As a California State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialist, Ms. Gates has a unique ability to understand how a client's criminal case should have been handled. Crucial to good post-conviction representation is not simply being able to read trial transcripts and look for mistakes made during trial. It is the ability to know what was NOT done for the client and to know how to bring this information before the appropriate post-conviction court. It is Ms. Gates' opinion that the best appellate attorneys are those who also have considerable trial experience.
Ms. Gates started her legal career doing criminal law specific externships while in law school at Hastings College of the Law, a top-ten nationally ranked law school. While many attorneys use law school to determine in which area they will practice, Ms. Gates went to law school knowing she wanted to be one of the best criminal attorneys in the country. Always striving to be the best, Ms. Gates sought a highly coveted and hard to get externship at the California Supreme Court working exclusively on post-conviction writs and appeals with the California Supreme Court justices and staff attorneys. This experience gave Ms. Gates first hand knowledge of the workings of the Supreme Court. Ms. Gates believes this experience and knowledge gives her insight that other attorneys may not have.
After graduating from law school, Ms. Gates worked as a Deputy District Attorney and held various assignments, including law and motion and post-conviction actions. Again, working from the prosecution side of the criminal justice system made it possible for Ms. Gates to learn a great deal about the prosecuting branch. This knowledge is extremely helpful to Ms. Gates as she studies and investigates post-conviction remedies.
After leaving the District Attorney's Office, Ms. Gates continued her criminal law career handling trial and post-conviction cases. Ms. Gates has written and argued countless post-conviction matters. She has been counsel of record in published opinions, created new law in California, and obtained reversals of convictions. Ms. Gates is admitted to, and has appeared in, all appellate courts in California, including the Federal courts, as well as the United States Supreme Court.
Ms. Gates has drawn national attention as she fights for her client's rights. She has appeared on television on The Leeza Gibbons Show, MSNBC, Fox News, NBC News, ABC News and CBS News as a result of her many high profile cases and extensive knowledge of criminal law. She has also appeared on radio stations such as KROQ and the nationally syndicated Larry Elder Show.