• Welcome to CTLA!

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Welcome to CTLA

The Criminal Trial Lawyers Association of Northern California is a non-profit organization of Bay Area Criminal Defense attorneys, and defense investigators and experts, devoted to safeguarding liberty and the fair administration of criminal justice. Our organization sponsors regular and ongoing educational programs and seminars on various topics of criminal law and procedure, provides resources for its members, and takes public positions and engages in advocacy on issues related to the criminal justice system in California.


For nearly fifty years, CTLA/NC has stood for justice in the criminal justice system and has been the collective voice for the criminal defense bar in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California. CTLA/NC maintains relationships with criminal justice agencies and the courts, acts as liaison on issues of common concern, and offers continuing legal education through monthly programs and occasional seminars, which offer MCLE credit for CTLA/NC lawyers.

Our Judges Luncheon events have been consistently attended over the decades by scores of California and Federal trial judges as well as appellate jurists in the Bay Area, and have featured prominent speakers such as Vincent Hallinan, Richard “Racehorse” Haynes and Gerry Spence.

Our Vision

CTLA/NC is committed to the highest standards of legal representation for the criminal accused, and to fairness in both process and result for those in the criminal courts. As our Constitutional protections shrink, and governmental intrusions into our privacy and protected areas grow, we owe it to our nation, our clients, indeed to our ancestors and our children, to resist a justice system bent on repressive change and hostility to the rights of individuals. CTLA/NC refuses to stand by while prosecutors and their proxies attempt to accomplish unfair change in both legislatures and courts.

We are dedicated to the protection of individual liberties of the criminally accused, the improvement of the adversary system of criminal justice in both the California and Federal courts, and the education of the public about the Criminal Justice System.

CTLA/NC sponsors both educational and social activities, including luncheons and dinners with informative programs and discussions, on topics of importance to the Criminal Defense Bar; represents the interests of the defense bar in disputes with local agencies, and promotes professional camaraderie.