Law Office of Sheila Quinlan

Firm Overview

My practice is devoted primarily to criminal defense but I also have some experience in the areas of immigration law and family law.

Example cases

One of my favorite cases involved a young man charged with vehicular manslaughter. He felt horrible about the death of his best friend who had been riding as a passenger in the backseat as they traveled down the freeway. My client was involved in a horrible rollover crash that killed his best friend. The DA's case suggested that my client (1) was speeding and (2) knowingly allowed his back-seat passenger to travel without wearing a seatbelt. It was one of the most satisfying days in my trial practice when the jury returned a Not Guilty verdict for my client. Living with the loss of his best friend was enough punishment for my client. He did not need to weight of a criminal conviction on top of that already-heavy burden. Another one of my favorite cases involved a client who mistakenly was informed by parole that he was required to register for life as a sex offender. He had already been convicted once of failing to register (as a misdemeanor) and when I met him, he was facing prison time and another conviction for failing to register, this time as a felony. I wrote a motion that outlined to the court why the parole board and the district attorney were both wrong and showed the court that he in fact had NO duty to register at all as a sex offender. The felony case was dismissed and my client was saved a lifetime of being stigmatized as a sex offender.

Main Office
110 Juniper Street
San Diego  CA  92101
  • (619) 764-8200
  • (619) 378-3007


Free Initial Consultation?
I am always happy to speak with a prospective client at no charge for 30 minutes to see if I am able to help with the legal matter at hand.
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
I generally prefer to offer fixed-price services but am open to whatever arrangement works best for the client's needs.
Hourly Rates
Please contact me for pricing. I am willing to work within your financial constraints

Office Information

Office Hours
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Office Manager
Emergency After Hours
Languages Spoken
Yes, I am fluent in Spanish. I lived for one year in Madrid, Spain, when I was in high school. I was also certified as a bilingual elementary school teacher and taught in bilingual classrooms in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area for three years

Is your firm willing to help a client with one discrete part of a case, without taking on the whole case?

Yes where this set-up is feasible, I am open to working with the client on his or her specific needs.

What are your policies about dividing work within the firm to make the process most cost-effective for the client?

I am always aiming to keep costs down for my clients. That said, I am a sole practitioner so for the most part all of the client's legal needs are handled by me.

How frequently does your firm use mediation, arbitration, or collaborative law to resolve cases?

Negotiations often are the driving force in a criminal case. To that end, I am using all means necessary to get my clients the results they want and deserve.

Does your firm provide pro bono legal services or otherwise participate in your community?

I am active in the local bar association and actively seek out volunteer opportunities offered by that organization.

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

I understand that facing criminal charges and the possibility of losing one's liberty for any period of time is one of the most stressful experiences a person will ever face. I am experienced, thorough, and aggressive and take each of my client's cases on as if it were my own. I do everything within my power to get my clients the results they deserve.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

I consider myself a very resourceful person and particularly enjoy the aspect of my work that involves on-going learning. I am always happy to facilitate this type of learning for my clients as well.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?


Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

I am open to assisting clients in any capacity.

Sheila Quinlan

I recently wrapped up five years as a trial attorney at the Riverside County Public Defender's Office and opened my own law practice in San Diego in January 2012. While I enjoyed my work at that office tremendously, I did not enjoy a 60+ mile commute to work every day. I now am happily working in a small Victorian office in Banker's Hill amidst a group of lawyers who practice in various areas of the law. I am just a short drive from my home and family.

I am always aiming to keep costs down for my clients. That said, I am a sole practitioner so for the most part all of the client's legal needs are handled by me.

  • Bar Number: 228602
    California , 2003

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.