Josh is a Certified Criminal Law Specialist by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. While over 9,000 attorneys in California list criminal law as a practice area on Avvo.com, only a few hundred are Certified Specialists. Before achieving this distinction an applicant must complete a 6 hour examination, demonstrate a broad range of criminal law experience in jury trials, writs, and appeals, and submit dozens of references from judges, defense attorneys, and prosecutors.
Josh is a graduate of Cornell Law School, an Ivy League institution and one of the top 10 law schools in the country. At Cornell, Josh was a general editor of the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, and published a law journal article about first amendment rights.
Josh knew early in his law school career that his passion was in criminal law, defending individuals who had made a mistake and were now facing punishment in one of the harshest and most punitive criminal “justice” systems in the world. During law school, Josh worked part-time for a criminal defense attorney, assisting on a death penalty case and writing the appellate brief in a murder case. Josh relocated his third year to work full-time in the motion and research department of the Alameda County Public Defender Office, which is widely considered to be the most prestigious motions unit of any public defender office in California.
Josh practiced criminal law as a public defender for almost 9 years, including 6 ½ years at the Public Defender Office in Indio. Josh has shown his vigor and ability as a trial attorney, taking over 20 misdemeanor and 40 felony cases to trial. Josh has done jury trials in almost every kind of criminal case, ranging from simple DUIs and misdemeanor domestic violence to sexual assault, rape, child molest, mayhem, and murder. Josh has been very successful in jury trials and his hard work and creative defenses have resulted in dozens of ‘not guilty’ verdicts for his clients.
Josh has presented creative defenses in his practice that have led juries to acquittals in seemingly hopeless cases. For example, in an auto theft case where the stolen vehicle was found in his client’s garage, Josh researched and utilized an obscure and seldom-used mental health defense that resulted in an acquittal without subjecting his client to a lifetime in a state mental hospital. On a separate occasion, Josh was able to qualify a homeless scrap metal collector as an expert, and the jury relied on the man’s expertise in acquitting Josh’s client.
Josh’s thorough and smart approach to cases also helped his clients get amazing results in plea-bargaining. Josh recently persuaded prosecutors to accept pleas to manslaughter in two separate homicide cases, a rare success in Riverside County. In another recent case, Josh was able to avoid a 12-year sentence for a client by aggressively pursuing an extensive and judicially acceptable rehabilitation package for a client over the prosecution’s strenuous objection. Now Josh’s client is seriously addressing his addiction issues in a posh rehabilitation facility, rather than rotting in the county jail.
No attorney can guarantee results, but the Wilkerson & Mulligan Law Firm can guarantee fair dealing, personal service, and a smart and strong defense. We fight hard to get the best possible result for every client.