How long have you been practicing?
What do you love the most about being a physician?
I love meeting all sorts of people and helping them to get, and then stay, healthy.
Describe a memorable story of a patient? What was so memorable about them?
At the beginning of my career, I was working at a hospital and had a patient who came in unresponsive with a bleed in his brain. With the help of other doctors and specialists, we were able to successfully treat the many who did well and made a recovery. Several months later, he came to the hospital to visit someone else. At first, I didn’t recognize who he was, but he recognized me and ran up to me with a big smile and his whole family. He said to me, “You saved my life, I remember you, thank you so much!” He went on to say that he’s doing very well, and knows that he couldn’t have survived without the hospital’s treatment.
10) Michael Hernandez, Attorney at Law Offices of Michael Anthony Hernandez
What made you decide to become an attorney?
I have always been interested in the practice of law, but I got my start in criminal defense work quite by accident. Just after my second year in law school, a friend of mine asked if I was interested in clerking for a criminal defense attorney. It was the beginning of summer, and I told her that I wasn’t interested, but allowed her to convince me to take an appointment with the attorney. I thought I would meet with the attorney for 10 or 15 minutes, laugh at his jokes, then tell him I wasn’t interested in working. As it turned out, I left that initial meeting with the keys to his office and an armful of discovery on a case involving securities fraud, bank fraud, and wire fraud (think the movie Boiler Room). That first case got me excited about criminal defense.
How long have you been practicing?
I have been practicing for 13 years. At the beginning of my career I practiced immigration law, but quickly shifted to criminal defense.
What do you love the most about being an attorney?
The greatest joy of practicing criminal defense is that every case and every client is unique. This allows us to exercise our creativity when crafting solutions for our clients. And unlike the common misperception of criminal defense work – that we are only looking for technicalities – so much of our practice is devoted to mitigation and to working with clients to make sure they receive any counseling or therapy to help address the underlying cause of the offense. For the vast majority of my clients, I will see them for a very short period in their lives, and with any luck we will never see them again in the criminal justice system.
Describe a memorable story of a client? What was so memorable about this client?
A few years ago I made great law on a case involving a juvenile client. He was both a dependent of the court and a ward of the court, but California law requires a determination as to how best to treat such a child. Unfortunately the child never received the necessary evaluation and determination – the judge simply said that the child should be a ward, and should remain in juvenile hall. The Court of Appeal saw things our way – eventually, probation determined the child was better treated as a dependent, he was released from juvenile hall and enrolled in junior college, he was given life skills and career coaching, and was given an apartment and a small living expenses stipend. With the help of the entire juvenile system, my client was given an opportunity at a successful life.
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