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Senior Attorney of Counsel
Mr. McDowell graduated from Southwestern Law School in Southern California with top honors. He was a member of the Dean’s List and was the recipient of the Dean’s Scholarship. Mr. McDowell was the Lead Articles Editor as well as a board member of the Southwestern Law Review in addition to being a teaching assistant and tutor for various Criminal Law classes.
While still in law school, Mr. McDowell served as a certified law clerk for the United States Attorney’s Office, for the District of Nevada, working on the Organized Crime Strike Force. While with the USDOJ, Mr. McDowell handled daily criminal appearances on behalf of the U.S. Government as well as prosecuting DUI’s at trail for which he was recognized as a skilled litigator. Mr. McDowell was also selected to intern in the United States District Court, Southern District of California for the Honorable Dean D. Pregerson.
As a criminal defense attorney, Mr. McDowell has successfully litigated thousands of criminal cases ranging from simple misdemeanors to serious and violent felonies. Mr. McDowell is widely known as one of the very best criminal defense trial lawyers in Southern California. Mr. McDowell has a 10.0 Avvo rating, and has received awards and recognition by the National Trial Lawyers as a “Top 100 Trial Lawyer, Lawyers of Distinction, Lead Counsel, and has been rated Top 10 in Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys. Mr. McDowell is a member of The American Bar Association, The Los Angeles County Bar Association, The Beverly Hills Bar Association, The Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, The Consumer Attorney's Association of Los Angeles, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Shakti Vadgama was born and raised in Los Angeles County and earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). After graduating from UCLA, Mr. Vadgama attended California Western School of Law in San Diego, where he developed a strong passion for advocating on behalf of individuals against entities that are in a position of power.
Mr. Vadgama's first experience with criminal law came when he worked for the Chilean Ministry of Justice while studying and working abroad after his first year of law school in Santiago, Chile. Thereafter, Mr. Vadgama worked as a judicial extern in the criminal division of the San Diego Superior Court East County Division. As a judicial extern, Mr. Vadgama prepared bench memoranda for multiple judges on cases ranging from misdemeanors to serious felonies, providing his recommendation on how each case should be determined when applying the facts to the applicable law. Mr. Vadgama also interned at a criminal defense firm, where he worked on various criminal cases and advocated on behalf of individuals serving life sentences at parole hearings. He helped and witnessed his supervising attorney win a parole hearing for an individual who successfully used the prison system to rehabilitate himself and change his life around after serving twenty-five years for second degree murder. This moment left a profound impact on Mr. Vadgama and made him realize that a career as a criminal defense attorney was his true calling.
After law school, Mr. Vadgama spent the first year and one-half of his legal career as a plaintiff's employment law attorney, advocating on behalf of employees in all employment related matters. In his stint as an employment law attorney, Mr. Vadgama successfully negotiated and litigated on behalf of hundreds of clients in both State and Federal court.
Following his brief stint as an employment law attorney, Mr. Vadgama established Vadgama Law and has dedicated his career towards criminal and DUI defense work, his true passion. Mr. Vadgama has been rated Top 10 in Client Satisfaction by the American Institute of DUI/DWI and Criminal Law Attorneys, has been recognized as a "Rising Star in the field of Criminal Law" by the American Institute of Legal Advocates, and has been received the Top 40 under 40 award by both the National Trial Lawyer and the American Academy of Attorneys.
Mr. Vadgama is licensed to practice law in all State courts throughout California and the United States District Court, Central District of California. Mr. Vadgama is also a member of the Los Angeles Bar Association, the Los Angeles Bar Association Criminal Justice Section, and the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice.
Adriana Quintero received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), double majoring in Political Science and Spanish. After graduating from UC Berkeley, Ms. Quintero attended California Western School of Law in San Diego, California, to gain the tools to fight for and give a voice to the vulnerable and underrepresented and pursue a career as a criminal defense attorney.
While in law school, Ms. Quintero was involved in campus organizations and the community. She worked as a research assistant for her Criminal Procedure professor, researching the interaction of Miranda rights and culture in criminal defense. Ms. Quintero also served as president of the La Raza Law Student Association, was a member of San Diego La Raza Lawyers, and regularly volunteered at naturalization clinics hosted by local non-profit organizations.
As a law student, Ms. Quintero held several legal internship and externship positions. While studying abroad in Santiago, Chile, Ms. Quintero interned with the Office of the Attorney General of Chile, where she co-authored an article published in a legal periodical in Chile and drafted informational pamphlets on the transition from the inquisitorial to adversarial system in Chile. Ms. Quintero also externed for two federal judges and a California appellate court justice, where she researched and drafted opinions and report and recommendations on both criminal and civil matters. She worked on various immigration matters with the non-profit organizations, Casa Cornelia Law Center and Employee Rights Center.
While waiting for California Bar Exam results, Ms. Quintero worked as a law clerk with the Riverside Public Defender’s office, where she conducted preliminary hearings, second-chaired a serious felony trial, and handled misdemeanor cases.
Ms. Quintero then began working as an associate attorney at a civil law firm, handling mainly public interest cases, including environmental, land use, and municipal cases. After that, Ms. Quintero worked as a deputy public defender with the Los Angeles County Public Defender, where she handled a variety of criminal cases and conducted preliminary hearings, litigated motions, and tried cases to verdict. Ms. Quintero left the Los Angles County Public Defender in order to bring her passion and expertise in criminal and DUI defense law to Vadgama Law.
Ms. Quintero is licensed to practice law in the state of California and appear before the Immigration Courts. She is also a member of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice.