ARIEL RIEF, ESQ.

EDUCATION

  • J.D., University of San Diego School of Law

  • B.A., University of California, Los Angeles

ADMISSIONS

  • State Bar of California

  • United States District Court - Southern District of CA

MEMBERSHIPS

  • State Bar of California

  • California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ)

  • California Public Defenders Association (CPDA)

  • San Mateo County Bar Association (SMCBA)

  • SMCBA Criminal Law Section (co-Chair)

  • San Mateo County Private Defender Program

  • SMCBA Barristers Section

__________________________________

My BIO

My path to becoming a trial lawyer began after I graduated college at UCLA. I initially worked for a mortgage brokerage in San Diego, but I was appalled by the rampant level of deceitful business practices in the industry. Unlike the brokers and loan officers around me, I spent most my time convincing potential customers to not refinance their home loans because it was often a financially unwise decision. My bosses were not excited about my brutal honesty. So I left my job and instead pursued a legal career—a far more suitable role for me—to achieve my life's purpose to help people. 

 

In law school at the University of San Diego School of Law, my interest in criminal law and litigation sparked after achieving top grades in three particular classes: Criminal Law, Legal Research and Writing, and Negotiations. That interest grew into a passion after clerking in several prosecutor offices and participating in, and winning First Place, in three consecutive Mock Trial Tournaments, which led to me competing in a national tournament in a Chicago federal court. I additionally clerked for a year at the well-respected San Diego civil litigation firm of Thorsnes Bartolotta Maguire.

After law school, I started out as a criminal prosecutor—first as a deputy district attorney with the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office (2011-2012) and, second, with the Amador County District Attorney's Office (2012-2015). It's worth noting that in and after law school, I also completed four prosecutorial clerkships at three government offices: two with the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, one with the United States Attorney's Office, Criminal Division (Major Frauds Unit), and one at the San Diego City Attorney's Office (Land Use and Environmental Section).

 

As a prosecutor, I handled a wide variety of cases—from common misdemeanors to serious felonies—and gained valuable litigation and jury trial experience along the way. Today, as a defense attorney handling cases ranging from DUI to murder, I believe my experience being behind the scenes of multiple DA's Offices and working together with law enforcement from several agencies gives me a helpful knowledge and perspective that benefits my clients. 

 

In 2015, I moved to the Bay Area and initially joined a civil firm representing plaintiffs in consumer breach of warranty (lemon law) cases against automobile manufacturers. Although I have a passion for consumer protection, I wanted to return to criminal law, so I founded my own law office, Rief Legal, in 2016. Additionally, each year a portion of my practice is dedicated to defending indigent clients through the San Mateo County Private Defender Program, which enables me to help the less fortunate and continue to gain valuable experience in a wide variety of cases.

 

As a defense attorney, I've earned a reputation as a skilled and trusted negotiator as well as winning trial lawyer. Each year, hundreds of clients put their trust in me to help get them through what's often the most difficult times in their lives. Whether that means getting a client's charges dismissed or reduced or taking a case to trial and winning, I take whatever path necessary to drop jail and help clients get back on their feet. My intention is always to advise with compassion, straightforwardness, smart strategy, and pragmatism. It's the greatest reward to play in a role in seeing clients move forward in their lives in a positive direction after their cases have been successfully resolved.  

 

LOCATIONS

San Francisco Peninsula /

San Mateo Cty Office

620 Jefferson Ave., Ste. I

Redwood City, CA 94063

Tel. (650) 649-7177

Fax (888) 592-1351

East Bay / Contra Costa Cty Office

1001 Country Club Dr., Ste. D-1

Moraga, CA 94556

Tel. (925) 388-5040

Fax (888) 592-1351

 

CONTACT

 

Toll-Free

888-DROPJAIL

(888-376-7524)

 

GET QUOTE

 

ASK ARIEL

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