I've been practicing now in the criminal defense arena since 1992. I started off in the District Attorney's office in East Los Angeles where I was a certified Law Clerk working for the court system doing preliminary hearings, arguing motions.
A lot of the District Attorneys I met at that time have since become judges. I've tried cases against them when they were prosecutors and I was the defense attorney.
So, I have a very good background as far as interviewing police and seeing how the police structure up their case and seeing how the District Attorney's office in LA county prosecutes criminal cases.
From the District Attorney's standpoint, it's important to realize that politics are also involved. Ira Reiner was the District Attorney at the time that I was involved with the DA's office in Los Angeles county.
District Attorney Change in Philosophy
Then Gil Garcetti, the father of the now Mayor of Los Angeles, became the District Attorney and I noticed a bunch of positions change.
He basically brought in his regime, his people, who would bolster his philosophy.
Similar to what's going on now where the new DA has taken over and is forcing a bunch of his policies on the current prosecutors, a lot of whom do not like the policies.
I'm sure many will quit. Many have already tried to thwart his policies, but I think eventually, things will settle down and a lot of these policies will grab hold and can be used by the defense to get very good results.
So, I do have that background in the District Attorney's office. I think that's important if you want to be the complete package as a criminal defense attorney.
Research Attorney for Judge
After my stint in the DA's office in 1993, I started working for a Superior Court Judge as his research attorney, which is another very valuable asset that I've got on my side:
- see how judges think about cases,
- resolve cases, and
- how they do their motions.
I was basically the person that the judge would talk to in formulating decisions for his rulings on certain motions and certain issues that he was going to have to grapple with. So, him and I would talk about it. He really gave me a good idea of what his thought process was.
Then he would basically tell me to draft the language that was going to be used if it was going to be a written response to something that was done by a defense attorney or a plaintiff's attorney. That was in Burbank. I did that for all of 1993.
Criminal Defense Attorney
In 1994, I decided to become a criminal defense attorney. I opened my office and I started taking any trial that I could get my hands on so that I could get experience in the criminal defense arena.
Really, my goal — what I said at the beginning when I started is — I want to become the best possible criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles, and maybe even in California.
So, I said, how am I going to do that? What do I need to do in order to do that? I've worked for the DA's office, my competition, I've worked for a judge who's going to make rulings on the cases, now, how do I really get my feet wet in the criminal defense arena? My solution was, that:
- I would take any case at any time;
- It didn't matter how serious it was;
- It didn't matter how complex it was, and
- I just started doing trials, one after another.
My prices were very inexpensive at that time because, for me, it wasn't about making money, it was about getting experience and I also really enjoy doing criminal defense.
To me, that's what real lawyering is all about. You're in the courts negotiating cases, you're arguing motions, you're doing jury trials — that is what a real lawyer does, not this paper-pushing around that a lot of the civil lawyers do.
So, I think that's how I was able to develop my talents very quickly, it's because I enjoyed what I was doing and I was doing something, and still am doing something that I genuinely love to do.
It's a challenge. I love to strategize my cases and go an argue in the particular courthouses throughout Los Angeles county.
At some point, I think another aspect that a lot of people don't think about, in addition to becoming a prosecutor, working for a judge and then being a criminal defense attorney who has immersed themselves in the criminal defense community, I think politics and understanding how the system works is crucial.
So, I became a part of what's known as the Jenny Commission (JNE). Basically, what the Jenny Commission does is when the Governor of California wants to appoint a judge, he or she must put the person through an investigation by the State Bar of California's Jenny Commission. We would:
- investigate prospective judges;
- investigate actual judges who wanted to go on the appellate court;
- interviewing the judge;
- talking to people who knew the judge;
- digging up dirt to see if the judge had any skeletons in his or her closet.
It was really getting a feel for whether or not that person was a solid candidate to be a judge and then we had to rate the person.
All of the rest of the stuff is secret stuff that obviously, I don't talk about, but what I just told you is all general stuff. If you look up the Jenny Commission, you're going to see what they do.
At the time, it was a 38-person commission and we met in San Francisco a lot in order to discuss the various candidates who the Governor of California had put up as judges.
I think that political aspect is important. If there is anyone who runs for judge who I have a lot of respect for and I think would be a great judge, obviously, I will support their campaign verbally, and financially.
I've done that numerous times which I think is very appropriate if you want to help shape the system and you see somebody that could do a good job as a judge, you definitely should support that person in whatever way you can, and I've done that throughout my career, almost 30 years now.
Author of Numerous Books and Videos
So, I really do think I'm at the top of my game right now. I've got all the bells and whistles as a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney. You've got to know the political arena.
You've got to know the judges, know the prosecutors, and obviously, you've got to have mastered your craft and immersed yourself in criminal defense, and that's what I've done.
I've written a number of books. I've put a bunch of audio tapes out there. I think I have over 300 videos out there. So, not only am I doing things for my clients, working hard and making money in the criminal defense community, I'm trying to put something back out there to educate people.
If you look at any of my websites, all of the content on those websites is my content versus a lot of my competitors who are using web companies to put the content on.
I really don't think that does you much good, because who cares what a web company thinks? You want to solve your problems.
So, you need your information from a practicing criminal defense attorney who's been out there on the battle lines fighting cases, and that's why I put my own content out there.
I put those videos out there just to kind of give you a feel as to what's going on, and of course, I've put the books out there on various topics. Whether it just be:
I've also put some chalk talk videos out there. I'm just doing a little chalk talk about particular crimes.
Cross-Examination DVD Series
One of the things I'm most proud about is I put a cross-examination DVD series out there, talking about some of my highlights of cross-examination. I think that's crucial in criminal defense, which is having an attorney who knows how to cross-examine a witness.
That's another point, and probably the last point I'm going to make, which I think really qualifies me as one of the top criminal defense attorneys in Los Angeles, is that to be successful, you can't just be a negotiator.
Unfortunately, a lot of the lawyers that I know in the criminal defense arena, can only negotiate cases and they can't try them.
They're afraid to try them, and I think you really do your client a disservice if you can't try a criminal case, because part of being a great trial attorney is seeing the issues in the case.
Also, being able to show the prosecutors the issues with their case, even if you're not going to go to trial. Because if you can see the issues and the prosecutors see that their case is not a lock, that's one of the factors they look at in deciding whether or not to give you a great resolution in the case.
Thousands of Criminal Cases
So, I think it's important your attorney can fight and win a case. To date, I've probably done over 200 jury trials over the span of the many years I've been practicing criminal defense:
- thousands of motions,
- thousands of preliminary hearings,
- thousands of cases.
I still enjoy what I do. I still find it a challenge. I still get up every day enjoying the practice of criminal defense.
So, if you or a loved one has found themselves on the wrong end of the criminal defense community, pick up the phone. Ask for a meeting with Ron Hedding.
If you're looking to hire one o the best criminal defense attorneys, you've come to the right place. I stand at the ready to help you.
Hedding Law Firm is a top-rated criminal law firm located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles County at 16000 Ventura Blvd #1208 Encino, CA 91436.
We serve individuals throughout Southern California, including LA County, Orange County, Anaheim, Santa Barbara County, Ventura County, Hollywood, Riverside, and San Bernardino. Contact our office for a free case evaluation at (213) 542-0979.