Charles Sevilla | Attorney Profile

Attorney Charles Sevilla

After receiving his law degree from the University of Santa Clara, Chuck earned a master's degree (LL.M) from the Urban Law Institute at George Washington University Law School. He spent two years as an attorney in Washington, D.C., for VISTA, Volunteers in Service to America, before moving to San Diego to serve as a Federal Public Defender. Chuck rose to the position of Chief Trial Attorney in the San Diego Federal Public Defender office. In 1976, he was recruited to establish and head the Los Angeles office of the California State Public Defender office. Later he became the Chief Deputy State Public Defender for the State of California. In 1983, he and longtime friend and colleague, John Cleary, established the law firm of Cleary and Sevilla. In 2004, John Cleary retired from the practice to teach at Moscow State University in Russia under the auspices of the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government's flagship program in international educational exchange. Chuck continues his full-time criminal defense practice.

Criminal Defense Attorney Charles SevillaPeter DeSeve illustration in Sevilla's book Wilkes, His Life and Crimes

Chuck has argued cases at all appellate levels, including several times before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is a frequent speaker and presenter at legal conferences. Chuck has published books on legal humor and three novels about a fictional New York City defense lawyer, John Wilkes. He has authored numerous law review articles and is the co-editor of a legal text, California Criminal Defense Practice, used by lawyers and in law schools throughout the country.

Chuck's complete resume including Bar activities and selected published opinions is available here >>


Charles Sevilla is the recipient of numerous honors, including:

  • Super Lawyers top rated Criminal Defense Attorney in San Diego, CA. He was featured on the cover of SuperLawyers in 2011 in an article that described him as "Mr. Fix-It" with a subtitle "When lawyers have a mess on their hands, they call Charles Sevilla." He is also listed under his specialty of criminal defense. This legal publisher goes through a unique multi-step process to find evidence of peer recognition and professional achievement.
  • AVVO gives its highest ranking of 10.0, Superb, to Charles Sevilla
  • Best Lawyers In America listed Charles Sevilla for over 25 years in a row in the categories of Appellate Law, Non-White-Collar Criminal Defense, and White-Collar Criminal Defense. This is an exhaustive peer-review survey in which thousands of top lawyers in the U.S. confidentially evaluate their professional peers. Listings cannot be purchased in this reference which is compiled by Woodward/White Inc., a professional research company.
  • Named by San Diego Magazine in multiple years as one of "The Best Lawyers in San Diego"
  • Highest AV Preeminent Peer Review ranking from Martindale-Hubbell.