Criminal Defense Specialists

outlined image of a state of california type bear with state bar of california certification as criminal defense specialist and link to news article on horowitz if you click the picture CRIMINAL DEFENSE SPECIALISTS

Our practice group has FOUR Criminal Defense Specialists who are certified as specialists in criminal defense by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

Specialization is a meaningful differentiator among attorneys.

What is a Certified Criminal Defense Specialist ?  Read: CALIFORNIA RULE of COURT 9.35

Daniel Horowitz – Certified Criminal Defense Specialist

Daniel Russo – Certified Criminal Defense Specialist

Carmela Caramagno – Certified Criminal Defense

Douglass MacMaster – Certified Criminal Defense Specialist

Superlawyers award to daniel horowitz click on superlawyers badge and it links to horowitz profile on superlawyers website


Aren’t all criminal defense lawyers “specialists” ?  After all, didn’t the criminal defense lawyer start as a regular lawyer and then specialize in criminal defense ?  The answer is “Yes”, a focus on criminal law often reflects a dedication to and knowledge in that area.  But a criminal defense specialist goes one, very significant step further.

Your Primary Care medical doctor refers you to a Board Certified specialist, when you have a specific type of injury that goes beyond her/his expertise.  This does not mean that your Primary Care doctor is ignorant in that area.

If you are charged with a crime you have to decide whether you want a generalist, a lawyer with a focus on criminal law or someone who is actually “Board Certified”.  (Keep reading to understand what “Board Certified” means).

Within the world of criminal defense lawyers there is a group that like doctors is “Board Certified”.  Our board, as lawyers, is the State Bar of California operated Board of Legal Specialization.  The title of Criminal Defense Specialist is controlled by the State Bar and it is a title that cannot be used by any attorney who has not met the strict standards of qualification set by the State Bar.

We have four attorneys in our group of associated lawyers who are certified as specialists by the State Bar of California.

The Specialist designation is earned by years of experience.  Once you apply there is rigorous peer review, reviews from the judiciary and a very detailed written examination.  Daniel Horowitz and Tom Kensok have both taught training courses for potential criminal defense specialists and prior to joining Lawyers in Lafayette, Tom Kensok was a senior District Attorney in Contra Costa County responsible for hiring and training new prosecutors.

Daniel Horowitz is a criminal defense specialist, a “Top 100 Trial Lawyer” and a member of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel – Nation’s Top One Percent.

image is a circle with an eagle and a reference to Membership as Nations top 1 percent lawyers awarded by the national association of distinguished counsel.

Our offices are in Contra Costa County and in Vallejo but our cases take us around the world.   Our attorneys have appeared in courts in Israel, Cyprus, The Netherlands and throughout the United States.

We represent attorneys charged with criminal fraud, chiropractors fighting billing fraud and scope of practice allegations and many medical doctors.

The recent legalization of marijuana on a state level and the federal hemp growing laws, have led to many criminal cases being filed in the federal courts.  We represent hemp growers, CBD processors and marijuana distributors against federal charges.  Our trial team defends gang cases, general criminal cases, homicides, vehicular manslaughter, federal drug crimes, DUI’s,  conspiracy and most other serious state and federal felonies.

Our nationally recognized lawyers are experienced trial attorneys with separate practices.  We maintain separate practices and form custom legal teams based upon your needs.  We match your case to the experience and expertise of the individual attorneys.    The trial lawyers have personally been lead counsel hundreds of complex, high stakes jury trials.  Our class action section is led by Michael Hassen, the leading class action attorney in the United States.
We utilize the most advanced case management and trial technology with cloud based file sharing, custom client “sandboxes” to exchange data and ideas, advanced electronic search techniques and sophisticated case presentation technology.  Daniel Horowitz was one of the leaders of the computer revolution in the law profession, consulting with DTSearch, CaseMap and other (now) well established technology solution providers at their early stages of development.

Higher Productivity

Our more modern (and lower overhead structure) provides a higher level of representation without additional cost.  Separate practices / Custom teams means that you pay only for the attorneys and staff who fit the needs of your case.  In large firms you buy a partner and her/his subordinate attorneys and staff.  You pay for group meetings and training of attorneys who are not immediately suited for your type of case.  At Lawyers in Lafayette each case is assessed by the lead attorney and staffed from our group of highly experienced attorneys, investigators and paralegals.

Our paralegals are diverse and have exceptional qualifications.  One is has an M.B.A., another is a licensed chiropractor, yet another has been qualified and appointed to work on a capital murder case.  Our investigators range from former Naval Intelligence officers to retired police detectives and former journalists.

 Trial Credibility

There is no substitute for experience.   All of our lawyers are experienced trial attorneys.

Daniel Horowitz has a portfolio of multi million dollar judgments in employment and car accident cases in addition to his many criminal defense victories.  Former Contra Costa County Prosecutors Tom Kensok and Doug MacMaster, have hundreds of convictions for serious felonies.  Carmela Caramagno and Oksana Tyskova have more jury trial experience than most senior partners in “big” firms.  Carmela is a certified criminal defense specialist and Oksana is completely fluent in both Russian and Ukrainian.

Appellate Credibility

Our appellate attorneys are admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the California Supreme Court.

Media & High Profile Cases

Daniel Horowitz is a television legal commentator and frequent legal analyst in the press and on national news programs.  He is frequently found in articles published by the Associated Press, CNN, the Drudge Report and on the television networks commenting on high profile cases.  Horowitz has recently been featured in the L.A. Times (a police corruption expose which led to the reversal of 12 convictions).  Other profile cases include the Los Angeles area “Bling Ring” case and the lawsuit filed against actor Mel Gibson. 

We have  successfully defended Fortune 500 corporations in large class actions as well as individuals such as author Terry McMillan, Radio Show Superstar Michael Savage, Al Pacino and Oksana Grigorieva (the pianist and singer assaulted by actor Mel Gibson).

Our criminal cases include the “Bling Ring” case which was the subject of a movie by Sophia Coppola, the Susan Polk murder case, the “FAIM” (Family Affiliated Irish Mafia) trials in Contra Costa County, and many cases involving medical fraud, chiropractic fraud and healthcare fraud.

International & Nationwide Law Practice

Our offices are located in Lafayette, California and Walnut Creek, California .  This is in Contra Costa County outside of San Francisco.  Our attorneys are admitted in New York, Washington D.C. and have appeared in courts from Wyoming to The Netherlands, Ukraine, Israel, Cyprus and numerous other jurisdictions.   Attorney Oksana Tyskova is fluent in both Russian and Ukrainian.

image is a formal seal of the united states court of appeals ninth circuit with a women holding some hard to see object. This is the official seal. Daniel Horowitz is admitted to practice and has won cases in the ninth circuit court of appeals An eagle with a square flag in or over his mid section (or her midsection) and the words sealof the supreme court of the united statesDaniel Horowitz admitted to practice before the supreme court of the united states this shows a supreme court emblem with eagle on it.


Ratings and Reviews

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Top 1 percent logo horowitz is a member of the national association of distinguished counsel
National Trial lawyers logo horowitz has been named a top 100 trial lawyer