Michael Schwartz is a partner in the Rains Lucia Stern St. Phalle & Silver, PC (“RLS”) Legal Defense Practice Group. Michael is one of the most highly-regarded and experienced police defense attorneys in California. Michael began his legal career as a Deputy Public Defender in Ventura and Riverside Counties, where he litigated more than one-hundred fifty jury trials to verdict. For the past eighteen years Michael has focused on representing peace officers in some of the toughest and most noteworthy criminal cases venued in Southern California.
Described by the “California Daily Journal” as “an extraordinary talent” and “world class lawyer” and by former Assistant Riverside Public Defender Jorge Alvarado as “one of the best trial lawyers I’ve ever seen.” Michael’s most recent trial victories begins with a full acquittal of Pomona Corporal Chad Jensen in federal court of one count of felony excessive force and two counts of felony obstruction of justice; a full acquittal of Indio Police Officer Sergio Ramirez on three serious felony sexual assault allegations; the complete acquittal of Huntington Park Police Officer Marissa Larios for three counts of child abuse and excessive force; SEBA Deputy Nick Downey hung jury-dismissal for felony excessive force in what came to be known as the highly publicized ‘horse-thief’ case, Indio police officer Charles Holloway for felony excessive Force; the full acquittal of Corporal Jay Cicinelli in the nationally publicized Kelly Thomas Murder trial, the successful defense of San Bernardino Sheriff’s Deputy Ivory Webb in the nationally broadcasted video-taped shooting of an unarmed airman home on leave, the acquittal of Deputy Richard Heverly who faced a maximum term of up to thirty years in prison, as well as the full acquittal of CHP officer Chris Lang charged with excessive force during an arrest.
Michael has also been a keynote speaker several times at the annual PORAC Conference, Rains Lucia Stern Southern California Symposiums, and has been a guest lecturer several times for the San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office mandatory attorney training, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Justice System Integrity Division, the Corona Police Department, the Safety Employee Benefits Association of San Bernardino (SEBA), the Santa Ana Police Department Command Staff, and the Kern Law Enforcement Association (KLEA). Michael is also currently an Adjunct Professor at Whittier Law School and in 2016-2019 was selected for inclusion in the Southern California Super Lawyers list by Thomson Reuters as one of the top 5% of attorneys in his field.
He is licensed to practice in the state courts of California and the U.S. District Court for the Central and Southern District Courts of California.
Disclaimer: Any results set forth herein are based upon the facts of that particular case and do not represent a promise or guarantee.
• B.A., Hofstra University
• J.D., National Law Center of George Washington University