mia4Mia Frances Yamamoto is one of the most distinguished and successful criminal defense attorneys in Southern California.   She has tried over 200 jury trials and represented thousands of clients accused of criminal offenses, including murder, assault, sex offenses, drug offenses, theft, white-collar offenses, regulatory offenses and DUI.

She has been honored by the Criminal Courts Bar Association, National Lawyers Guild and Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles.   She was named “Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year” for 2002 by the Los Angeles County Bar Association Criminal Justice Section; “Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year” by the Century City Bar Association 2006; and one of the “100 Most Influential Lawyers in California” in 2002 by the California Daily Journal.  She has been voted a “Southern California Super Lawyer” by her peers, in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, in polls published by Los Angeles Magazine in each of those years.  She was awarded the “Spirit of Excellence” Award by the American Bar Association and the “Trailblazer Award” by the National Association of Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

She is a former deputy public defender and has been in private practice since 1985.  She is the past president of the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (a statewide organization of over 2,500 public and private defenders), past president of the Japanese American Bar Association, past president of the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance as well as co-founder and past chair of the Multi-Cultural Bar Alliance (a coalition of minority, women’s and LGB T bar associations in Los Angeles).


She has been appointed by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court to serve on the California Judicial Council Task Forces on Jury Improvement and on Fairness and Access in the Courts.   She has lectured and presented for President Clinton’s Initiative on “Race and Criminal Justice”, George Washington University, 1999, as well as several panels, classes and demonstrations for the American Bar Association, Los Angeles County Bar Association and International Bridges to Justice, wherein she conducted training for criminal defense attorneys in the Republic of China.  (IBJ is involved in Due Process education for human rights advocates throughout Asia, Africa, and South America).   She is a well-known media commentator for print, radio and television.


She is the recipient of the Golden Key Award by the City of West Hollywood, The Liberty Award by Lambda Legal, The Harvey Milk Legacy Award by Christopher Street West/LA Pride and she has also been honored by API Equality and the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission for her advocacy on behalf of the LGBT community.