2005 Top Trial Lawyers

Named Best in the Business by Peers

The 180-member San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association (SDCDBA) honored attorneys Jerry Coughlan, Michael Crowley and Michael Pancer as the Top Trial Lawyers of 2005 for their outstanding work and ongoing contributions to the field of Criminal Defense, specifically for their work on the high-profile San Diego City Council lobbying case, at a ceremony this week. “We’re recognizing an extraordinary team effort as well as heroic individual efforts on behalf of their clients,” said Mark Adams, president of the SDCDBA.

The three attorneys defended two San Diego City Councilmen and a Council aide in the three-month trial last summer. Coughlan and Pancer represented former councilmen Michael Zucchet and Ralph Inzunza respectively and Crowley represented David Cowan, the former council aid who was acquitted in the jury trial. For Zucchet and Inzunza, the jury trial resulted in a conviction; however Zucchet was later acquitted on seven of the nine charges by U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Miller. Michael Pancer is currently working on an appeal for Inzunza.

SDCDBA is comprised of private and public criminal defense attorneys, dedicated to the education and support of the criminal defense bar, and to improving the quality of the criminal justice system.

Recent honorees of the SDCDBA Top Trial Lawyer award are Steve Feldman and Robert Boyce, attorneys for David Westerfield and Bill Fletcher and Brad Patton, attorneys for Richard Tuite.