Many of my clients are going through some of the most difficult moments of their lives, and I believe it’s important for me to lighten the mood and help them unwind. If you stop by my office, you’ll see things like a smashed guitar autographed by one of my divorce clients. His ex-wife got angry and destroyed one of his most prized possessions, so after the divorce was finalized, my client signed the guitar and gave it to me as a thank you present. If that doesn’t sum up my practice, I don’t know what does. I find the humor in stressful situations and always strive to turn dire circumstances around. So, if you end up working with me, we’re going to have a good time.
My Educational Background
I graduated from Arizona State University (ASU) in 1998 with two bachelor's degrees — one in aerospace engineering, and the other a dual major in business administration and aeronautical engineering and technology. While attending ASU, I was admitted to, and enrolled in, the “Ab initio” Airline Pilot Training Program, where I earned my Fixed-Wing Aircraft, Multi-Engine, and Commercial Pilot’s wings. And despite experiencing severe third-degree burns, undergoing multiple skin graft operations, and spending the majority of my junior and senior years of college in the VA hospital burn ward after an aircraft accident that occurred while I was flying as a cargo pilot, I still managed to graduate on time (I’m pretty hard to kill). I was even awarded multiple scholarships along the way, including the Frank Hedrick Scholarship for personal achievement.
Immediately upon graduating from ASU, I began both of my master's degrees at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. I was still in graduate school when I was accepted to begin law school at the University of Nevada. Thus, I resolved to complete two master's degrees and my doctoral degree at the same time (I’m too stupid to quit).
In 2003, I graduated from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida with a Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering (with a specialization in aviation and aerospace management), as well as a Master of Science in Aeronautical Science (with a specialization in aviation and aerospace safety systems). I earned both degrees with honors (“with distinction,” summa cum laude, a perfect 4.0 GPA). While attending Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, I was also awarded several scholarships for my academic achievements and featured in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges.
That same year, I also earned my Juris Doctor degree from the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada. While in law school, I earned a general academic scholarship for exceptional commitment to community service, as well as several Boyd School of Law and community service scholarships. During this time, I practiced juvenile criminal defense with the Clark County Public Defender’s Office as a student attorney for three years. I also organized and taught legal classes to the public for the Thomas and Mack Legal Clinic, where I taught Pro Se litigants how to represent themselves in court regarding matters of divorce, paternity, child support, child custody and visitation, small claims actions, and landlord-tenant disputes. My graduate thesis "Defending and Representing Juvenile Prostitutes in Nevada Courts" was also published by the Thomas & Mack Legal Clinic at the Boyd School of Law for future student attorneys to utilize.
Where I'm Admitted to Practice
I passed the Arizona State Bar in 2004, and I have been admitted to practice in all Arizona state and city courts since that time. I’m also admitted to practice in all federal district courts of Arizona in the areas of criminal, civil, bankruptcy, and immigration. Though I have experience in all of these areas, my favorites are criminal defense and family law.
I’m also admitted to the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, where I have experience practicing in aviation law. Additionally, in 2013, I passed the California Bar Exam, which is known to be the hardest bar exam to pass in the country. I then contemplated moving back to Los Angeles, where I’m originally from. However, I decided to stay in Arizona to see my daughter finish high school and go on to attend Arizona State University, just like her old man.
How I Give Back
There’s another side of me that I haven’t mentioned, and that’s my history of teaching. During law school, I taught free legal courses to Nevada residents, and today I teach both in high schools and at Embry Riddle's extended campus as an adjunct aviation law professor. The college courses I teach are for F-16 pilots who are earning their master’s degrees, and I have a lot of fun mentoring other pilots.
Similarly, I do my best to stay connected to my military roots and happily offer pro bono legal counsel to veterans on a case-by-case basis. I'm also a proud member of many veterans organizations, which you can read more about below. My involvement is simply a small way for me to pay respect to the brave men and women who have fought for our country.
What I Do for Fun
In my free time, I enjoy flying my plane, and I'm known for taking my clients and their family members flying. To put them at ease, I always say, “Don’t worry...I know almost exactly what I’m doing. Besides, I crash better than anyone I know.” Check out my flying videos on the page linked below if you’d like to see me in action.
In addition, I'm an avid car collector and a lifelong Beatles fan. When things get tough, I remind my clients that, just as John Lennon said, we all shine on.
- U.S. District Court, District of Arizona
- U.S. Supreme Court of Arizona
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
- All Federal Criminal, Civil, Bankruptcy, and Immigration Courts
- Juris Doctor - University of Nevada’s William S. Boyd School of Law
- Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering, with a specialization in Aviation & Aerospace Management, summa cum laude - Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Master of Science in Aeronautical Science, with a specialization in Aviation & Aerospace Safety Sytems, summa cum laude - Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
- Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering - Arizona State University
- Dual Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Aeronautical Engineering & Technology - Arizona State University
Professional Associations & Memberships
- Arizona Bar Association, 2004 - Present
- American Bar Association
- Association of Trial Lawyers of America
- The Arizona Modest Means Project
- Maricopa County Veterans StandDown
- Phoenix Municipal Veterans Court
- Maricopa County Veterans Count
- Arizona Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
- Wounded Warrior Project
- Veterans Airlift Command
- American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS)
- Canyon State Air
- Night Stalker Association
- Debbie Lee Foundation
- Phoenix VA Hospital
- Wings for Warriors
- Dr. Phil
- 48 Hours
- Good Morning America
- Inside Edition
- Greta Van Susteren