Forty Years Before the Bench


It was 40 years ago today that I was sworn in as an attorney in the State of California.  After I spent nearly 10 years as a Deputy District Attorney in Orange County, we moved to Marin County in 1985 and I have been in private practice ever since.  I have served primarily as criminal defense counsel, while also working on some plaintiff’s personal injury litigation and for several business law clients.

Since 2008, I have been senior trial counsel for Summit Defense, a Bay Area criminal defense law firm.

Summit Defense Law Offices plaque

During that time, I have represented clients in the state courts of 22 different California counties, from as far north as Butte and as far south as San Diego.

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I have also represented clients in four different federal district courts, including the Southern District of New York in Manhattan (the case there was an insider trading prosecution in which the charges against my client were recently dismissed).

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My Summit defense clients have included men & women from 21 different countries:  Afghanistan, Argentina, China, El Salvador, Fiji, Guatemala, India, Iran, Ireland, Laos (Hmong), Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Pakistan, the Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Vietnam.

In the past 7 years, I have completed 16 major felony trials, ranging from fraud to child molestation to murder. These trials took place in 9 different counties and one federal court (Eastern District of California, Sacramento).

The federal trial was a mortgage fraud case earlier this year before the court’s presiding judge, the Honorable Garland E. Burrell, Jr.  My client and the co-defendant were both found not guilty … the first time in Judge Burrell’s 23 years on the bench that there had been an acquittal in his court.  Summit gave me a plaque commemorating the win:

Summit Loudermilk Placque

In one of my child molestation cases in Santa Clara county in 2011, my client was acquitted of several charges and the jury hung on the others. Ultimately, the DA dismissed the remaining counts and the client was released from custody. After the evidence and arguments were concluded and the jury sent out to deliberate, the judge made some very kind comments about my trial performance.

Summit Villasenor Court's Post-Trial Comments

I previously blogged here about “Why You Should Never Talk to the Cops”:

https://freelegaladvice.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/why-you-should-never-talk-to-the-cops/

This blog included a link to a KRON-TV interview that I did on the subject, as well:

Summit Defense KRON-TV Interviewhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqY2smL1oJo

Also in 2011, I was featured in a special edition of Newsweek magazine:

Summit Defense Newsweek Ad JTR Preview 111121

The Summit Defense webpage is here:

http://www.summitdefense.com/choosing_a_criminal_defense_lawyer

And my Summit Defense Attorney profile is here:

http://www.summitdefense.com/james_reilly

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