Jay Leiderman is a criminal defense attorney in Ventura, California. He co-authored the first ever book on the legal defense of California medical marijuana crimes and has been called the “Hacktivist’s Advocate” for his work defending those accused of computer crimes. He has been recognized and won awards for going above and beyond to represent clients accused of all sorts of crimes. Jay frequently lectures around the state and nation on various criminal defense topics.
Jay Leiderman is a criminal defense lawyer based in Ventura, California. Jay was certified as a criminal law specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. The Atlantic Magazine called Leiderman the “Hacktivist’s Advocate” for his work defending hacker-activists accused of computer crimes, or so-called (“Hacktivism”) especially people associated with the hacktivist collective Anonymous.
Other noteworthy cases Leiderman defended include People v. Diaz, which went to the California Supreme Court and made law on the ability of police to search a cell phone, Louis Gonzalez, who was falsely accused of rape, attempted murder and torture by the mother of his child and was jailed for 83 days before he was released and ultimately found factually innocent, the Andrew Luster or so-called “Max Factor” heir habeas corpus proceeding, wherein his sentence was reduced by 74 years the first-ever trial of medical marijuana defendants in San Luis Obispo County, California County, and Ventura County, California’s first ever concentrated Mexican Mafia prosecution – the largest case in the history of Ventura County.
Leiderman co-authored a book on the legal defense of California medical marijuana crimes, which was published by NORML, the National Organization For the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He is also a founding member of the Whistleblower’s Defense League, “formed to combat what they describe as the
FBI and Justice Department’s use of harassment and over-prosecution to chill and silence those who engage in journalism, Internet activism or dissent.” Leiderman frequently comments in diverse areas of the media about criminal and social justice issues. He also lectures around the state and nation on various criminal defense topics.
Here are some profiles of Jay Leiderman and quotes from news stories:
“It is fashionable always to cast aspersion upon those that defend persons accused of committing crimes. The viler the accused crime, the more vigorous defense the accused needs, yet, at the same time, the more vitriol the defense attorney will face. I cannot speak for my brethren in the legal community, I can only state that what follows is my own brand of patriotism; I defend those charged with crimes because it is both my duty as a lawyer and as an American. Each piece of resistance to the encroachment of overreaching governmental power is, in and of itself, a victory for freedom.”
The link below is a profile of Jay Leiderman done by the Atlantic Weekly Magazine with a quote from the piece: “We have an opportunity here to make the courts, as these cases wind their way up, understand privacy issues, emerging tech issues, against the backdrop of civil rights and through the prism of free information.”
“Investigators like to wave around the word ‘gang.’ They use it to strike fear in the heart of the community. It tends to also involve a lot of puffery and allegations that maybe perhaps aren’t 100 percent solid,” Leiderman said.
Leiderman thought it was not enough that the government dropped charges. He wanted the criminal justice system to recognize Gonzalez’s innocence affirmatively. There is such a thing as a declaration of factual innocence, he explained to Gonzalez. A judge can grant it. It is exceedingly rare – so rare that many cops and lawyers go a career without seeing one. It means not just that prosecutors couldn’t make a case against you, but that you didn’t do the crime. The case remained on the docket of Ventura County Superior Court Judge Patricia Murphy, who had earlier ordered Gonzalez held without bail. Leiderman petitioned the judge, trying not to get his client’s hopes up. He laid out the case, pointing out the holes in West’s story and the numerous alibi witnesses. Prosecutors did not want Gonzalez declared innocent. They knew a jury wouldn’t convict him but said they couldn’t be positive of his innocence. James Ellison, Ventura County’s chief assistant district attorney, later explained their reasoning: The attack West described was “improbable, but it wasn’t physically impossible.” In January 2009, nearly a year after Gonzalez’s arrest, Leiderman called him excitedly: The judge had sided with them. Gonzalez was soon holding a certified copy of the judge’s order declaring him factually innocent.
From: The Los Angeles Times feature: Could this be happening? A man’s nightmare made real
“The warrant did not give the power to rummage through the journalist’s files,” Leiderman said, adding “there is no indication of why all this information needed to be seized”.
“The days of ‘Let’s haul this kid in front of the judge, scare him and send him home with a warning’ are long since gone,” says attorney Jay Leiderman. “Prosecutorial discretion is a great thing if it’s exercised, but it doesn’t happen in any meaningful way these days, because prosecutions are so politicized.”
From: Is former Sacramento media employee Matthew Keys a victim of overzealous, misguided cybercrime prosecution?
“Our best and brightest should be encouraged to find new methods of expression; direct action in protest must not stifled. The dawning of the digital age should be seen as an opportunity to expand our knowledge, and to collectively enhance our communication. Government should have the greatest interest in promoting speech – especially unpopular speech. The government should never be used to suppress new and creative – not to mention, effective – methods of speech and expression.”
"There's no such thing as a DDoS 'attack'," Leiderman said. "A DDoS is a protest, it's a digital sit it. It is no different than physically occupying a space. It's not a crime, it's speech." Leiderman "runs the gamut" at his practice, where he focuses on civil rights, marijuana and civil law, he told TPM. During our phone conversation, he was headed to state court to represent the owners of a medical marijuana facility, based in North Ridge, CA. http://talkingpointsmemo.com/idealab/homeless-hacker-lawyer-ddos-isn-t-an-attack-it-s-a-digital-sit-in
“He is a good person. He did a bad thing,” Leiderman told the judge.
From: Santa Paula man gets probation for drunken-driving crash that killed fellow officer
Tin foil as reality," a phrase hacktivist lawyer Jay Leiderman whipped out during a panel for “The Hacker Wars,” permeated this year's South By Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Tex. This new reality, brought on in large part through the revelations of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, created a situation where Snowden and two other major speakers - Wikileaks's Julian Assange and journalist Glenn Greenwald - were physically unable to attend and instead used webcams to appear. http://www.occupy.com/article/snowden-assange-and-greenwald-live-streaming-sxsw#sthash.EOTBdYbg.dpuf
“Based upon this case, the government’s new position is that you are required to be clairvoyant in terms of determining what a protected computer is and what a non protected one is,” he tells me. “From now on you have to be a psychic…because if it isn’t password protected but it’s a ‘protected computer’ you’re potentially going to be found guilty.”
“Hack has become a sort of all-encompassing term, when in fact some of this was social engineering, some of this was good old-fashioned regular ‘there’s a hole, I’m going to walk through it’,” said Leiderman. “If you left your front door open people wouldn’t really call it a break-in. To some extent Stratfor were unsecure to the point where it was like their front door was open and Mr Hammond allegedly, with some others, walked right in, and people are calling it a hack. “As far as I’m aware, nothing was really hacked in the classic sense,” he added.
From: Analysis: a case of government versus hacktivism