Guy Iversen spent 27 years in the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Los Angeles, leaving as Chief of Training.  During his tenure, he was counsel or co-counsel in approximately 80 felony jury trials and 20 misdemeanor trials. His cases involved large scale white collar fraud, drugs and firearms offenses, bank robberies, assaults, bribery, immigration offenses, extradition, sexual assaults, attempted murder and murder, and civil rights violations. He was designated Learned Counsel in two pre-trial capital cases, United States vs Damion Thompson and United States v. Daniel Casto. Since 2009, he was lead/co-counsel in three capital habeas evidentiary hearings, Waidla v. Chappel, Earp v. Ornoski, and Williams v. Davis (granting petition, vacating conviction and death sentence and ordering new trial (LINK Order & Press). He supervised both trial and capital habeas attorneys for over 17 years, and was in charge of new attorney training in the office from 2010-2016. In June of 2016, he received the Outstanding Defender award from the National Federal Public Defender’s Association.

Mr. Iversen has lectured nationally for years on a wide range of issues including cross-examination techniques, evidence, employment dispute resolution, capital habeas evidentiary hearings, medical marijuana and issues in the attorney-client relationship. During his tenure in the Federal Public Defender’s Office, he became recognized for his skills at cross-examination and strategic evidentiary and advocacy litigation. 

Mr. Iversen has been counsel of record in 50 Ninth Circuit appeals and argued before the Circuit Court 25 times. His published appellate cases include:

  1. United States v. Johns, 5 F.3d 1267 (9th Cir. 1993) (finding ex post facto violation in district court’s refusal to depart downward from guidelines)
  2. Weber v. United States District Court for the Central District of California, 9 F.3d 76 (9th Cir. 1993) (granting writ of mandamus against district court for refusing to sentence client)
  3. United States v. Ross, 32 F.3d 1411 (9th Cir. 1994) (affirming suppression of evidence on Fourth Amendment grounds in an airport search case)
  4. United States v. Lipsey, 62 F.3d 1134 (9th Cir. 1995) (reversing sentencing enhancement under Guidelines as clearly erroneous)

And in the District Court:

  1. United States v. Foreman, 914 F. Supp. 385 (C.D. Cal. 1996) (924(c) gun count dismissed with prejudice after ruling that government was not entitled to a jury instruction for aiding and abetting). 

He was also part of the litigation team In The Matter of Brad Levenson, 560 F.3d 1145 (9th Cir. 2009), the first published opinion in America to find the Defense Of Marriage Act, as applied to preclude Deputy Federal Public Defender’s request for spousal health benefits, unconstitutional on equal protection grounds. (LINK Opinion)

He has litigated Constitutional challenges to the actions of several local municipalities including the canine search policies at La Canada High School in La Canada, California, under the Fourth Amendment (LINK Press) and the suspension of baseball players at John Burroughs High School in Burbank, California, under the Compelled Speech doctrine of the First Amendment. (LINK Video) As President of the non-profit Descendants of the Earth, he successfully defended their Native American Ceremonial Sweat Lodge in Oxnard, California, under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. (LINK Brief)

Mr. Iversen has been an Adjunct Professor at Loyola Law School since 2006 teaching both trial advocacy and evidence for trial lawyers.  He has also been a Lecturer in the Law at UCLA School of Law since 2012, teaching several classes that include 1) criminal trial advocacy; 2) advanced criminal procedure; 3) pre-trial criminal litigation;  4) the criminal defense clinic which he helped found in 2008; and 5) the mock trial team. He is a 1982 graduate of the University of San Francisco (B.S. Engineering Physics) and Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, where he graduated with Honors in 1990. 

Mr. Iversen continues to teach at Loyola and UCLA while engaging in the practice of criminal defense. He also consults on strategic evidence and advocacy litigation issues and provides State Bar approved MCLE classes through all included weekend retreats at his beach house in Mexico. For additional information contact him at