Firm Profile

Michael S. Martin

Founding Attorney

Michael Martin is one of the firm's founding attorneys and the supervising attorney.  While the firm handles a variety of types of legal matters and Michael has handled a broad array of such matters he focuses nearly exclusively on Immigration and Business matters for the firm. He is passionate about helping immigrants obtain and preserve legal status in the United States.  His interest in this area has been inspired by his world travel (currently 41 countries) and experience with so many people of different cultures.  While he enjoys all areas of immigration law he finds particular enjoyment in Asylum law and the ability to help people that have had their human rights restricted and/or violated.      

Michael obtained his Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice and a minor in Political Science from San Diego State University. He commenced his legal education at California Western School of Law in San Diego, CA.

While completing his legal studies Michael worked for a non-profit immigration law firm in San Diego, the San Diego County Public Defender's Office and Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office obtaining a balanced perspective of both the criminal and immigration systems. At California Western School of Law, Michael served as President of the American Association for Justice and as an active member of the Criminal Law Association.

Upon graduation, Michael became the youngest Deputy District Attorney at San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office. As a prosecutor he handled over 500 arraignments, 40 cases to resolution, and five jury trials. One of which, he served as the second chair attorney for a six week special circumstance homicide trial that resulted in convictions on all charges and a sentence of life without the possibility of parole.

Michael started his first office in Tracy, where he observed a need for compassionate, educated, and affordable legal representation. Michael and his firm only accept cases they can zealously represent and make a difference in. The overwhelming support of the Michael's past and current clients has enabled his firm to offer the same high quality legal representation in Pleasanton and San Diego (Santee).

         Lawyer.com

 

John Stovall

Attorney

John Stovall is the lead attorney for both the Tracy and the Pleasanton offices for cases other than immigration and business law. He handles all cases in the areas of Bankruptcy, Criminal Defense, and Family Law for those offices.  

John Stovall was born and raised in the San Joaquin Valley; he was born in St. Joseph’s and has gone to school and worked in San Joaquin for his entire life.

John obtained his undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of the Pacific in 2001.   After completing his degree he worked in management for a large multinational corporation.  John returned to school and obtained his Juris Doctorate from Humphreys College, Laurence Drivon School of Law, where he graduated salutatorian, in 2009. While in law school, he gained experience at the San Joaquin County Public Defender's Office.  He has been practicing law since 2009, where he began his career as defense attorney.  This allowed him to very quickly gain trial experience handling complex matters.  Shortly thereafter John gained recognition through the San Joaquin County Bar Association and was chosen as one of only a handful of attorneys to receive a contract through the county to provide defense services to indigent clients. Additionally, he worked with a family law firm in Stockton where he gained experience handling divorces, child custody matters, and other family law matters.  

John is a member of the California State Bar Association and the San Joaquin County Bar Association. He is admitted to practice before all courts in the State of California and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California.

 

 

 

 

Gretel Smith

Attorney

Gretel Smith is the lead attorney for the Santee (San Diego) office.  She handles all cases in the areas of Bankruptcy, Criminal Defense, and Family Law for those offices.  Additionally, she handles many of the civil litigation cases that the firm handles.

Gretel obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland.  She taught theater arts to at risk youth in Baltimore and the Greater D.C. Metro Area. 

She moved to San Diego, CA in 2002 where she worked as a paralegal before attending Law School at California Western School of Law in San Diego, CA.

While in Law School, Gretel gained valuable litigation experience through her internships at the Primary Office of the Public Defender-County of San Diego.  She was named one of San Diego County’s volunteers of the year in 2010 for her volunteer efforts with the Public Defender.  Gretel is a regular volunteer with the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program and has earned awards for her efforts volunteering at the Vista Courthouse, Domestic Violence Restraining Order Clinic. 

Prior to joining Martin & Farah Law, P.C. in June 2017, Gretel Smith operated her own solo practice and acted in-house for a San Diego Real Estate Brokerage.  Her areas of practice include Family Law, Criminal Defense, Bankruptcy, and Civil Litigation.

Gretel is admitted to practice law before all courts in the states of California and Pennsylvania.  Additionally, she is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.  

In addition to the practice of law, Gretel is an avid equestrian who grew up on a 65-acre horse farm in Southern Pennsylvania.  She has extensive, first-hand knowledge of equestrian sports including Thoroughbred racing.

When she is not practicing law or riding horses, Gretel can be found spending time with her family.

 

Kate Petersen

Attorney (Of Counsel)

Kate Petersen attended San Diego State University for her undergraduate education. She graduated from the University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science, and with a minor in Spanish. Ms. Petersen then attended the University of Hastings for her law school education. There she served on the student leadership panel and Hastings Public Interest Law Foundation, was President of the Association of Students for Kids, was a member of the Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal, and was a volunteer for GAAP.

During her time in law school, she worked for Bay Area Legal Aid, the Santa Clara District Attorney's Office and the San Francisco District Attorney's Office. Following graduation, Ms. Petersen worked in Civil Litigation, focusing primarily on insurance defense and public entity defense. She joined The Law Offices of Martin & Farah Law, PC in May of 2011 in the Pleasanton office.

Kate is a member of the California State Bar Association and the Alameda County Bar Association. She is admitted to practice before all courts in the State of California and the United States District Court for the Northern and Eastern District of California.

 

 

Amy Carrillo

Immigration Paralegal

Amy Carrillo grew up in the Central Valley but moved to Florida while in high school and graduated. This was where she lived and worked until 2006 when she moved back to California with her family.

Amy received her Paralegal Certificate from National Paralegal College. She has been working at the firm since 2011. Amy comes from a Mexican/Native American background. Growing up in a partially Mexican family has helped Amy understand the struggles immigrants face in United States.

Amy is fluent in English and Spanish and is our Immigration Paralegal.  

 

Alexa Burgess

Bankruptcy Paralegal

A lifelong resident of the San Joaquin Valley, Alexa obtained her Certified Paralegal certificate in 2005. Since that time, Alexa has worked exclusively as a paralegal in the bankruptcy field.  As the Bankruptcy Paralegal for the firm, and with nearly ten years of experience in this area, she maintains a high level of professionalism and compassion in serving our clients.

In her personal time, Alexa enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, and watching college basketball. She is currently completing her studies for her Bachelors of Arts Degree in International Relations.

 

 

Amanda Pimentel

Family Law Paralegal

Biography coming soon.

 

 

 

Brenda Zamudio

Assistant 

Biography coming soon.

 

 

 

Hessam Veyseh

Assistant

Biography coming soon.

 

 

 

Tatiana Del Cid

Assistant

Biography coming soon.

 

 

 

Anastasia Zamudio

Assistant

Biography coming soon.

 

 
 

 

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Why Choose Us:

As a former prosecutor, I have handled an extensive and heavy caseload and spent countless hours negotiating with other attorneys and preparing for and taking cases to trial. As a prosecutor I handled over 500 arraignments, 40 cases to resolution, and five jury trials, including a six week special circumstance homicide trial, as a second chair attorney. It is this experience that I will bring to your case. You can be assured, my office will communicate with you as your case develops and zealously represent you. While my office handles a variety of types of cases I have dedicated a majority of my practice to representation in criminal law, bankruptcy, and personal injury.