I couldn't ask for more. I was facing an inordinately nasty charge for a relatively small misunderstanding at a very young, barely adult age. With a court appointed attorney, I would've received jail time, despite it being my first arrest.
I asked the bail bondsman who the good attorneys are in town. He gave a few names, paused, and then said "but if you've got the money and really want the best, Paul Meltzer is it."
I spoke with the other attorneys first, and they seemed perfectly fine. Their retainers were about $3,000. I met with Paul last. His credentials largely speak for themselves. Berkeley Law, suma somethin' cum laude, represents some large real estate entity in Pebble Beach, etc. Paul's retainer was $5,000 (pretty sure). Keep in mind this was in the early 2000's. If the case needed to go to trial, Paul's well-earned services become very expensive - too expensive for me.
Fortunately, Paul had my case dismissed much faster than any CA trial could begin.
I still remember my last court date and seeing the look on the ADA's face after the judge ruled for dismissal. He was staring right at Paul with his eyes wide and mouth slightly agape, as if to say "how in the world did this guy just pull that off?!"
If there were a law against being smooth and getting things done, Paul would be a wanted man, and the only criminal in court that day.