About Us

Michael L. Crowley, Lead Attorney

Michael CrowleyFounder and Lead Attorney of the Crowley Law Group, Mr. Crowley has been practicing criminal law for more than 30 years and is a Criminal Law Specialist, certified by the State Bar of California’s, Board of Legal Specialization for more than 20 years. He practices in both state and federal criminal courts and was named Criminal Defense Lawyer of the Year for 2005 by the Criminal Defense Bar Association of San Diego.

Mr. Crowley began his law career working for the former San Diego City Attorney Michael Aguirre “prosecuting” securities violators in the civil courts. Two years later, Mr. Crowley became a sole practitioner in criminal law and civil rights litigation, representing civilians complaining of police abuse. He won a $1.3 million award against the County of San Diego on behalf of a former Navy chaplain who was severely beaten by sheriff’s deputies.

Today, he leads a team of lawyers who specialize in most criminal practice areas from DUIs to White Collar Crime, and civil practice areas such as Abusive Debt Collection, Civil Rights, and Administrative matters.

Additionally, Mr. Crowley has spent the past 26 years as an adjunct law professor at California Western, Thomas Jefferson and University of San Diego law schools, teaching Legal Skills, Constitutional Law, Constitutional Litigation, Criminal Motions, and California Evidence. Additionally, he is a business ethics lecturer at San Diego State University, and a regular writer, speaker and lecturer on the subjects of law and history.

Mr. Crowley graduated from California Western School of Law, cum laude in 1984 where he was executive editor of California Western Law Review and the author of an award-winning article in the same publication. He graduated from the University of South Florida in 1974 with bachelor degrees in Journalism & Political Science before working as a newspaper reporter which included covering the courts.

He is a past president of both the San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Club and the Criminal Defense Bar Association (CDBA) where he is currently a director. He has co-chaired the 9th Circuit Judicial Conference of Lawyer Reps and the county bar’s Federal Court’s committee, and chaired the Lawyer Referral and Information Service.  A member of the San Diego County Bar’s Ethics Committee, Mr. Crowley is also a commissioner on the state bar’s Criminal Law Advisory Commission.

You may contact Mr. Crowley at 619-238-5700, or email him. You’ll find his Law & History blog here.

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Emily M. Crowley, Attorney at Law

Emily Crowley

Ms. Crowley is an associate with the firm. Her practice areas include state and federal criminal defense (trial, appellate and juvenile delinquency) and civil rights. She is a member of the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) panel of appointed federal defense attorneys.

Ms. Crowley is the immediate past president and current chair of the development committee of Think Dignity, a homeless advocacy group in San Diego, with which she has been involved since 2010. Ms. Crowley is also the vice president of the board of directors of the Criminal Defense Bar Association of San Diego, a member of the invitation-only Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Club, a member of the San Diego Civil Rights Working Group, and a member of the Fund for Justice committee for the Lawyers Club of San Diego.

Ms. Crowley has provided pro bono legal services to homeless veterans for Homeless Court at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs annual Stand Down event and has served as a volunteer speaker for the American Civil Liberties Union Constitution Day.

Ms. Crowley received her juris doctor degree from California Western School of Law where she graduated in the top one-third of her class and received the Academic Achievement Award in California Sentencing Law. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and advanced mediation training from National Conflict Resolution Center.

In law school, Ms. Crowley interned with Appellate Defenders, Inc., gaining valuable experience in state criminal appeals. She also worked as a research assistant for Professor Laurence Benner, examining probable cause standards in search warrants issued in San Diego County.

After graduation, she volunteered with the California Innocence Project, investigating inmates’ claims of factual innocence.

Ms. Crowley is a native San Diegan.

You may contact her at 619-238-5700, or email her.

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Lisa D. Haigler, Office Manager/Paralegal

Lisa HaiglerThe Crowley Law Group (CLG) utilizes a unique system of communicating with clients to make sure no client has to wonder what is going on in their case. Lisa Haigler is a highly trained criminal law paralegal expert, certified from the May Technical College in Billings, Montana. She always knows what is going on in all of the CLG cases by utilizing a system that has been in place for more than 14 years.

What that means to our clients is that if their attorney is in court or otherwise not available, Lisa can provide important information about where their particular case stands, including what will be happening next. Moreover, she is an expert on dealing with the courts and administrative agencies such as the DMV. Often getting a good result from a judge can be lost if the court system doesn’t carry through with what the judge has ordered. Yes, unfortunately, this happens frequently. Recently, the Presiding Judge of the San Diego Superior Court, Criminal Division warned that because of cutbacks in court funding, the court bureaucracy doesn’t function as it should. Lisa and her staff, in conjunction with the attorney working on the case do everything they can to prevent such errors in our cases. Our job is not done with a judge’s order. We stay with our clients until their exposure to the system is completed.

As a client or former client, you can always call our office with any legal question you may have, or someone you know may have.


CLG prides itself on providing young attorneys and interns instruction and guidance on the practice of criminal defense. Our time in this endeavor is given free of charge (although, occasionally the law schools provide us with a free meal), to these students and lawyers who show passion for criminal defense in a manner that is proven through their work. That is, they are willing do everything possible for the client regardless of the charges and the challenges. This often provides additional in-depth legal research and the intern’s own emotional devotion which, because of time and expense, cannot always be provided by counsel.


We employ a multitude of investigators, each of which have expertise in particular areas. As with the interns, they must have the passion and devotion to the client that everyone else at CLG has. If they are just doing a job, we don’t want them working for our clients. We expect them to go above and beyond the ordinary, and those investigators utilized by CLG have proven that time and again.