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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Pro Bono Attorney of the Year: Michael Fell

June 20, 2012

  • Attorney Michael Fell with NCVLI Executive Director Meg Garvin. Mr. Fell received the Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award at NCVLI's 11th Annual Crime Victim Law Conference.

Each year NCVLI honors a Pro Bono Attorney of the Year.  This award recognizes an attorney who has dedicated significant time to partnering with NCVLI in the protection, enforcement, and advancement of victims’ rights.  The recipient has either worked alongside NCVLI attorneys to assist with NCVLI’s work on legal technical assistance requests, amicus curiae briefs, and public policy projects; has provided direct representation to victims of crime in criminal proceedings; or, has served as local counsel in the filing of amicus briefs.  Pro bono attorneys are a crucial component in NCVLI’s mission and we are proud to honor a Pro Bono Attorney of the Year. This year’s recipient was honored at NCVLI’s 11th Annual Crime Victim Law Conference. 

About Michael Fell

Mr. Fell began his legal career in 1989 as a Deputy District Attorney for Orange County, prosecuting criminal cases for over 18 years. His experience as a senior deputy district attorney led to his commitment to protecting victims and he has been recognized for his efforts. In 2003 Mr. Fell received the Ambassador of Peace Award from the Violence Prevention Coalition of Orange County and he has also received accolades and awards from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Community Services Program/Victim Witness of Orange County and the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County. Since leaving the DA’s Office, Mr. Fell has established his own firm concentrating on “non-violent” criminal defense and Marsy’s Law Victims’ Rights Representation.

Through the use of Marsy’s Law, the 2008 California Constitutional Victims’ Bill of Rights amendment, Mr. Fell has represented a multitude of clients. Two of his Marsy’s Law cases which garnered national attention include People v. John Gardner where Mr. Fell represented the family of Chelsea King, a 17 year-old girl who was brutally raped and murdered in 2010; and People v. Andrew Gallo, where Mr. Fell represented the families of Major League Baseball player Nick Adenhart, and his three companions who in 2010 fell victim to a drunk driver where only one companion survived.  Mr. Fell has also represented at a parole hearing Lynette Duncan, whose sister and father were murdered in 1977.

Mr. Fell has lectured on criminal issues for many years, including the training of police officers, investigators and prosecutors and also the San Diego and Orange County chapters of Parents of Murdered Children, explaining Marsy’s Law and how it may assist with their cases.