In the latest issue of San Diego Super Lawyers magazine (available online, digitally, via app, and of course in magazine form), we profile Top 10 attorney Charles M. Sevilla, a criminal defense and appellate lawyer whose clients include former San Diego Mayor Roger Hedgecock, and who helped establish the current standard for the insanity defense in People v. Skinner. He’s won the release of men convicted of murder and child abuse. He’s sat with men on death row. He’s also the lawyer other lawyers turn to when they have trouble with a case:
Five times, between 1985 and 2008, criminal defense attorney Bob Boyce asked Sevilla to handle appeals of his cases; four times Sevilla has won. “In all four cases [that he won],” Boyce says, “I really believed in the clients, and I was devastated and bleeding all over the courtroom after we lost. I think of Chuck as the Mr. Wolfe character in Pulp Fiction, the fix-it guy who John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson call when they have a body in the trunk. When I have a mess on my hands, I call Chuck.”
You can also read a Q&A with estate planning and probate attorney Carol Kao, of Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps, who emigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan at the age of 7, and who talks with clients about the two certainties of life: death and taxes. Excerpt:
“From a personal perspective, it’s always hard for me to lose a good client and it never gets easy. But I get to help the family through a difficult time. They’re dealing with so many things: the personal loss of a family member; the estate issues; tax issues and sometimes liquidity issues; and also personal issues within the family. I have the opportunity to help them navigate through that and try to alleviate some of the burden.”
We stay up late with Roger Clemens’ attorney Mike Attanasio, hear the best advice Gordon L. Gerson and Robert C. Carlson ever received, and relive 9/11 with Benjamin Bunn and Ken Turek, two San Diego attorneys who were part of Trial Lawyers Care, the biggest pro bono effort in history, representing the families of 9/11 victims before Ken Feinberg and the victim’s compensation fund. Excerpt:
The hearings left no one unaffected. During a Saturday hearing, with Bunn present, Ken Turek, a partner at Endeman, Lincoln, Turek & Heater, presented the case of Lt. Peter Martin, a rescue firefighter out of Brooklyn who had died while trying to help after the attack. “The rescue firemen are kind of the Green Berets, the elite, if you will, of firefighters in New York that responded,” Turek says. “He was up in the first tower that fell.” Turek gave his presentation as the lieutenant’s wife, Alice Martin, and her three sons, aged 6, 9 and 13, looked on. “I hope I can be that strong in moments of grief,” Turek says of Martin.