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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 11, 2000 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
San Francisco's virtuoso anti-establishment lawyer, J. Tony Serra--the mesmerizing defender of freaks, drug dealers, Black Panthers, Hells Angels and, yes, even a fire-eater--will stride into Los Angeles Superior Court today on behalf of a wholesome-looking Minnesota housewife accused of plotting years ago to blow up police cars in Los Angeles. Serra will make quite an impression.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 7, 2005 | Lee Romney, Times Staff Writer
He could have been sitting at his own funeral. J. Tony Serra -- the ponytailed, pot-smoking criminal defense attorney famous for fighting the government and celebrated in the 1989 film "True Believer" -- listened as a gallery of some of the Bay Area's most respected lawyers honored him. He was praised as a humanist who practiced law out of love and saved the government "millions of dollars" with back-to-back pro bono cases, funded from his threadbare pocket.
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MAGAZINE
June 24, 1990 | DAVID TALBOT and David Talbot is a San Francisco writer and editor.
THIS IS THE prosecution's story: Shortly before midnight on July 16, 1978, a band of young Indians, riding high from a weekend of weed, whiskey and late nights, looted the Sports and Spirits liquor store in Yreka, Calif., a lumber town near the Oregon border, jumped in their getaway car and sped north, chased by the screaming sirens of the Yreka police department.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 2000 | TWILA DECKER, TIMES STAFF WrITER
Attorney Tony Serra has never pretended to be part of the legal mainstream. The irreverent, ponytailed attorney once appeared on the cover of a legal journal smoking what appeared to be a marijuana joint. Another time, he tied himself to a cactus in the Mexican desert so he could experience how Jesus felt on the cross. And for 17 years, he refused to pay income taxes to protest the Vietnam War.
NEWS
May 3, 1989 | ROBERT CHOW, Times Staff Writer
Adorned with African masks, preserved rattlesnake hides, totem poles, gargoyles and wood-carved monkeys--not a framed certificate in sight--the law office of J. Tony Serra looks more like an occult curio shop. Likewise, the man himself--with his gold-capped front tooth, steel-gray hair flowing past his shoulders and super-wide tie from a previous decade--has a distinctly unlawyerly presence, which is just fine with him. "I don't chum with lawyers. Most lawyers I don't respect.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 19, 2000 | TWILA DECKER, TIMES STAFF WrITER
Attorney Tony Serra has never pretended to be part of the legal mainstream. The irreverent, ponytailed attorney once appeared on the cover of a legal journal smoking what appeared to be a marijuana joint. Another time, he tied himself to a cactus in the Mexican desert so he could experience how Jesus felt on the cross. And for 17 years, he refused to pay income taxes to protest the Vietnam War.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 7, 2005 | Lee Romney, Times Staff Writer
He could have been sitting at his own funeral. J. Tony Serra -- the ponytailed, pot-smoking criminal defense attorney famous for fighting the government and celebrated in the 1989 film "True Believer" -- listened as a gallery of some of the Bay Area's most respected lawyers honored him. He was praised as a humanist who practiced law out of love and saved the government "millions of dollars" with back-to-back pro bono cases, funded from his threadbare pocket.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 26, 1991 | LILY DIZON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Reputed underworld figure Robert (Fat Bobby) Paduano, accused of trying to take over the Newport Beach drug trade, pleaded guilty Monday to 43 felony counts of residential robberies, extortion, conspiracy to sell cocaine and false imprisonment. As part of an agreement with county prosecutors, Paduano was sentenced to eight years in state prison. Paduano's guilty plea came after a lively and unusual exchange between the defendant and Deputy Dist. Atty. Christopher J. Evans.
MAGAZINE
August 12, 1990
If we ever needed reaffirmation of the need for a speedy trial and speedier application of the death penalty in capital cases, we have an outstanding example in Croy vs. the People. I would venture a guess that the family of Officer Hittson, myself and many others don't think J. Tony Serra is very "cute." WALTER MCWILLIAMS Newhall
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 11, 2000 | ANN W. O'NEILL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
San Francisco's virtuoso anti-establishment lawyer, J. Tony Serra--the mesmerizing defender of freaks, drug dealers, Black Panthers, Hells Angels and, yes, even a fire-eater--will stride into Los Angeles Superior Court today on behalf of a wholesome-looking Minnesota housewife accused of plotting years ago to blow up police cars in Los Angeles. Serra will make quite an impression.
MAGAZINE
June 24, 1990 | DAVID TALBOT and David Talbot is a San Francisco writer and editor.
THIS IS THE prosecution's story: Shortly before midnight on July 16, 1978, a band of young Indians, riding high from a weekend of weed, whiskey and late nights, looted the Sports and Spirits liquor store in Yreka, Calif., a lumber town near the Oregon border, jumped in their getaway car and sped north, chased by the screaming sirens of the Yreka police department.
NEWS
May 3, 1989 | ROBERT CHOW, Times Staff Writer
Adorned with African masks, preserved rattlesnake hides, totem poles, gargoyles and wood-carved monkeys--not a framed certificate in sight--the law office of J. Tony Serra looks more like an occult curio shop. Likewise, the man himself--with his gold-capped front tooth, steel-gray hair flowing past his shoulders and super-wide tie from a previous decade--has a distinctly unlawyerly presence, which is just fine with him. "I don't chum with lawyers. Most lawyers I don't respect.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 30, 1993 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Ellie Nesler, the woman charged with murdering her son's alleged molester at a courthouse, has fired her lawyers again and hired another known for defending counterculture icons. Nesler's new lawyer, J. Tony Serra of San Francisco, has represented members of the Black Panthers, Hells Angels and Symbionese Liberation Army. Known for his baggy suits and humble lifestyle, Serra's staff members describe him as "a counterculture lawyer."
NEWS
May 11, 1989
Being a narcotics detective with a South Bay police department, I read with disgust the profile of defense attorney J. Tony Serra ("Counterculture's Warrior Lawyer," by Robert Chow, May 3). Spending a good part of my normal work week in court, I have come to respect the role of the professional defense attorney. Any accused person deserves an advocate and the defense attorney's duty to represent his client results in the protection of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The defense attorney in effect works for every citizen.
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