Mr. Barnett graduated from the University of San Francisco Law School in 1973, and began his practice with the Orange County Public Defender's Office in 1974 through 1978. He then moved to private practice where he has tried both civil and criminal cases, including several capital murder cases and representation of police officers, including serving as lead counsel for Officer Ted Briseno in the case entitled People v. Powell, more commonly known to the public as the "Rodney King" case. In 2002, Mr. Barnett again gained national attention when he was retained as counsel for an Inglewood police officer, Jeremy Morse who in July of that year was indicted as a result of his actions seen in a nationally televised videotape.
Mr. Barnett's practice has evolved from strictly criminal defense to include trial of complex civil matters. He has associated in as trial counsel on many cases with the law offices of Walsworth, Franklin, Bevins & McCall, a firm consisting of more than seventy lawyers, with offices in both Orange and San Francisco. These cases have included the defense of asbestos and environmental contamination claims; the defense of banks and construction firms; the defense and prosecution of attorney malpractice claims; the prosecution of "whistle-blower" claims; and the defense of municipalities in police misconduct cases and the defense of large corporations in discrimination claims. He has also defended clients on various personal injury actions and obtained a defense verdict in a five-week wrongful death jury trial in San Diego brought by five separate plaintiffs arising out of alleged exposure to toxic chemicals.
Mr. Barnett has been accorded numerous honors and awards, has served on the Orange County Bar College of Trial Advocacy, is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and has lectured on trial tactics to the Bar Associations of Orange, Riverside, and Los Angeles Counties. He has also lectured at the State Bar Litigation Section meeting on trial tactics, argued a matter before the United States Supreme Court, and has served as consultant or expert witness on the issue of trial skills and tactics.
Testified for Prosecution and defense for
- Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
- Appropriateness of Fees
- Responsibilities of Criminal Defense Lawyer
2013 North Orange County Criminal Bar Association Trial Lawyer of the Year
"1996 Orange County Trial Lawyer of the Year" by the Orange County Trial Lawyer's Association