Despite a long list of popularized trials and achievements, when asked what he is most proud of, criminal defense attorney Adam G. Gasner says it’s the list of his “quiet dispositions,” the “cases that never make the headlines and where no one knows I am the lawyer — the hundreds of cases where careers, families, and reputations were on the line and I was able to negotiate results that saved jobs, kept families together, and protected against a lifetime of shame.”
During his early years as a certified law intern, Mr. Gasner personally conducted preliminary examinations in narcotics cases. He also gained formative firsthand experience writing and arguing oppositions to motions to suppress, motions to dismiss, motions to disclose confidential informants, and motions to revoke probation. He developed his trade as a criminal defense trial attorney with the Levine Law Firm, a top-ranked San Francisco criminal defense firm, from 1999 to 2000, interviewing clients, investigating crime scenes, drafting motions and memoranda, and creating voire-dire and cross examination questions. He then served in the Contra Costa County Superior Court, located in Martinez, California, as a Criminal Law Research Attorney for the next two years. In this acclaimed position, he was responsible for researching and analyzing all cases, statutes, and secondary materials cited by both parties, as well as for drafting bench memoranda, including analyses, conclusions, and recommendations for future decisions.
A California board-certified specialist — a distinction shared by fewer than 0.16 percent of all practicing, California-based attorneys — Mr. Gasner founded his own firm in 2002 with the vision of providing sophisticated and aggressive criminal defense in both federal and state courts. To become board certified, a lawyer must pass a written examination and demonstrate experience, education, and share references. Periodically one must be recertified to maintain board specialist standing.
From an early age, Adam G. Gasner has always had a passion for law. Perhaps this enthusiasm stems from a long familial line of attorneys — both his great-grandfather and grandfather also practiced. With them serving as his inspiration, the rest came naturally.
Mr. Gasner began his undergraduate education at Boston University in 1988, where he majored in English. With law still persisting on the back of his mind, he also studied subjects such as investigative journalism, sociology, and history. Soon after receiving his Bachelor of Arts Degree, he began work as a law clerk at a San Francisco law firm, and never looked back, earning his Juris Doctor from the University of San Francisco in 1997.
The courtroom has since become one of Mr. Gasner’s favorite places. It’s where he’s dedicated his entire adult life — where he gets to advocate for the accused. He strongly believes it is his role as a criminal defense lawyer to protect all civil liberties — whether it is ensuring the government does not enter a home without a warrant or does not force a confession out of a suspect — so that each person may be afforded due process of the law. Working with clients to solve these critical problems is one of his favorite parts of practicing.
Prior to founding GCL, Adam Gasner was a criminal law research attorney for the Superior Court of Contra Costa County and a criminal defense attorney at the Levine Law Firm, where he studied under and conducted serious felony jury trials with renowned criminal defense trial attorney Hugh Anthony Levine. He was also a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Alvin D. Schlessinger at the New York Supreme Court and a certified law intern for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. Prior to that, Mr. Gasner was a law clerk at the San Francisco law firm of Steinhart & Falconer (now DLA Piper.)
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Adam G. Gasner is a member of the following distinguished organizations. Not all of the associations published below publish public profiles. External links are provided for those that do.
June 5, 2019: I appeared as a guest on KALW San Francisco public radio about "What challenges do non-citizens face today?"
University of San Francisco, School of Law, J.D., 1997 – Honor Code Committee
Boston University, B.A., English Language & Literature, 1992 – President Pre-Law Society
Research Attorney, Criminal Division, Contra Costa County Superior Court
Trial Attorney, Levine Law Firm, San Francisco, CA.
Law Clerk, Steinhart & Falconer (now DLA Piper), San Francisco, CA.
Hon. Alvin Schlessinger
New York Supreme Court, Criminal Trial Division
California Supreme Court
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States District Court for the Northern District of California
United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
Member, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
Past-President, Criminal Trial Lawyers Association of Northern California
Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Law, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization