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Greg Rael graduated from Stanford Law School in 1976 and began his career in the Humboldt County Public Defender's Office. For the next five years he served as a deputy public defender, handling thousands of cases ranging from death penalty homicide to shoplifting.
Mr. Rael entered private practice in 1981 as managing partner in the firm of Rael and Young. This firm was the first in Humboldt County to be awarded a contract for "conflict of interest" cases that the Public Defender's Office could not accept. While with Rael and Young, Mr. Rael earned a reputation for creative and aggressive representation. He also served as chairman of the California State Bar's Committee on Criminal Defense Services and co-authored the first editions of California Criminal Law, Procedure and Practice and California Juvenile Court Practice, leading texts in their fields.
Since 1987 Mr. Rael has maintained a widely respected solo practice. Although he represents people from all walks of life, his clients have included elected officials charged with corruption, prominent business owners accused of anti-trust and regulatory violations, school teachers charged with abuse and top law enforcement officers facing misconduct charges. He handles cases involving every aspect of criminal and juvenile law, from serious felonies to vehicle code violations.
During his career Mr. Rael has won recognition for innovative, compassionate and skillful defense of his clients. Each client he accepts receives the benefit of nearly 40 years of experience, along with a philosophy that every case deserves his utmost attention.
Mr. Rael's experience spans the entire breadth of criminal law with a focus on cases arising in Humboldt County.
He has represented adult and juvenile clients accused of violating virtually every aspect of the laws:
1972 Stanford University, Sociology, Bachelor of Science
1976 Stanford Law School, Law, Doctor of Jurisprudence
California State Bar, Member
Humboldt County Bar Association, Member
Hoopa Valley Tribal Court Bar, Member
California Public Defender Association, Member
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member
California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Member
California DUI Lawyers Association, Member
Humboldt County Teen Court, Mentor Attorney
California State Bar Committee on Criminal Defense Services, former Chair
California Continuing Education of the Bar, Consultant and Contributing Author
“I have known Mr. Rael for 37 years. I was represented by him 30 years ago and have worked professionally with him for many years, currently as an investigator. I have worked within the criminal justice system for years and know that Mr. Rael is highly respected throughout the legal community and considered one of the finest criminal defense attorneys in Humboldt County.
Whether through representation, working together, or our friendship over many years, I know Mr. Rael to be extremely knowledgeable about the law and deeply committed to providing the best legal defense to his clients in the most cost effective way. He is extremely thorough and takes time to explain the court process, expectations, and limitations to his clients. Working with him is a pleasure. I admire his intellect, thoroughness, thoughtfulness, honesty and compassion. I have witnessed these traits for many years in both his professional and personal life. I never hesitate to highly recommend him to those in need of his services as I know Mr. Rael's competency and honesty to be authentic. Mr. Rael has a tremendous work ethic and expects the same from his staff. I cannot emphasize enough how Mr. Rael performs duties to the highest standard while at the same time making his clients comfortable during an extremely difficult time in their lives.
Opposing counsel's respect for Mr. Rael's fine mind and integrity more often than not result in a favorable disposition for his clients. Mr. Rael's extensive experience, knowledge, and professionalism equate to excellence in every way. Humboldt County citizens are fortunate to have access to such a fine attorney.” - Kerry, Client
“My husband and I had the privilege of having Greg as my husband's attorney during an extremely tough time in our life, legally and personally. He was a God-send. Very caring, easy to talk to - just an all-around wonderful human being. Of course we hope we never need an attorney again, but we would not hesitate to go back to Greg if the need arises. If there were a higher rating than "Excellent" and five stars, he would deserve it. An honest lawyer!” - Leslie, Client
“I hired Greg to represent me on a petty theft matter. He was able to walk me through it and at the end of my probation he filed the appropriate papers to get it dismissed/expunged. It may not have been the biggest case for him but he didn't treat me any less special. I would definitely recommend Greg to anyone who is in trouble.” - Client
“Highly Recommended! I met with Greg about 2 years ago. It was the first time I ever had a problem. He was great! He explained everything to me, kept me apprised of everything going on and even helped me when I was off probation to get my matter dismissed. I highly recommend him to anyone!" - Cory, Client
“I would highly recommend Mr. Rael and his staff. They are very nice and professional. They made me feel very comfortable during an uncomfortable situation.” - Client
“Top Criminal Attorney. Greg and staff were easy to work with and always there for me every step of the way. My first time having to hire a criminal lawyer and they made it easier.” - Beth, Client
"HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Mr. Rael and his paralegal Marlene helped me immensely with an issue that I felt would make or break my entire future. These two individuals worked as a team to educate me, keep me informed, and advocate for me throughout my entire experience with the legal system in Humboldt County. Most importantly, they treated me with the utmost respect throughout the entire ordeal. My case involved a petition for factual innocence, which unfortunately is a process that is largely unheard of in this area. Through my initial consultation with Mr. Rael, I realized that he had knowledge of this subject area. As we proceeded with my case, Greg utilized every legal resource in existence to ensure thorough and ethical advocacy in my case. Greg and Marlene truly went the extra mile to do all of the extensive research needed for my case. They treated me fairly, communicating in an efficient and honest manner throughout all of our interactions. I feel that my decision to seek their counsel was the most influential decision in my life, and I am thrilled to say that the outcome was favorable." - Tonya, Client
"Mr. Gregory Rael and his paralegal Marlene, have been kind, helpful and very knowledgeable. They have both gone above and beyond in helping me to understand what is going on with my case in this very scary and uncertain time. I feel like they have guided and helped me as they would their very OWN family, they have been straight forward, honest and fair with me, they have treated me with great care and respect, and taken the time to be through and explain anything I did not understand without making me feel less than, or foolish. I feel very comfortable with them and also in very capable hands. I cannot recommend this criminal defense team more, they are at the top of their game and the very best that Humboldt county has to offer. I am extremely grateful for their support, and feel lucky to have found them. " - Michael E.
"I highly recommend Mr. Rael - his knowledge and experience, coupled with his integrity, make him an attorney of the highest rank." - Elan Firpo, Litigation Lawyer
"Gregory Rael ... has spent 38 years practicing law. Has contributed and helped author legal publications for attorneys who use them on a daily basis through continuing education of the bar books. He is an expert on criminal and juvenile law. For potential clients look no further. This will be your attorney, they don't get any better. Hire him! KUDOS" - Peter John Marek, Criminal Defense Attorney
"I endorse this lawyer. I have worked closely with him over the past fifteen years, and admire his work ethic, his comprehensive knowledge of criminal and juvenile law and, and a strong commitment to his clients." - Marion Miller, Criminal Defense Attorney
"I have known Mr. Rael for over 15 years and he is one of the best criminal defense attorneys and one of the brightest legal minds on the North Coast. I have worked with him on a couple of matters and his experience, hard work, and winning attitude always make me glad he is on my client's side. He ranks a solid ten out of ten in my book!" - Lisa Anne Russ, Estate Planning Attorney
"I endorse this lawyer." - Timothy Edward O'Laughlin, Criminal Defense Attorney
"Beyond question, Greg Rael is one of the most highly regarded criminal defense lawyers in Northern California. His zealous representation of clients is consistently delivered in an ethical and highly professional manner. Based on reputation and years of experience he is a "10" lawyer." - Zachary Ethan Zwerdling, Wrongful Death Attorney
"I've known Greg and practiced with him on numerous cases over 30 years. He is one of the finest legal tacticians there is. The best endorsement I can give is to say that he would be the one representing me or my family members if there was ever a need." - William R. Bragg, Attorney at Law
"Greg is an extremely knowledgeable and experienced practitioner but what distinguishes him from many other lawyers is his thoroughness and attention to detail. I would not hesitate to recommend him." - Benjamin Mainzer, Personal Injury Lawyer
"I have worked with Mr. Rael on several cases and in each case his knowledge, experience and reputation have made a positive difference in the outcome of the case for his clients. Greg truly cares about his clients and excels at his profession." - Jon-Paul Valcarenghi, DUI/DWI Attorney
"I highly endorse this lawyer. He is one of the best on the North Coast." - Neal I. Sanders, Criminal Defense Attorney