CHIEF TRIAL ATTORNEY OF COUNSEL
Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Holmes proudly served in the United States Army, an Armor Crewman on a Main Battle Tank. After serving in the United States and overseas, Mr. Holmes returned to California and subsequently entered law school.
While in law school, Mr. Holmes not only served as Editor-in-Chief of the school’s Law Review, he also served as an orator on numerous National Moot Court Competitions, focusing primarily on criminal and Constitutional Law.
Immediately after law school, Mr. Holmes passed the California State Bar Examination and accepted a position as a Deputy District Attorney in Southern California, prosecuting criminal law cases.
While serving as a Prosecutor, Mr. Holmes handled countless misdemeanor and felony criminal cases, as well as criminal appeals. He successfully conducted an extensive number jury trials; handled felony preliminary hearings; conducted hearings/motions relating to criminal law legal issues; and developed a strong understanding of how to be successful in the area of criminal law.
In large part, Mr. Holmes believes it was his experience as a prosecutor that really allowed him to develop his ability to be successful in the Courtroom.
After serving as a Deputy District Attorney, Mr. Holmes left the office of the District Attorney and used his skills to become a highly respected and successful criminal defense attorney.
As a private defense attorney, Mr. Holmes’ practice primarily focuses on representing individuals accused of criminal activity such as driving under the influence, robbery, murder, and other serious criminal charges.
For over 15 years, Mr. Holmes has successfully handled well over 50 jury trials, obtaining not-guilty verdicts and dismissals on cases involving charges alleging theft of over $30,000.00; felony driving under the influence; possession of nearly 150 pounds of drugs; First Degree Murder; and others.
Mr. Holmes is also a Certified Veterans’ Affairs Attorney, with extensive experience representing Veterans of the Armed Forces facing misdemeanor and felony criminal charges in various Veteran’s Courts.
In one recent case involving a Veteran, one of Mr. Holmes’ clients was accused of selling large quantities of “ecstasy pills.” Despite the fact that the prosecutor was adamant about wanting my client to go to prison, Mr. Holmes was able to demonstrate that the sales of the drugs were not for profit, but instead was motivated out of a need to feed his need to self-medicate after suffering various service-connected disabilities. In the end, Mr. Holmes was able to get his client into Veterans Court, receiving treatment for his disability, and NO PRISON OR JAIL for his case.
It is Mr. Holmes’ knowledge of the law, combined with his understanding of jurors and his devotion to his clients, that makes him a top criminal defense attorney.
ATTORNEY OF COUNSEL
Mr. Taibi graduated from the prestigious liberal arts school, Davidson College, with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, in 1989. With a concentration in pre-law classes as part of his undergraduate studies, Mr. Taibi achieved the top 5% of those taking the LSAT, the entry examination for law school. While he attended college, Mr. Taibi was very active in college government, holding leadership positions such as Treasurer and President of his fraternity, Phi Delta Theta
In 1992, Mr. Taibi earned his Juris Doctorate degree at California Western School of Law. While attending law school, Mr. Taibi was the law clerk for one of the top criminal defense and family law attorneys in San Diego County. During these three years, Mr. Taibi received an invaluable practical education in what it means to be an attorney and how to best represent clients in different areas of law
Mr. Taibi was admitted to practice law in the State of California in 1992, and walked into the Courtroom the very next day after his acceptance into practice and began litigating. Mr. Taibi is authorized to practice in all Courts of California, including all State Courts, as well as all Federal District Courts and Bankruptcy Courts, and the Supreme Court of California and all Courts of Appeal. He is a member of the American Bar Association, State Bar of California and the Criminal Law Section of the State Bar, San Diego County Bar Association, and National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys
Mr. Taibi has successfully defended clients throughout California in criminal cases from misdemeanor and felony DUI's to felony murder cases, both state and federal, in his over 25 years of practice. He has also represented military personnel in criminal matters and is familiar with the nuances involved. Having grown up in New York City, he is very comfortable with the fast pace associated with criminal cases and the time constraints involved
Mr. Taibi is a caring, compassionate, knowledgeable and aggressive advocate for his clients and has been recognized as a top attorney by such organizations as the American Society of Legal Advocates and the American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys. He has also served as a mediator and arbitrator for civil disputes. His vast experience and knowledge of the law in many different areas has given him a unique perspective as to the complexity of cases and how to best resolve matters for his clients
Mr. Taibi is very familiar with other countries and cultures and has represented many diverse individuals. He also hails from a family of immigrants and has lived and traveled abroad, extensively in Europe and Asia. He has also had business dealings overseas and has a background in international law, as well as immigration issues
Mr. Taibi has vast experience in many areas of law, areas that crossover in many cases. Mr. Taibi has represented and/or counseled clients in thousands of matters. He has successfully handled felonies/misdemeanors, DUI's with and without injury, theft, violent crimes, drug crimes, both state and federal, as well as those involving military personnel; administrative proceedings; DMV hearings and countless licensure proceedings; immigration issues; business law and related white collar crimes, such as embezzlement, welfare and social security fraud and insurance fraud; probate cases, involving conservatorships, guardianships, and elder abuse, and has prepared, and given advice regarding, wills and trusts; domestic violence and family law matters; adoptions; family disputes; matters involving corporations and contracts; civil litigation, and injury accidents; and international law. It is necessary to be proficient in all of these areas to properly evaluate criminal cases and represent clients in the most effective and best possible way, to strategize properly and to analyze all options and/or consequences one may have, or have to face. Mr. Taibi has spent many years learning and practicing all of these areas of law and honing his skills
Mr. Taibi is highly respected as litigator and counselor for over 25 years as a practicing attorney, by attorneys and judges alike, and has the knowledge and experience to properly handle virtually any matter
JOSHUA M. BASKIN
ATTORNEY OF COUNSEL
Mr. Baskin earned his Juris Doctorate from Whittier Law School with a Certificate in International and Comparative Law. While pursuing his legal degree Mr. Baskin was a valuable extern with two top judges obtaining an instrumental exposure to the justice system. It was during this time and his exposure to the criminal matters that his passion for criminal law defense took shape.
Upon graduating, Mr. Baskin launched his legal career in the Inland Empire focusing on criminal and family law matters. Mr. Baskin expanded his reach into Orange and Los Angeles Counties covering a multitude of matters utilizing his extensive background in addressing the intricacies of DUI, Drug and all types of criminal cases.
Mr. Baskin, being born and raised in Southern California, understands the needs of the community in which he so vigorously serves. After attending the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, Mr. Baskin began working in the Import/Export industry. After a couple of years, Mr. Baskin returned to Orange County and began a career in marketing for consumer products working directly with top executives from a multitude of Fortune 100 and 500 companies. These relationships have created in Mr. Baskin an understanding of meeting and exceeding client expectations. Mr. Baskin is diligent and provides high-quality and vigorous representation to each client he represents.
Mr. Baskin’s experience has given him invaluable insight into the criminal justice system and created relationships that provide an incredible asset in any criminal defense case. Mr. Baskin takes advantage of these connections throughout his practice in advocating for the best resolutions and results for his clients. In addition, to his extensive criminal defense cases, Mr. Baskin also provides full representation in family law matters and was a passionate advocate providing legal services to the California Teacher’s Association in the Inland Empire. Mr. Baskin believes in the value of focused teamwork to solve client problems, and provides dedication, commitment, and service to all matters and clients he serves.
In addition to being admitted to the California State Bar and licensed to practice in all state courts throughout California, Mr. Baskin is admitted to practice law as an attorney and counselor of the United States District Court of the Central District of California. Mr. Baskin is a member of the Orange County Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the San Bernardino Bar Association, the Riverside Bar Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
THOMAS (TJ) FILICIA
ATTORNEY OF COUNSEL
Thomas Filicia joins the San Diego Criminal Attorney. Thomas is responsible for extensively evaluating each case, and then consulting with the rest of the team to determine how the specific needs of each individual client can best be addressed. Thomas’ attention to detail, team mentality, and communication skills have made him a valuable asset to our firm
Thomas was born and raised in San Diego and has resided in Southern California for most of his life. He is a graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law, where he was a member of the school’s American Bar Association Negotiation Team. At Syracuse, he developed a passion for criminal defense law and clerked for a law firm that handled primarily criminal appeals. He has drafted appellate briefs in several areas of criminal law including Parole Violations, Domestic Violence, Rape, and Murder. After graduating from law school, Thomas worked for one of San Diego’s preeminent Construction Defect and HOA law firms. He is also a member of the St. Thomas Moore Society for Catholic Attorneys.
Prior to attending law school, Mr. Filicia studied Communications at Loyola Marymount University, where he also played Varsity Baseball. He then went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from St. John’s University. At St. John’s, he was a member of the University’s Ethics Debate Team, which competed annually in national competitions.
Thomas is an avid sports fan, who enjoys staying active, and rooting for the Padres, Lakers, and Cowboys, in his free time.
THOMAS J. BECK
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS
Thomas Beck joins The San Diego Criminal Attorney as the Senior Director of Operations and Client Operations. Mr. Beck has spent over 19 years as an industry leader and has worked with one of the largest law firms in Arizona focusing only on DUI and criminal defense. Mr. Beck joins San Diego Criminal Attorneys and brings a dedication of excellence that consistently exceeds our client’s expectations. Mr. Beck is a critical liaison between New Client Relations and the Senior and Associate attorneys within the law firm. Mr. Beck is part of the initial process in determining each element and responsibility of each team member in how they will respond and engage in each client’s case. Mr. Beck works closely with the senior trial attorneys, associate attorneys, department of motor vehicle attorneys, and the private investigators within the law firm. With a focus of treating each client like our only client, we consistently strive every day to go beyond our client’s expectations.
SPANISH CASE MANAGER
Lily Baskin es la gerente e intérprete de Inglés y Español de todos los casos en las oficinas de Los Angeles County Criminal Defence Attorneys. En este puesto, la señora Baskin proporciona asistencia a nuestros clientes que solamente hablan español y es el contacto principal para agendar entrevistas. Ella inclusive toma parte en las juntas con nuestros abogados y clientes para proporcionar interpretación en español de términos legales.
La señora Baskin comenzó en esta rama de trabajo hace 10 años como interprete y gerente de diversos despachos de Bienes Raíces. Ella también ha colaborado con múltiples licenciados apoyándolos con el manejo de sus casos legales por todo el condado de Los Angeles.
La señora Baskin ha extendido su conocimiento en la rama legal yendo a varios tribunales desde el condado de Orange hasta el condado de Los Angeles, traduciendo a todos nuestros clientes cuando lo necesitan.
Su experiencia en la rama legal, su orientación hacia nuestros clientes y efectividad en el trabajo hace a la señora Baskin un miembro ejemplar de nuestro equipo.
DIRECTOR OF NEW CLIENT RELATIONS
Leslie Pollero joins the team as the Director of New Client Development. She is the first voice new clients hear, serving as an intermediary between attorney and client. Leslie believes deeply in the right of all people to be treated fairly and receive the justice they deserve. It is her pleasure not only to deliver excellent customer service but also ensure that the client knows they are truly being listened to. Her goal is to provide customized service to each client. Leslie was born and raised in San Diego and has for years been active in various social justice movements. Leslie attended college for library science and previously had a successful career in the biotechnology field as a technical writer and project coordinator. In her free time, Leslie enjoys the outdoors and spending time with family.
Kevin Roncevich (K.T.)
PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR OF COUNSEL
From 1997 to 2001, Kevin Roncevich honorably served the United States Navy. He was twice deployed to the Persian Gulf onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, where he participated in Operation Southern Watch. He was also a valued member of Operation Infinite Reach, a1998 mission ordered by President Clinton in retaliation for bombings at US embassies in both Kenya and Tanzania. As part of this mission, two Tomahawk missiles were launched against a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan as well as terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. Officials suspected the factory of producing chemical weapons meant to support Osama Bin Laden and his terrorist efforts. For his role in this and many other critical missions, Mr. Roncevich was awarded with several medals and commendations.
US Navy Awards and Accomplishments
- Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (Mr. Roncevich received two such honors)
- Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Mr. Roncevich received two such honors)
- Navy Achievement Medal
- Flag Letter of Commendation
- Battle “E” Award
- Junior Sailor of the Month
- Letter of Appreciation given by Commanding Officer HS-4
- Good Conduct Medal
- Meritorious Unit Commendation (Mr. Roncevich received two such honors)
- Coast Guard Unit Commendation with Operational Distinguishing Device
- Letter of Commendation given by Rear Admiral, United States Navy
- Letter of Commendation given by Commanding Officer HS-4
- Sailor of the Month
After honorably serving the US Navy for many years, Mr. Roncevich left service to pursue a career in law enforcement. In less than six months, Mr. Roncevich was at the top of his class at the Golden West Police Academy in Huntington Beach, CA. His strong academic performance put him at the top of his class, attracting the attention of the Cypress Police Department. In 2002, he was hired as a patrol officer, eventually working his way up to training officer, SWAT team member, and, eventually, a criminal investigations detective. In addition to his 2,000 hours of instructional training and thousands of hours of on the job training, Mr. Roncevich has also attended advanced training sessions to further his skills and to help make the area safer for all residents. While working for the City of Cypress police, Mr. Roncevich had numerous responsibilities, including:
Patrol Officer. Mr. Roncevich’s primary responsibility while working as a patrol officer was to ensure public safety. This goal was achieved through protecting people and property, responding to emergency calls and situations, and generally maintain public order. As a patrol officer, he also enforced criminal laws, identified, pursued, and arrested suspects, and promoted good community relations between residents and the Cypress Police. Mr. Roncevich was also required to review incident facts and determine whether or not a state or federal crime had indeed committed and had to testify in court as a witness during traffic and criminal cases. Processing prisoners, maintaining accurate records, and overseeing prisoner status during pre-trial matters are also the responsibilities of a patrol officer.
Training Officer. Training officers must work with new hires, ensuring that they have all the tools and knowledge required to safely and skillfully work without additional oversight. As a training officer, Mr. Roncevich had to both train and assess new officers on report writing, improvement, knowledge of federal, state, and municipal laws, and overall performance and conduct.
SWAT Team Member. SWAT teams ensure the safety of citizens and other police officers during potentially violent and contentious encounters. These “callouts,” as they are known, usually occurred in situations where there were riots, perimeter security, hostage situations, or threats in high-security or high-traffic areas. As a member of West County’s SWAT team, Mr. Roncevich was directly responsible for the safety of other officers. Acting as the team’s breacher, he was the individual charged with gaining access to whatever building or structure is involved to allow space for the rest of the team to move in. He was also responsible for executing high-risk search warrants and arrests.
Criminal Investigations Detective. For four years, Mr. Roncevich worked as a criminal investigator, primarily focusing on fraud cases (such as identity theft or credit card fraud), property crimes (such as vandalism and theft), and assaults (such as sexual assault, aggravated assault, and domestic violence), and homicide. He was responsible for investigating all crimes reported to him interviewing witnesses and suspects, coordinating with other departments and crime labs, and monitoring all evidence collection, including statements as well as physical evidence. As matters appeared before the courts, Mr. Roncevich assisted the district attorney’s office to help ensure that all cases were strong before being presented to the jury. This includes writing search warrants and meeting with the judge in the course of their execution. While working as a criminal investigator, Mr. Roncevich also went undercover, conducting hundreds of hours of surveillance operations. He was also instrumental in static surveillance situations, gathering evidence required for search and arrest warrants. Eventually, Mr. Roncevich became lead investigator and was responsible for managing a group of up to 25 individuals employed in various law enforcement capacities. It also involved coordinating investigations with other law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI, Secret Service, and the Department of Justice.
Law Enforcement Awards and Accomplishments
- Gold Distinguished Service Medal, which is awarded to officers who demonstrate heroism and bravery for his role in an officer-involved shooting
- Letter of Recognition received from the Cypress Police Narcotics Sergeant in relation to a search warrant that resulted in the apprehension of two individuals and the seizure of a large volume of drugs
- Letter of Recognition from the Cypress Chief of Police regarding a “planned approach that thwarted any escape” when numerous vandalism suspects were apprehended without incident
- Letter of Recognition from the Cypress Chief of Police regarding a large-scale search for a suspect Mr. Roncevich participated in, thanking him for “team effort and dedication”
- Letter of Appreciation from American Rentals, regarding a highly complex theft case
- Letter of Appreciation from the Los Alamitos Chief of Police, regarding the apprehension of a suspect who had previously fled police custody
- Letter of Commendation, regarding the apprehension of a team of criminals known as the “Cash and Carat Bandits”
- Letter of Commendation from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, regarding the assistance Mr. Roncevich provided throughout a high-profile case
- Formal Recognition from the Cypress Chief of Police, regarding the apprehension of a suspect who had previously fled police custody
- Designed and implemented a new form, to be used department wide when apprehending and interviewing suspects believed to be under the influence of illicit narcotics
Advanced Officer Training
- Specific training received on the PENI Street Gang, noted as Public Enemy Number One, offered by Orange County Training Managers Association and the Southern California Skinhead Task Force
- QUICKCHECK Narcotic Identification Kit certification
- DNA Evidence Collection certification from the City of Cypress
- Lawful Interception of Wire and Electronic Digital Pager or Electronic Cellular Telephone Communications Certification from the State of California Department of Justice
- Alcohol Sensor Device Certification from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department
- Identity Theft Certification from the San Diego Regional Training Center
- Vehicle Theft Certification from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department
- Identification of Counterfeit Digital Video Discs Certification from the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc.
- Emergency Response to Terrorism Incidents training provided by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department
- Search Warrant Instructions training received by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department
- Drug Abuse Recognition training offered by California Narcotic Officer Association
- Elder Abuse Investigation training received from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department
- Homicide Investigation training offered by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department
- Child Abuse and Sexual Assault training offered by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
- Advanced Interview and Interrogation received from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
- Courtroom Testimony training received by the Riverside County Sheriffs’ Department
- Criminal Investigations training received by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
Mr. Roncevich retired from the Cypress Police Department in 2013 and began his own private security firm. As part of creating this firm, he developed a business plan, financing, setting deadlines, and coming up with an overall goal. Throughout this process, he was tasked with reviewing sales reports and comparing numbers with company goals. This job also entailed reviewing profit and loss statements and other balance sheets. As the owner and operator of the company, he is now responsible for decision making, problem solving, and problem identification, through the use of quantitative techniques.
- Responsible for overseeing the sales division and operations division of the security firm. When the company began, this department brought in zero revenue, but after three years, it brought in over $4 million dollars, largely due to Mr. Roncevich’s direction. Part of this success was due to a forecasted sales growth of $5.5 million by the end of the fourth year of operation, while still working with a 40 percent profit margin and without sacrificing any of the 150 staff members
- Mr. Roncevich was also in charge of the acquisition, deployment, and ongoing maintenance of patrol vehicles, with 35 currently being part of the company’s fleet
- Certificate of Recognition from the San Jacinto School District, regarding the work the company has done to keep the community safe
- Recognized as the second-fastest growing small business in Orange County by the Orange County Business Journal
As part of his job as a private investigator, Mr. Roncevich has participated in numerous investigations involving many other community agencies, including those related to criminal, civil, AOE/COE, welfare, and insurance fraud. He continues to provide expert witness testimony as well.
Ongoing professional education is extremely important to Mr. Roncevich. To that end, he has taken the following educational courses:
- Used Vehicle Pre-Licensing Education Program, Certificate of Completion
- Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, Guard Card
- Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, Private Investigator
- Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, Private Patrol Operator
- Training Certificate received in Basic Peace Officer Standards
- Training certificate received in Intermediate Peace Officer Standards
- Training certificate received in Advanced Peace Officer Standards
- Over 55 general education units received from Cypress College, Coastline Community College, and Golden West College
ATTORNEY OF COUNSEL
David J. Ruyle, Jr. focuses his criminal and DUI defense practice in San Diego where he was born and raised. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University in 1998 and his law degree from Trinity Law School in 2002. During law school, Mr. Ruyle interned with the San Diego County Public Defender’s office where he was exposed to felony related matters.
After working for a few years as an attorney on DUI and other criminal matters, he had a calling to better understand the public perception of law enforcement and the realities officers face. That calling led him to attend a California POST certified Police Academy in 2007 and become a Reserve Police Officer with the City of El Cajon. As a police officer, he was certified to use the PAS and Intoximeter to determine the level of intoxication. He was exposed not only to the policies and procedures a police department and its officers must follow but the effects they have on the community. During his commission as an officer, he was exposed to drunk drivers, domestic violence, and narcotics offenders along with many other issues a patrol officer encounters on a daily basis. He enjoyed his participation in many community outreach events sponsored by the police department.
While he was a reserve police officer he continued his legal practice representing clients in criminal matters and was able to effectively apply his experience as a police officer to his cases and addressing his clients’ needs. He has since resigned his commission with the City of El Cajon but has a passion for sharing what he learned. He was able to share his real world and academic experience as an adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice Department of both Westwood College and the University of Phoenix. He now continues to work with students studying for the Bar Exam.
As a criminal defense attorney, Mr. Ruyle has represented clients charged with misdemeanors such as DUIs, domestic violence, drug possession and theft to felony cases such as severe domestic violence, burglary, robbery, and narcotics. He takes pride in understanding his clients’ situations and being attentive to their needs while seeking a favorable outcome for their case. Also of importance to him is his clients’ ultimate well-being and the correction of any patterns of behavior that may be the underlying factor in their criminal case.
Mr. Ruyle is in good standing with the State Bar of California, a member of the San Diego County Bar Association and California Public Defender’s Association.