Beverly Hills Attorney




Harvard University - UCLA - Purdue University




Published Appeals | Extraordinary Trial Results





Happy Clients


Years of Experience


Criminal Cases


Civil Cases



Dignified, respected by judges, jurors and clients alike.

Bold, aggressive, unstoppable - never, never, never quits

Capable of explaining complicated legal issues in simplest terms.


No two attorneys are alike. Two different attorneys can submit the same motion and have different results. Two different attorneys can have the same facts and reach different verdicts. A legal matter is similar to other contests such that it requires more than just knowledge. A successful attorney has an extensive skillset that includes ingenuity, finesse, quick-witted, wisdom, social-skills, psychology and great presentation skills.

Decades ago, at Michael Devereux's first trial, his client was facing 8-10 years for several counts of cybercrime, drug possession, and ex-felon with a firearm. The client insisted on trial. At trial, the jury acquitted the client on all the cybercrime counts, the ex-felon with a firearm, but convicted the client on the drug possession. Client sentenced was reduced to 2 years. At Michael's second trial, the client was acquitted on all charges. Michael has never looked back. In fact in Michael's first federal trial, in front of a very tough federal judge, the client was acquitted much to the displeasure to the federal judge. Michael's success at trial is very impressive.

Years later, Michael was retained for the sole purpose of an appeal in front of the Ninth Circuit, regarding a cybercrime. The Ninth Circuit chosed the appeal as precedent-setting law, thus publishing the opinion - a distinction few appellate attorneys rarely receive. Recently, Michael has submitted a healthcare matter to the United States Supreme Court on appeal regarding the Court's recent Ruan ruling, which changed how juries determine fraud. Intent is no longer based upon the conduct itself, rather intent is now based upon whether or not the conduct was an acceptable industry norm. If the conduct is an acceptable industry norm then it isn't considered intentional. Intent is a major legal element to fraud. If you were convicted of healthcare fraud, you may want to discuss with a post-conviction attorney how to have the conviction overturned with a writ.

Although similar, a writ is significantly different than an appeal. Whereas an appeal is only based upon what happened inside the courtroom, the clerk's record, i.e. motions, etc., and the recorder's transcripts, a writ will also include everything significant outside the courtroom, i.e new findings, new law, evidence that was suppressed, etc. There are several types of writs, the most commonly recognized is the writ of habeas corpus used to determine if the convicted person's imprisonment or detention is lawful.

Another writ is called the writ of coram nobis which is to call to the court's attention facts that would have changed the judgment but were outside the record and unknown at the time of judgment. For example, suppressed evidence or a change in the law or ineffective assistance of counsel is an example of facts that changed since the judgment. While at the trial court level, the writ is referred as a writ of coram nobis. At the appellate level, it is known as the writ of coram vobis. Other types of writs include the writ of mandamus, the writ of mandate, the writ of prohibition, etc.

For more than a decade, although rare, Michael Devereus has submitted many writs for a variety of reasons specifically for ex-felons. To date, all of them have been granted. For more information on writs, appeals and trials or even to have your firearm rights restored, call our office.

federal criminal attorney


You need legal assistance. You likely have family friends or a friend of the family who are attorneys, and they are likely good at what they do. However, unless they are exceptional lawyers, they are not going to have the skills you need. Of course, getting a client in the door and representing them effectively are two different matters. A trial attorney is different than a contract attorney and an estate attorney is different than a criminal attorney and a civil attorney is different than a bankruptcy attorney and a corporate attorney is different than an immigration attorney. In many ways, the difference between a state attorney and a federal attorney is even wider. If you are a business owner, an executive or healthcare practitioner it is important for your attorney to understand your business. Before Michael Devereux became an attorney, he spent over 20 years as a business and computer consultant in various industries, including entertainment, energy, healthcare, defense industry, financial industry, real estate, computer industry, and communications industry. To provide the most effective and efficient legal representation, the best lawyers have two discrete bodies of knowledge - law and a strong understanding of the client's business. Client's don't need to pay an attorney by the hour to understand their business. Clients need an attorney that understands the normal practice standards within their industry. Prosecutors do no understand what is acceptable standards within an industry and neither do attorneys from large firms because they rarely have a business background. When you are being a target in a legal proceding, you need your attorney to hit the ground running without the need to explain your business.


The Federal Court System

The federal court system has three main levels: district courts (the trial court), circuit courts which are the first level of appeal, and the Supreme Court of the United States, the final level of appeal in the federal system. There are 94 district courts, 13 circuit courts, and one Supreme Court throughout the country.

Courts in the federal system work differently in many ways than state courts. The primary difference for civil cases (as opposed to criminal cases) is the types of cases that can be heard in the federal system. Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction, meaning they can only hear cases authorized by the United States Constitution or federal statutes. The federal district court is the starting point for any case arising under federal statutes, the Constitution, or treaties. This type of jurisdiction is called “original jurisdiction.” Sometimes, the jurisdiction of state courts will overlap with that of federal courts, meaning that some cases can be brought in both courts. The plaintiff has the initial choice of bringing the case in state or federal court. However, if the plaintiff chooses state court, the defendant may sometimes choose to “remove” to federal court.

Cases that are entirely based on state law may be brought in federal court under the court’s “diversity jurisdiction.” Diversity jurisdiction allows a plaintiff of one state to file a lawsuit in federal court when the defendant is located in a different state. The defendant can also seek to “remove” from state court for the same reason. To bring a state law claim in federal court, all of the plaintiffs must be located in different states than all of the defendants, and the “amount in controversy” must be more than $75,000. (Note: the rules for diversity jurisdiction are much more complicated than explained here.)

Criminal cases may not be brought under diversity jurisdiction. States may only bring criminal prosecutions in state courts, and the federal government may only bring criminal prosecutions in federal court. Also important to note, the principle of double jeopardy – which does not allow a defendant to be tried twice for the same charge – does not apply between the federal and state government. If, for example, the state brings a murder charge and does not get a conviction, it is possible for the federal government in some cases to file charges against the defendant if the act is also illegal under federal law.

Federal judges (and Supreme Court “justices”) are selected by the President and confirmed “with the advice and consent” of the Senate and “shall hold their Offices during good Behavior.” Judges may hold their position for the rest of their lives, but many resign or retire earlier. They may also be removed by impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate. Throughout history, fifteen federal judges have been impeached due to alleged wrongdoing. One exception to the lifetime appointment is for magistrate judges, which are selected by district judges and serve a specified term.

District Courts

The district courts are the general trial courts of the federal court system. Each district court has at least one United States District Judge, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a life term. District courts handle trials within the federal court system – both civil and criminal. The districts are the same as those for the U.S. Attorneys, and the U.S. Attorney is the primary prosecutor for the federal government in his or her respective area.

District court judges are responsible for managing the court and supervising the court’s employees. They are able to continue to serve so long as they maintain “good behavior,” and they can be impeached and removed by Congress. There are over 670 district court judges nationwide.

Some tasks of the district court are given to federal magistrate judges. Magistrates are appointed by the district court by a majority vote of the judges and serve for a term of eight years if full-time and four years if part-time, but they can be reappointed after completion of their term. In criminal matters, magistrate judges may oversee certain cases, issue search warrants and arrest warrants, conduct initial hearings, set bail, decide certain motions (such as a motion to suppress evidence), and other similar actions. Typically, the writ of habeas corpus and the writ of coram nobis are initiated in the district cout. In civil cases, magistrates often handle a variety of issues such as pre-trial motions and discovery.

Federal trial courts have also been established for a few subject-specific areas. Each federal district also has a bankruptcy court for those proceedings. Additionally, some courts have nationwide jurisdiction for issues such as tax (United States Tax Court), claims against the federal government (United States Court of Federal Claims), and international trade (United States Court of International Trade).

Circuit Courts

Once the federal district court has decided a case, the case can be appealed to a United States court of appeal. The circuit court also hears writs on appeal.  So if the district court denied a writ of habeas corpus or a writ of coram nobis, it can be petitioned to the circuit court.       There are twelve federal circuits that divide the country into different regions. The Ninth Circuit, for example, includes the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, along with territorial courts of Guam, Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa. Cases from the district courts of those states and territories are appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which is headquartered in San Franciso, California. Additionally, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has a nationwide jurisdiction over very specific issues such as patents.

Each circuit court has multiple judges, ranging from six on the First Circuit to twenty-nine on the Ninth Circuit. Circuit court judges are appointed for life by the president and confirmed by the Senate.

Any case may be appealed to the circuit court once the district court has finalized a decision (some issues can be appealed before a final decision by making an “interlocutory appeal”). Appeals to circuit courts are first heard by a panel, consisting of three circuit court judges. Parties file “briefs” to the court, arguing why the trial court’s decision should be “affirmed” or “reversed.” After the briefs are filed, the court will schedule “oral argument” in which the lawyers come before the court to make their arguments and answer the judges’ questions.

Though it is rare, the entire circuit court may consider certain appeals in a process called an “en banc hearing.” (The Ninth Circuit has a different process for en banc than the rest of the circuits.) En banc opinions tend to carry more weight and are usually decided only after a panel has first heard the case. Once a panel has ruled on an issue and “published” the opinion, no future panel can overrule the previous decision. The panel can, however, suggest that the circuit take up the case en banc to reconsider the first panel’s decision.

Beyond the Federal Circuit, a few courts have been established to deal with appeals on specific subjects such as veterans claims (United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims) and military matters (United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces).

Supreme Court of the United States

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the American judicial system, and has the power to decide appeals on all cases brought in federal court or those brought in state court but dealing with federal law. For example, if a First Amendment freedom of speech case was decided by the highest court of a state (usually the state supreme court), the case could be appealed to the federal Supreme Court. However, if that same case were decided entirely on a state law similar to the First Amendment, the Supreme Court of the United States would not be able to consider the case.

After the circuit court or state supreme court has ruled on a case, either party may choose to appeal to the Supreme Court. Unlike circuit court appeals, however, the Supreme Court is usually not required to hear the appeal. Parties may file a “writ of certiorari” to the court, asking it to hear the case. If the writ is granted, the Supreme Court will take briefs and conduct oral argument. If the writ is not granted, the lower court’s opinion stands. Certiorari is not often granted; less than 1% of appeals to the high court are actually heard by it. The Court typically hears cases when there are conflicting decisions across the country on a particular issue or when there is an egregious error in a case.

The members of the Court are referred to as “justices” and, like other federal judges, they are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a life term. There are nine justices on the court – eight associate justices and one chief justice. The Constitution sets no requirements for Supreme Court justices, though all current members of the court are lawyers and most have served as circuit court judges. Justices are also often former law professors. The chief justice acts as the administrator of the court and is chosen by the President and approved by the Congress when the position is vacant.

The Supreme Court meets in Washington, D.C. The court conducts its annual term from the first Monday of October until each summer, usually ending in late June.



Consider the following when choosing an attorney:
Comfort Level - Are you comfortable telling the lawyer personal information? Does the lawyer seem interested in solving your problem?
Credentials - How long has the lawyer been in practice? Has the lawyer worked on other cases similar to yours?
Cost - How are the lawyer's fees structured - hourly or flat fee? Can the lawyer estimate the cost of your case?
Appearance - Appearance isn’t everything, but people do judge a book by its cover. Studies have shown that your attorney's appearance affects perceptions of trustworthiness, intelligence, authority, and success. Appearance not only includes dress - but also presentation. How well does your attorney speak? Does the attorney have energy? Or is the attorney boring and uninteresting? How quickly will judges and jurors tune him/her out?

How long have you been in practice?
How many cases like mine have you handled?
How long can a case like mine take?
How often do you settle cases out of court?
What are your fees and costs?
What are the next steps?

Attorneys at smaller law firms typically have more hands on experience, the bonus of added courtroom experience and the benefit of advanced trial experience. In addition, attorneys in a small firm practice and are more knowledgable in a broad spectrum of law so they tend to be more innovated through recognizing multiple legal solutions quickly. They tend to think outside the box. The lawyer in a smaller law firm has more input in the process and management of your case. Moreover, typically the client gets to speak to the attorney directly. Besides the lower costs, the efficiently of a small firm is a benefit to its clientele.

We provide a free thirty-minute case evaluation. Even if you don't retain us afterwards, everything we discussed during the free evaluation is protected by attorney-client privilege.

civil rights


Legal Assistant

civil rights





in Their Fields

If you or your business is facing a legal challenge, contact us today to arrange a free initial consultation with an attorney.

No Better Team