced and well-liked. Hopefully, there never comes a time I will need his services again.. but I now know who to call if there ever comes a day that I or one of my friends ever need a great attorney. Thank you, Jonah.
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Posted by anonymous | September 27, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional, Experienced, and Devoted Lawyer!
Mr. Chew is an excellent lawyer who is committed to providing you the best legal representation possible. He responds to all questions and concerns quickly and gives clear, concise information that will put you at ease because you know you're in capable hands. Mr. Chew handled my motion for expungement under PC 1203.4, the process was expedited and my motion was granted. If you are looking for superior representation look no further Mr. Chew is simply the best.
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Posted by Charlie | August 21, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
20+ years of experience in Criminal Defense, Kind, Smart, hire him!
I hired Jonah to help a family member who was charged with several counts: drug posession, domestic violence, gun possession, and child endangerment. Really messy case and we needed a good criminal defense lawyer. Jonah handled the case really well and was extremely responsive and professional. When we were looking for an attorney in San Francisco we met with a lot of really inexperienced criminal lawyers that we found on Yelp. They talked a good game but really you can tell that they were just trying to get our money. Jonah’s not like that at all. He was really up front with us about the cost and was reasonable. Your money goes a long way with Jonah, and worth every penny because he’s got 20 years of criminal law experience to back it up!
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Posted by anonymous | June 16, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Complex case involving DV
Jonah is the man of wonders. People do have bad times, and I found my loved one was in a hot soup before we could figure out what was going. Jonah is an absolute magic man! I thought the charge would have been serious (if it was charged), and would result in some jail time, with many other different punishments, I contacted Jonah just after a week of the episode, and he tremendously helped. Not being from this country, not knowing the laws, rules and english not being my first language I felt helpless and manipulated by the system until I had Jonah as my defence lawyer. Jonah guided me very well, and was super communicative. He made sure he replied to me when I sent him an email, if he was appearing in court or was busy; he gave me time when he would be available to return my messages or calls. He truely has an immensely amazing rapport with the DAs and people at the court (trust me blindly!); because our case which we thought we couldnt get off atleast for a year; was not even filed in the court. Jonah is 2 steps ahead of the procedures. Just trust him and you will be in good hands. My case was complex to the level that I think my loved one could have gotten deported; but Jonah helped us by not getting the case filed in the first place! I am so thankful to Jonah. Words fall short to describe Jonah as a defense lawyer! Contact him as soon as you get in trouble with any arrest/allegation. The earlier you get Jonah's help; the better would be the result. He would help you by telling you what wrong was done in your case, and how you could improve it. If you are a first time offender, (or things just hapenned because of miscommunication or misunderstanding) he will help you improve and make sure it never happens again. Our situation had the best outcome! More than anything, after we got the decision; Jonah made sure I was safe and I felt supported in case I needed him in future. I am going to follow his SHORT and LONG term advice. I will have his number in my emergency contacts (lol). Jonah is the BEST! Thanks again Jonah.... I would have given you 10stars if I got an option. You are a relief!
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Posted by anonymous | December 18, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Amazing defense lawyer
I cannot say enough good things about Jonah. He is an outstanding lawyer. He has represented me in the past when I was going through a very rough period and helped me see my way out. So when my brother who suffers from schizophrenia found himself in a bad situation, I immediately called Jonah. Without going into detail I can say that my family and I are so grateful that I did. He's attentive, compassionate, professional and highly dedicated to helping good people deal with bad situations. His communication style made my brother feel like he was a person. It was clear that he understood that my brother is a good person suffering from a complicated medical condition vs a crazy criminal and with his help, we were able to get his case dismissed. If you're looking for representation, I highly recommend the Law Offices of Jonah Chew. He's the best defense lawyer you can get and an amazing human being.
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Posted by Tony | November 9, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
A amazing lawyer, an even more amazing person
Jonah was hired by me during a time, when I was facing a lot of stress and uncertainty in my life. He understood what I was going throug, and was there every step of the way. Jonah has a lot of experience in criminal trials and was a public defender so he knew how help those in need. He is professional but, at the same time easy to talk to, and work with. What stood out the most was how compassionate he was towards me and my situation. I have never met a lawyer so understanding yet willing go out of his way, to put your mind at ease. I highly recommend this individual because of his integrity, compassion, professionalism and expertise. You will not disappointed if you decide to retain the services of Jonah Chew. Give him a try and you will see what I mean.
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Posted by Vince | September 30, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Extremely professional and effective
Was in dire need of a lawyer for my case so I contacted the law offices of Jonah Chew. Without going into too much detail, I can say that Jonah displayed a level of unparalleled professionalism throughout this long, tiring ordeal. Mr Chew was non-judgmental but also personable and made me feel like I could reach out to him whatever time of day. Despite his heavy caseload he made sure to take the time to make sure whatever needs or questions I had at the time were addressed and always feeling re-assured and in good hands. His communication, follow-ups, and depth of knowledge was simply amazing. Mr Chew is also extremely experienced with the court system and was able to leverage his rapport with the prosecutors, DAs, and judges to ensure I was getting the best outcome. It is unclear whether a lawyer without prior experience working in these specific court systems could've yielded a better outcome. I think the case could've easily gone south had I not gone through this ordeal with Mr Chew. I honestly had not expected this level of service given the pricing. Mr Chew went above and beyond his call of duty. I am extremely releived to have done the research when searching for representation. It does make a difference.
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Posted by Chen | May 15, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Best Attorney Ever
If you need an attorney and you havent got one yet, GET JONAH! If you already have an attorney, LEAVE HIM AND GET JONAH! Jonah is hands down the best attorney I have ever had. He was very understanding and works with you to have the best case possible to present in court. He was able to reduce my felony to a misdemeanor. Thanks Jonah!
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Posted by Allison | April 17, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
THANK YOU, JONAH!
Jonah is a life saver. My mother and I were referred to Jonah by an attorney in Oakland. This attorney promised us that we would be in "good hands". From then on, that is exactly what has occurred. As this was my first offense, I was very honest about my lack of knowledge of the justice system and court procedures. He was with me every step of the way with my numerous questions and worries. He made us feel as comfortable as possible (I was super nervous about my future). We felt like we can put our full trust in him, and fortunately, I am very glad we did. He was able to reduce my felony into a misdemeanor with just a few days of community service, and no restitution. In San Mateo County! Like magic. He is a very well respected attorney, and well known in the courts. My mother and I are thankful for you Jonah Chew! you are Family to us.
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Posted by Mariam | April 15, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Great choice in an Attorney.
As an attorney Jonah is diligent and always willing to go the extra mile. I've hired attorneys in the past but never felt as comfortable and well taken care of as I did with Jonah. Hands down Jonah is one of the hardest working and best attorneys I have ever come across. I can honestly say I would recommend Jonah to anyone who ever needs an attorney
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Posted by Cesar gonzalez | March 18, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The best lawyer i had
He represented me and a fammily memeber my family memember Referred me to him. He helpedme on a case with numerous felonies charged. Conviction of any of the charges would have had devastating consequences. After six months of work, he was able to work out a very satisfactorily misdemeanor deal"
Posted by Lamar | March 1, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Awesome attorney!
Helped get my felony dismissed and all my money back! He was very polite with fast responses getting my case quickly dismissed!
Posted by anonymous | January 3, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Life saver
Jonah has a type of energy that will make you feel comfortable, as well as make you feel less stressed by his presence. My mother and I were referred to Jonah by an attorney in SF and said we were in good hands. As my first offense, I did not have much knowledge on what to do in terms of the justice system, and he was with us every step of the way. He was able to reduce my felony into a misdemeanor with community service and no restitution.. in San Mateo County! He also is super charismatic, funny, knows practically everyone, and very well respected in the community. He is definitely a life saver, and now a long time friend, and treated my mother and I as family. We are forever grateful for you!
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Cost

We have not found any cost information for this lawyer

Contact for Details

Resume

AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Owner
  • Law Office of Jonah Chew
  • 2006 - Present
  • Deputy Public Defender
  • San Francisco Public Defender
  • 2001 - 2006

Education

  • University of San Francisco School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1998
  • Univ of California San Diego
  • Undergraduate
  • N/A

Sample of Legal Cases

  • People v. E.C.
  • Not Guilty All Counts, five week jury trial
  • People v. M.T.
  • Non-strike plea, local jail time only
  • People v. Anonymous
  • No Jail.
View all legal cases

Associations

  • Minority Bar Exchange
  • Criminal Defense Attorney Representative
  • 2015 - Present
  • Asian American Criminal Trial Lawyer's Association
  • Treasurer/Founding Member
  • 2014 - Present
  • Asian Pacific Islander Joint Bar Association Judiciary Coalition of Northern California
  • AACTLA Representative
  • 2014 - Present
  • California Public Defenders Association
  • Member
  • 2010 - Present
  • California DUI Lawyers Association
  • Member
  • 2008 - Present
  • Filipino Bar Association of Northern California
  • Member
  • 2006 - Present
  • Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area
  • Member
  • 2000 - Present
  • State Bar of California
  • Member
  • 1998 - Present
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2020
  • Super Lawyer
  • SuperLawyers
  • 2019
  • CENTRAL VALLEY TOXICOLOGY BLOOD ALCOHOL METHOD REVIEW
  • Certification of Attendance, Dr. Rose
  • 2012
  • INTERMEDIATE - INSPECTING BLOOD ETHANOL CHROMATOGRAMS
  • Certificate of attendance, Dr. Rose
  • 2011
  • INTRODUCTION TO BLOOD ALCOHOL GAS CHROMATOGRAMS
  • Certificate of Attendance, Dr. Rose
  • 2011
  • DWI Detection & Standardized Field Sobriety Testing
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)Student Course by La Pier & Associates
  • 2009
View all awards

Speaking Engagements

  • Race and the Jury Box
  • Voir Dire Training
  • 2018
  • USF Intensive Advocacy Program
  • Direct and Cross Examination
  • 2017
  • USF Intensive Advocacy Program
  • Direct and Cross Examination
  • 2016
  • National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
  • How to Do It All When You're Solo or Small Firm
  • 2016
  • MCLE
  • How to Defend A Misdemeanor Case
  • 2003
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (21)
Given (26)
Endorse Jonah
DUI and DWI Attorney | Dec 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | May 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Jonah. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community."
Criminal defense Attorney | Mar 17
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Jonah is one of the best, if not THE BEST attorneys out there. He knows the law like the back of his hand and has a great reputation in the legal community. Everybody loves him and that's because he's ethical, straight to the point, and gets the best result for all of his clients. We've worked together on many cases and our clients could not be happier."
Criminal defense Attorney | Nov 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Jonah is extremely knowledgeable, confident, and helpful. He is well known in Bay Area courts and he always fights for his clients. Great lawyer!"
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Attorney Chew has to be one of the hardest working, most compassionate and client oriented advocates to be practicing law. I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 25
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer without any reservations. It is amazing that I continue to learn from him every day from his responses on Avvo even though I have been licensed for 24 years and have served as a judge, magistrate, law professor, prosecutor, and private attorney. You can not afford not to hire him."
Criminal defense Attorney | Apr 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"For that past decade, I've known Jonah to be a fantastic advocate for his clients. The man has vast experience in the San Francisco courts. I wouldn't hesitate to hire him if I was facing charges."
Unknown Attorney | Apr 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"To me, Jonah represents a standard that all in our practice should pursue. He is detail oriented, knowledgeable on the law and all aspects of his case (and if you need him, your case too). Simply stated, Jonah is a true asset to this profession and more importantly his clients in his relentless pursuit of justice for them. I unequivocally endorse Jonah Chew."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 30
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I opposed Jonah for a number of years as a DA, and worked with him most recently as a defense attorney. He is knowledgable, thoughful, experienced in criminal matters, and definately know what he is doing. He is able to spot small issues in big cases and bring those to the forefront to work for the benefit of his client. I look forward to working with him in the future, and endorse him fully."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jan 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Jonah Chew is a highly respected aggressive criminal defense and DUI advocate in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area. I am happy to endorse his work as he works tirelessly to achieve the best possible results for his clients and is not afraid to stand up to the government. He is one trial attorney you should consult with if charged with a crime in San Francisco."
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 19
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have seen Mr. Chew in action for a number of years and always found him to be an effective and forceful advocate for his clients. I know he gets excellent results for his clients."
Criminal defense Attorney | Oct 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Jonah Chew is an excellent trial attorney. He is bright, honest, personable, and has the experience to provide his clients with unparalleled results. Most importantly, he is an aggressive defender and has a solid reputation here in the bay area. If you are looking for an outstanding lawyer, I would not hesitate to suggest hiring Jonah."
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 08
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Jonah is one of the finest, most prepared, and smart criminal defense lawyers practicing in the Bay Area. He is very well respected by Judges, Prosecutors, and fellow lawyers. I highly recommend him for any criminal matter."
Criminal defense Attorney | Sep 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Jonah is a nice guy but don't let that fool you. He is extremely aggressive in defending your rights. I have seen Jonah at work and am currently in an ongoing legal seminar with him. Jonah is very experienced and knowledgeable. He is the ultimate fighter for his clients. If you need a criminal defense or DUI lawyer to defend you or your loved ones, Jonah is that person for you. He is one of the best, if not the best, in the San Francisco Bay Area."
Criminal defense Attorney | Aug 30
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Jonah Chew will get the job done. Jonah is a hard working, thorough and knowledgeable. He fights for his clients' rights and is respected in the legal community. Do not hesitate to contact and hire Jonah to represent you."
DUI and DWI Attorney | Oct 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work because I personally have seen him fight for his clients. Many lawyers look for the easiest way to settle a case, but Jonah looks for the best way to settle the case for his client whether it is easy or not. And, when it isn't easy he will take a case to trial to fight for his clients; that is something else a lot of lawyers won't do. That is why it is important the you investigate the lawyer you are hiring, and if you are in Mr. Jonah Chew's office you need not look any further. Hire Jonah and then let him do the great work he does for others for you. Donald Drewry"
Criminal defense Attorney | Feb 06
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work. Jonah knows the San Francisco courts as well as anyone and will work to get you the best possible results. I recommend Jonah for any San Francisco case."
Criminal defense Attorney | Dec 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer's work without reservation. I have been opposing counsel against Jonah and worked with him. He is one of the most knowledgeable attorneys that I have ever had a pleasure to work with. His calm and friendly demeanor allows him to have a great working relationship with clients."
Criminal defense Attorney | Jul 20
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Jonah and I have worked on cases together for two years now. Jonah is an excellent criminal defense/DUI lawyer. He knows the law, he knows how to argue the law, he knows how to pitch a deal, and he knows how to win."
View more endorsements
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