Upholding The Constitutional Rights Of Clients For More Than 17 Years
Frances-Marie Prizzia dedicates her law practice to upholding the constitutional rights of her clients and zealously defending them. Her passion has always been in criminal defense and public service, as evidenced by her childhood experience, prior work, and volunteer history.
Frances grew up in the Philippines during the time of martial law when Ferdinand Marcos ruled as the country’s dictator. Many people who opposed him were killed under his unjust regime. Frances witnessed the assassination of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Marcos’ biggest critic, on live television. This action banded people together in the EDSA movement, which overthrew Marcos’s reign.
At a young age, Frances saw the helplessness of the Filipino people against an unjust and lawless dictator, but she also observed the power and hope that the People’s Power movement created. This movement saw the success of a bloodless revolution, helping Cory Aquino become the first woman President of the Philippines in 1986.
When she moved to Los Angeles, Frances again witnessed injustice when she saw the Rodney King beating and the ensuing unrest. She became an activist in high school and was inspired to enter a career that helped people understand that their voices and existences matter.
Frances’s compassion drove her commitment to making a difference and defending those in need. This drive is what convinced her to apply for law school. She was accepted into the Santa Clara University School of Law, where she also received her undergraduate degree. Frances chose this school because of its emphasis on public interest and public service.
While in law school, Frances interned at the Northern California Innocence Project and later worked as a Certified Law Clerk at the Santa Cruza Public Defender's office. She successfully argued and won a motion to suppress evidence due to the investigating police officers’ unlawful violations of the Fourth Amendment. She also researched and wrote motions asking the court to order the disclosure of confidential information regarding informants and police personnel files. To read more of Frances’s recent victories, click here.
In addition to extensive trial advocacy training, the school is also home to the Death Penalty College, Northern California Innocence Project, and Center for Social Justice and Public Service. While in law school, Frances worked at the Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center, where she wrote two successful political asylum briefs and won a U-visa (victim of violence) application for her client. This allowed the client to obtain their permanent residency ("green card") and a work permit in the United States. Frances also participated in an externship at the Northern California Innocence Project.
For the past 17 years, Frances has dedicated herself to the practice of law. Years before opening this firm, Frances worked as an Orange County Public Defender and in the Los Angeles County Alternate Defender's Office. While working as a trial attorney, she obtained many dismissals, and she won more jury trials than any other attorney within her unit.
Outside of her career, Frances continues to fiercely stick to her roots in activism. Most notably she is currently serving as the President of the Filipino-American Lawyers of Orange County (FLOC), a preeminent organization for Filipino-American legal professionals. The organization provides support and celebration for community members’ advancement in the legal world. They sponsor events such as Mock Interview Programs, Elimination of Bias MCLE, networking mixers, Adopt a Family, and many more beneficial fundraisers. Keep up with Frances’s community membership on her Facebook and LinkedIn page.
Ms. Prizzia is fluent in Tagalog and a single mother of two.
If you are needing an Orange County criminal defense attorney, reach out to Frances to have a compassionate attorney by your side.
Juris Doctor, Santa Clara University School of Law, 2005
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