Distinguished Lawyer Memorial Honoree

Mr. Stephen Cline Esq

Originally from Sacramento, Stephen came to San Diego to attend California Western School of Law after graduating from California State University at Sacramento with a degree in Government and Psychology. It soon became clear that his talents lay in oral advocacy where he received honors in Trial Practice, Advanced Criminal Practice, Appellate Advocacy, Mediation, and Negotiation. Mr. Cline accepted an internship position at the San Diego County Public Defender’s Office during his second year of law school where he assisted on several high-profile murder cases. His work led to a position as a paid law clerk and post bar clerk with that office. 

After graduation he accepted a position as a San Diego County Deputy Public Defender. He quickly established a reputation as an aggressive, thorough, and ethical attorney. He had several cutting-edge victories including as the first criminal defense attorney in San Diego County history to successfully remove an entire prosecutorial agency from the prosecution of a criminal case. After nine years, he entered private practice where he continued to distinguish himself with high profile cases and appearances on national television shows such as Dateline and Crime and Punishment.

Representing clients was only one of the ways that Steve impacted the legal community. He also mentored many interns, law clerks, future prosecutors, defense lawyers, and public defenders. He was honored as one of San Diego’s Top Attorneys for Criminal Defense by the San Diego Daily Transcript, named a Top Attorney by San Diego Magazine, and selected as a member of the Nation’s Top One Percent by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.