Meet The Attorneys
James “Jay” Devitt – “DUI Genius”
James “Jay” Devitt has been a very successful attorney in Southern California for over 26 years.
During that time he has handled over 3,000 misdemeanor and felony DUI cases. In those 26 years, Jay has won over 100 jury trials while only losing 2.
The reason for his success comes down to three things:
Jay handles 98% of his own Court appearances. You will not be handed off to another attorney!
Jay is from the Midwest (Minnesota) and received his Bachelor’s degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1979. He also attended Art Center in Pasadena and is a member of the Director’s Guild of America. This has helped him put together multimedia presentations for Juries with great results.
Jay attended Western State University Law School and graduated in 1988. He was published in Law Review, made the Dean’s list, the National Honor Roll and then aced Trial Advocacy and finished first in his class.
Jay went on to pass the California Bar Exam on his first attempt even though he finished 2 hours early and left! He was then recruited by numerous large and small law firms. Jay chose to work for the 70 lawyer firm of Spray, Gould & Bower where he won 80-90% of his motions in the law and motion department. He then met and married another attorney who comes from a family of attorneys (Kimberly Chelberg) and they are still together over 22 years later.
Jay is the President of the Malibu Bar Association and has appeared on numerous TV and radio shows discussing his cases or other legal issues, including CBS2, KCAL9, KNX and KXI. Mr.Devitt has been published or profiled in many publications including Los Angeles magazine, the Daily News (lawyer’s newspaper) NY Law Journal and he co-authored a column in Law Office Computing magazine. Jay is also an "unlicensed" investigator and has given seminars and webinars about DUI issues to other investigators at PICA (Professional Investigators of California). http://pica-association.org/, where Jay is a member.
After realizing that most DUI trials come to the “battle of the experts,” Jay decided that he would only use the best experts to testify in his jury trials. After spending much time with these experts to prepare cases for trial, Jay became an expert himself and was given the nickname “DUI Genius” by his client after Jay persuaded the court to dismiss a case after a “bad stop”.
Jay continues to give seminars to groups and has also worked as a Judge Pro Tem in the Van Nuys branch of the Los Angeles Superior Court. He has also donated hundreds of hours of work to various organizations including GOGI (Going in to Get Out) which is a group that helps prisoners change their lives.
Jay is also an animal rights advocate and is legal council to Saving K9 Lives.(See http://www.savingk9lives.com/index.html) where he has helped raise thousands of dollars for dogs that need a “forever home”.
Setareh “Star” Panah, Attorney at Law
Setareh “Star ” Panah attended California State University, Northridge where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She graduated Cum Laude in 2008. Star then attended Oklahoma City University School of Law where she received her Juris Doctor degree in 2011. At the same time, Star also obtained a Certificate in Client Representation in Alternative Dispute Resolution under the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. During law school, Star’s activities included Community Service Committee Chair of Phi Alpha and Delta Membership in the Animal Law Group.
Star also “clerked” her way through law school for 2 years, and worked for Legal Aid. In 2011 Star moved back to Los Angeles where she successfully passed the California Bar Exam. Star has handled nearly 250 DMV administrative hearings with great success, prevailing in far more cases than the state average. She is a published author and has written several articles on the relationship between the DMV and the Courts and is known for her patient yet persuasive manner with hearing officers at the DMV.
Star also speaks and writes Farsi fluently.