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Yuma's Best 2012: Donovan Law
Best Law Firm
Some law firms have a sole practitioner. Some firms practice in a variety of fields of law.
Not Donovan Law of Yuma. It consists of three attorneys who bring to the firm decades of experience in criminal law, and who can draw on one another’s expertise in defending clients.
And with the exception of occasional military law cases handled by one of three partners, Donovan Law focuses strictly on defending the rights of people accused of crimes.
"We’re not splitting our attention elsewhere," says Julie M. McDonald, who joins Michael J. Donovan and Conrad F. Mallek in Donovan Law.
"We don’t do divorces, we don’t do immigration cases," she said. "Everything we do is criminal defense."
And clients can count on assertive and uncompromising defense in court, said Donovan, the managing partner of the firm. With perhaps the exception of prosecutors, he said, Donovan’s attorneys take cases to trial more often than anyone else in Yuma County.
"We just don’t believe in the business of plea bargaining just to move a case along," said Donovan.
In the firm’s website, www.donovanlawofarizona.com, the attorneys say: "Our practice is based on the simple premise that our United States Constitution has allowed for numerous personal and private rights, which are constantly ignored and have become secondary to the unlimited powers of the prosecutors and police.
"We believe that this country is comprised of good people that sometimes find themselves in bad situations, who deserve the benefit of these Constitutional rights that our forefathers found so important."
Donovan says he believes that philosophy was key to Donovan Law being selected as the area’s Best Law Firm for 2012 in Yuma’s Best, the Yuma Sun’s annual reader poll.
Another factor, he believes, is the experience of the attorneys.
Donovan, a graduate of Arizona State University’s law school, joined the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in the 1970s, serving with its Major Felony Bureau before coming to Yuma, where he served as chief criminal deputy in the Yuma County Attorney’s Office.
He has practiced criminal defense in Yuma since 1981, and joined with Donovan Law in 2008. He has been certified by the Arizona State Bar as a criminal law specialist and has handled death penalty cases. He is authorized to practice not only in state but federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mallek graduated from the John Marshall Law School in Chicago in 1976, one year after being commissioned a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He served as a judge advocate in the Marines until 1988. From 1988 through 2008, he prosecuted criminal cases as deputy Yuma County attorney.
From 2008 to 2009, Mallek he went to work for the U.S. Justice Department in Iraq, where his tasks included mentoring Iraqi defense attorneys in that nation’s post-Saddam legal system. Apart from handling criminal cases, Mallek handles some military law cases for the practice today.
McDonald graduated from the California Western School of Law School in San Diego in 2000 and joined the Legal Defender’s Office in Cochise County, where she represented children charged with crimes. In 2007, she joined the Legal Defender’s Office in Yuma County, serving as senior trial attorney for a year before joining the Donovan firm.
Like Donovan, she is certified by the State Bar as a criminal law specialist. And as a member of the Federal CJA Panel, she is qualified to represent defendants in federal court in the event of a scheduling or other conflict involving the public defender. And through the AZCOPS, the union for Arizona public safety employees, she defends law enforcement officers who are accused of criminal behavior or job misconduct.
Mallek and Donovan said each attorney brings his or her unique skills to a practice that, as a result, can provide vigorous defense to a client in any type of criminal case.
"I think we complement each other," he said.
Added Donovan, "We work very well as a team."
Donovan Law provides free consultations for prospective clients in criminal cases. The firm can be reached at (928) 329-8707, or by email at email@example.com.