Close X

Fay Arfa practices criminal law exclusively. She has successfully handled hundreds of criminal cases, tried more than 100 jury trials, and handled more than 500 criminal appeals. Fay Arfa has the distinction of being Certified as a Specialist in two separate areas of law – Criminal Law as well as Appellate Law – by the California State Bar, Board of Specialization. The National Board of Trial Advocacy has also awarded her a board Certification in Criminal Trial Advocacy. She has been named as one of the Top 100 Lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers and by the American Society of Legal Advocates. Fay Arfa has also been selected as a California Super Lawyer.  Attorney Arfa testifies as an expert witness in cases raising ineffective assistance of counsel issues. 

Attorney Fay Arfa graduated from UCLA with academic honors, including Phi Beta Kappa. She then earned a Master's Degree in Public Administration from UCLA. After earning her master's degree, Attorney Arfa spent several years in pubic service. She worked for several years as a Deputy to Zev Yaroslavsky, then councilman of the Fifth District of Los Angeles.

While attending law school at night, Attorney Arfa accepted a law clerk position in a prestigious Century City law firm. After four years of working full time and going to law school at night, Attorney Arfa earned her law degree. She then worked for the United States government as an attorney for the Federal Aviation Administration and later prosecuted criminal cases as a Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney.

Attorney Arfa dedicates herself toward helping all people accused of crimes. She prides herself on giving personal attention and pulling out all the stops for people accused of crimes. She fights as hard as she can for all of her clients and makes sure that all of her clients get the most vigorous defense possible. Attorney Arfa's clients consider her the “Best Defender.”

Certified Specialties:
• Certified Specialist, Criminal Law, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
• Certified Specialist, Appellate Law, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
• Certified Criminal Trial Advocate, National Board of Trial Advocacy (American Bar Assocation Accredited Organization)

• California State Bar
• U.S. District Court, Central District of California
• U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
• U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
• Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
• U.S. Supreme Court

• GRADUATE: University of California at Los Angeles, Master of Public Administration ( M.P.A.)
• UNDERGRADUATE COLLEGE: University of California at Los Angeles (B.A., cum laude) Phi Beta Kappa.
• LAW SCHOOL: Southwestern University School of Law, J.D.

Century City Bar:
• President: 2012-2013
• Member, Board of Governors, 1998-Present
• Editor – Century City Bar Newsletter
• Chair: Criminal Law Section 1998-2011
• Chair: Substance Abuse Section, 1997-1998
• Los Angeles County Bar Association – Member – Board of Trustees (2012 – 2013)
• Women's Lawyer Association of Los Angeles
• Criminal Courts Bar Association
• National Association Criminal Defense Lawyers
• California Public Defenders Association
• California Appellate Defense Counsel
• California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
• Los Angeles County Bar Assn.: (Member, Small Firm & Solo Practice Executive Committee, 1996-1997)

Professional Experience:
• Fay Arfa, A Law Corporation
• Deputy, Los Angeles City Attorney
• General Attorney, Federal Aviation Administration
• Deputy, Los Angeles City Council, Fifth Council District
• Government Intern, United States Senate, Washington, D.C.

• Author: “Man Wrongly Accused of Rape Released After 10 Years” Century City Lawyer, March, 2016.
• Author: “Hard Lessons Learned From a Hard Drive Crash” Century City Lawyer, October, 2012.
• Author: “Knock, Knock…Who's There? The Police. Do the Police Have a Right to Enter Your House?,” Century City Lawyer, November 2000.

Featured Speaker/Moderator:
• Guest Speaker: “Attacking the SART Exam: A Lawyer's Perspective”” Public Defenders Association of Iowa, 2018
• Moderator: “Stop Tit for Tat Ending Sexual Harassment & Bias” Century City Bar Association 2018
• Moderator “Mesereau on Trials: Qs & As” Century City Bar Association, 2017
• Guest Speaker: “Deconstructing Sexual Exam Findings & History” National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center, 2016
• Moderator: “Get Up to Speed on Weed” Century City Bar Association, 2010
• Guest Lecturer, “Criminal Law Motion Practice,” Loyola Law School, 2002.
• Guest Speaker, “Alcohol: Effects on Life Liberty and Livelihood,” UCLA School of Law, 1997.
• Speaker, “Substance Abuse: Effects on Life Liberty and Livelihood,” Century City Bar Association, 1997.
• Moderator: “Marijuana – The Good, Bad and Legal (?),” Century City Bar Association, 1997
• Moderator: “Sex Addiction, the Highs, the Lows, the Ups, the Downs, and the Ins and Outs,” Century City Bar Association, 1999.

News Commentator:
• National Public Radio, Sky News, Court TV/CNN.

Reported Cases:
People v. Clark (1989) 212 Cal.App.3d 1233; In re William S. (1989) 208 Cal.App.3d 313; People v. Mitchell (1994) 30 Cal.App.4th 783; People v. Monette (1994) 25 Cal.App.4th 1572;
People v. Ponce (1996) 44 Cal.App.4th 1380; People v. Ellison (1998) 68 Cal.App.4th 203; U.S. v. Robertson, 158 F.3d. 1370 (9th Cir. 1998); People v. Borrelli (2000) 77 Cal.App.4th
703; People v. Young (2001) 92 Cal.App.4th 229; In re Eduardo C. (2001) 90 Cal.App.4th 937; U.S. v. Franklin, 321 F.3d 1231 (9th Cir. 2003);U.S. v. Guo, 634 F.3d 119 (9th Cir. 2011); King
v. Ryan, 564 F.3d 1133 (9th Cir. 2009); Collins v. Runnels, 603 F.3d 1127 (9th Cir. 2010); People v. Sizemore (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 864; Henderson v. Johnson, 710 F.3d 872 (9th Cir.
2013); Aleman v. Uribe, 723 F.3d 976 (9th Cir. 2013); People v. Demirdjian (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 10; U.S. v. Franklin, 321 F.3d 1231 (9th Cir. 2003); People v. Aleksanyan (2014)
231 Cal.App.4th Supp.1; People v. Iniguez (2016) 247 Cal.App.4th Supp.1; People v. Johnson (2013) 221 Cal.App.4th 943.
Duke v. Gastelo, 64 F.4th 1088 (9th Cir. 2023).
Gibbs v. Covello, 996 F.3d 596 (9th Cir. 2021).

Recent Blog Posts


  • “Solid and unbiased legal advice from an expert. . .”

    Fay is incredible! We just needed preemptive legal advice and Fay was knowledgable and calming. Her approach to law is to diffuse anxiety and educate. Her pricing is fair and the office was top notch. Truly a gem!
  • “Miracle worker. . . “

    Fay is truly a consummate professional and a miracle worker. After speaking to several lawyers about filing to withdraw my plea due to ineffective counsel, I was told by all of them that it was highly unlikely that this would be granted. One (a reputable one at that) went as far as saying that sh...
  • “Faced serious charges, got off with nothing. . . “

    I was working for LAUSD and got accused of a serious sex crime that could have changed my life forever. I have kids and a family, I was filled with anxiety and stress, Once I hired Fay she eased all of that immediately. She was in my corner from before I paid her the first dime. Emails and or cal...
  • “Experienced Attorney that fights for You...."

    I had never been in trouble with the law my entire life. Suddenly I found myself with allegations with a potential life sentence. Fay came to bat and fought for me. She is knowledgeable, experienced and tenacious. She works hard and will file motions on your behalf to fight for your freedom. When...
  • “Thank you for giving back my son to me...."

    I finally got my glass of champagne last evening at the hotel where the staff has been taking good care of me. You must be completely exhausted and deservedly so. Thank you for giving back my son to me. I was completely overwhelmed by the jury's response outside the courtroom [after the NOT GUILT...
  • “....An honest, sharp, capable, and winning attorney..."

    If you are researching attorneys and/or are considering using Fay's services, I would like to state the following as a record of my experience from beginning to end. When I first called Fay Arfa, she was willing to give me objective advice and her expert opinion with regard to my case. She gave ...
  • “Your're MY angel..."

    How are you? Fine I hope. As for me I am doing OK. (Staying out of trouble). I just wanted to say I love and miss you very much. Thank you again for all that you have done for me. You truly were heaven sent. You're my Angel! 🙂 I will write you again soon!
  • “Thank you..."

    Thank you for being you. I will honor your work. Always.
  • “I am so happy..."

    I'm so happy. Thank you for everything. You worked so hard.
  • “....A note of appreciation for all of your professional talent and time..."

    Just a note of appreciation for all of your professional talent and time you gave towards my case. No matter how it turns out, you were great. Thanks, Fay. P.S. Thanks for returning my calls in such a courteous manner.
  • “Warmest thoughts in mind from someone very grateful..."

    Just a simple message, one that's often heard, but one with special meaning in every single word. A simple heartfelt thank you with warmest thoughts in mind from someone very grateful . . . to someone very kind!
  • “NO amount of money could have brought a better defense than you provided..."

    #1 lawyer. Dear Fay, No amount of money could have bought a better defense than you provided. I hope I was not the worst client you have had. In your opening and closing remarks you made Marcia sound like a clown. I tip my hat to you for your attributes as a person as well as a lawyer. You're great.
  • “I am eternally grateful to whatever made it possible for such an intelligent and gifted person..."

    I just wanted to give you my sincerest thank you for all you've done with my father's case. When he was arrested I was so emotionally wrecked I couldn't see straight. You were recommended by a friend of my father's. The only other lawyer I had spoken to, besides the public defender who told me ri...
  • “Our love and best wishes go out to you all for all you have done for my brother Francisco Maldonado, who is free at last..."

    Our love and best wishes go out to you for all you have done for my brother Francisco Maldonado, who is free at last. You fought like a true warrior, like a mother, like a sister, like the great human being and lawyer that you are. Those five years weren't easy, but you always stood strong and b...
  • “Wow,what a great outstanding job..."

    Wow, what a great OUTSTANDING job, . . . I can't express to enough how good it feels too finally, finally, after seven years, to feel that I have an attorney that believes in me and the facts of my case and is fighting for me. So many, many things I argued with my trial attorney about, in which I...
  • “I have been so blessed to have such a brilliant attorney..."

    I hired Ms. Arfa to help me with my case and we won! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Ms. Arfa. I cannot thank her enough. I am so happy. I feel so good. God is great! I can't get this smile off my face. I've never been so happy. I have been so blessed to have such a brilliant attorney. I cannot ...
  • “Truely the best defender in LA..."

    After paying two other attorneys more money that I care to mention (Hundreds of thousands of dollars) To defend me in a federal criminal case, I came across Ms. Arfa. She not only helped me to truly understand my options for defense, she actually cared about the case's outcome and didn't pressure...
  • “Words cannot express completely how grateful and thankful I am for your very hard work...."

    Words cannot express completely how grateful and thankful I am for your very hard work on behalf of the HH family. Thank you for your kindness and compassion for you have cared for JH as if she was family. Thank you for your professionalism and training. I am sure you have worked very hard to un...

Board Certifications

Contact Us Today

Fay Arfa is committed to answering your questions about Trials, Appeals, Habeas Corpus, State Crimes, Federal Crimes, and Sex Crimes law issues in California.

We offer a free telephone consultation and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.