Firm Profile

Criminal defense, trial and appellate work, international human rights

Our office is involved in the defense of criminal cases at trial and on appeal, and in human rights work as well. We work on cases involving complex charges, including white collar cases, homicides, and a wide variety of other types of cases. We have handled criminal and human rights cases in California as well as in other parts of the United States. We work on only a few cases at a time, and try to provide all of our clients with the level of service and high quality of work that we have become known for.

Our office has been involved in the defense of a number of well-known and sometimes controversial cases. We have tried numerous lengthy complex cases to jury verdict, including death penalty cases, conspiracy cases, homicide cases, racketeering, fraud–in various Federal and State courts around the United States. We have handled post-conviction matters that have resulted in several persons being freed from prison, including two persons whose death sentences were vacated. We have represented several national governments as litigants in courts in the United States. We have represented California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) in cases of wide-ranging importance before the United States Supreme Court, and before all of the reviewing courts in California, for more than 30 years. Our work has helped establish significant principles of substantive and procedural law and procedure in various Federal and State courts, and has helped many individuals who came to us is very difficult circumstances. Our work is acknowledged in more than 90 published court decisions, including decisions addressing: police practices; interrogation; mental health issues; eyewitness identification; internet crimes; jury instructions; death penalty cases, and many other subjects.

John Philipsborn has been recognized by several organizations for the high quality of his work, and for his contributions to the legal profession, and to the forensic mental health professions. He has defended numerous cases at trial and on appeal, and information about his recent cases is easily available on the internet. He has also written and published extensively on topics that tend to arise in criminal cases such as: the impact of publicity in cases; change of venue; mental health and the law; vision science and criminal cases; police interrogation practices; various aspects of the defense of homicide and death penalty cases. He has been published more than 100 times in books, peer reviewed publications, and periodicals. He continues to publish in books and periodicals that address key points in criminal and human rights cases. He also regularly lectures to professional groups, including mental health professionals, forensic science experts, and lawyers involved in a wide variety of cases.

John continues to be involved in international law matters, and continues to assist in litigations involving international human rights issues.

Our firm handles legal matters in the following practice areas: Criminal Defense, Trial and Appellate Work, Human Rights.