Exclusive legal representation for discerning clients.

About the Attorney


Offering exclusive representation for discerning clients throughout California, New York, Washington, Massachusetts, and Washington DC, Attorney Ali Shahrestani accepts individual, corporate, high-stakes, and high-conflict litigation and transactional matters in Divorce & Child Custody; Education Law; Business & Contracts; and Criminal Defense.

Serving bicoastal and international clientele, Mr. Shahrestani is fluent in French, Italian, Spanish, and Farsi. He offers clients his passionate advocacy, clear and consistent communications, and true professionalism.

Mr. Shahrestani’s practice areas include:

Divorce & Custody Law

Child Custody, Parenting Agreements, Community Property, Collaborative Divorce, High Conflict Divorce, Restraining Orders, Fathers’ Rights, LGTBQx Divorce, Abductions, Contempt of Court, Family Law Sanctions.

Education Law

Academic Discipline, Suspensions, Expulsion, Plagiarism, Special Education, Grade Disputes, Teacher Contracts, Employment Law, School Negligence, Bullying, School Representation, Academic Freedom, related Civil Rights.

Business & Contract Law

Breach of Contract, Fraud, Unfair Business Practices, Negligence, Intellectual Property, Compliance, Partnerships, Employment, Investments, Tech Startups, Small Business Law, Contracts, Commercial Real Estate.

Criminal Defense

Misdemeanors, Felonies, White Collar, Juveniles, Federal & State, Appeals, Fraud, Embezzlement, Rape, Sexual Assault, Murder, Battery, Weapons Charges, Drugs, Burglary, Theft, Robbery, School Crimes, Conspiracy.

Discourage litigation. Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can. Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser — in fees, expenses, and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good man. There will still be business enough.
— Pres. Abraham Lincoln, 1850


  • Juris Doctor, University of California, Hastings College of the Law: Recipient of the Bernard E. Witkin Award for Academic Excellence and CALI Excellence for the Future Award.

  • Bachelor of Arts, European Cultural Studies, Brandeis University: Phi Beta Kappa Society Graduate, Honors Graduate, Justice Louis D. Brandeis Scholar, Nominated for Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

  • California Governor’s Teaching Fellowship Recipient

  • Certified Parenting Coordinator for High Conflict Child Custody Disputes, Northern California Mediation Center.


  • California

  • New York

  • Washington, DC

  • Massachusetts

  • Washington

  • US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

  • US District Court Eastern District of California

  • US District Court Central District of California

  • US District Court Southern District of California

  • US District Court Northern District of California

  • US District Court Southern District of New York

  • US District Court Eastern District of New York

Awards & Honors

  • Nominated as Top 100 Attorneys in the State, Association of American Trial Lawyers, 2019.

  • Nominated for Membership, Lawyers of Distinction, 2018.

  • Invited Scholar to a Congress on Iceland’s Democracy to develop Iceland’s new national Constitution, 2017, 2018.

  • Invited for Lifetime Charter Membership to “Top American Lawyers“, 2016.

  • The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers, 2014, 2015.

  • Selected for Membership to the National Association of Distinguished Counsel “The Nation’s Top One Percent“, 2015.

  • Nominated as One of the “10 Best” Attorneys of the State of CA by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, 2015.

  • Nominated as One of the “10 Best” Attorneys of the State of CA by the American Institute of Family Law Attorneys, 2015 & 2017.

  • Rated by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star, 2015.

  • 2010 & 2014 Rated “Superb” by Avvo

  • Invited to be a Lifetime Charter Member of Rue Ratings’ “Best Attorneys of America“, 2015.

  • Invited to be a Member of the “National League of Renowned Attorneys“, 2016.

  • Nominated to be a Lifetime Member of “America’s Top 100 Attorneys“, 2016.

  • Recognized as one of the “Premier 100” Trial Attorneys of California by the National Academy of Jurisprudence, 2016 & 2017.

  • Recognized as one of the “Premier 100” Trial Attorneys of New York by the National Academy of Jurisprudence, 2017.


As proudly seen on:

A National Trial Lawyers Top 100 award for top rated lawyer Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
San Francisco Chronicle featured lawyer
Super Lawyers award for top rated lawyer, Ali Shahrestani, Esq.

Exclusive Legal
Representation for
Discerning Clients

A recipient of multiple professional awards, seen on Fox and ABC News and in the SF Chronicle, and honored by dozens of outstanding client testimonials, Attorney Ali Shahrestani offers intense and affordable legal representation, consistent communications, and professional advocacy.


Questions & Answers


Question 1

Where is your office?

I work primarily out of my private home office. In the various cities where I practice law including NYC, LA, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, and DC, I offer elegant office meeting locations for active clients and opposing counsel. Office meetings are by appointment only. All postal mail should be directed only to my NYC address noted on my Contact page. I operate a paperless office as much as possible, so I prefer email communications and email service-of-process rather than postal mail.

Question 2

Where do you practice law?

I practice law throughout the states of California, New York, Washington, Massachusetts, and Washington, DC including federal courts in CA and NY. I conduct most of my work with clients and prospective clients via phone and email. I am available for office meetings with clients and opposing counsel when necessary. I travel when required to personally appear for court hearings and trials.

Question 3

Are there advantages to working with local lawyers who might know the opposing lawyers and the judge?

Judges are required to remain neutral in handling cases. Judicial bias or favoritism is a basis for recusal and/or disciplinary action against the judge. Similarly, opposing counsel are required to maintain absolute loyalty towards their own clients: any favoritism towards the opposing attorney can result in discipline of the lawyer and/or a malpractice lawsuit. Geographical proximity is the wrong way to choose a lawyer. The correct way to choose the Right Attorney is outlined in my article. Focus on the lawyer’s credentials, morals, and the value of the lawyer’s representation. Such information should be available on the lawyer’s website. If it’s not, move on.

Question 4

Why have you chosen to be a solo practitioner?

By working for myself, I am able to choose clients and cases that I believe in rather than focusing on the bottom-line, and I can be sure that such cases are handled the right way from begin to end. I do not employ any staff because I maintain a caseload that is small enough so that I can devote my best efforts and attention to each client, providing intense and customized legal representation. By not having additional staff, I can also help to reduce the multiple costs and fees that other law firms pass onto their clients, such as hourly rates for paralegals, law clerks, and associates plus the lead attorney’s hourly rate for supervising, reviewing, and/or fixing others’ work product. I believe that clients deserve the best and are entitled to only the best lawyer’s hands and mind on their cases. By practicing as a solo attorney, I try to deliver the highest level of work product while trying to efficiently use client funds.

Question 5

Why did you become a lawyer?

Justice and fairness are extremely important to me, having often seen and experienced the opposite in our world. Prior to working as an attorney, I worked as a teacher at the secondary school and college level dedicated to social justice. I have a passionate sense of righteous indignation about the abuses of power, corruption, ignorance, and indifference that occur at all levels, public and private, in our society. I want to right these wrongs, whether that means defending the wrongly accused, helping wrong-doers see the error of their ways, or bringing peaceful resolutions to turgid conflicts. I always prefer amicable negotiations, as I think they make the world a better place. For those who are considering a career in the law, here’s an article I wrote that you might want to read!

Question 6

What percentage of cases do you win?

I believe I provide my clients with excellent results as you can see from reading the dozens of Testimonials they’ve written about my work as well as the many Honors and Awards to my credit. I don’t keep statistics about the types of cases that I’ve handled, how many hearings or trials I’ve attended as a lawyer, or how they’ve been resolved. I find such statistics to be meaningless and vain, and I often tune-out when I hear lawyers talk that way. I’m much more interested in a lawyer’s sincere devotion and intense level of effort that they give their clients. Moreover, a win/lose dialectic does not really apply to most legal matters. Like the saying goes, there are no real winners in war. A lawsuit can last years, and then there’s always the possibility of appeals. Many cases end in resolutions prior to a trial on the merits. Such resolutions may yield advantages and disadvantages on both sides of the dispute, thereby rendering trivial any sort of win-lose assessment. Litigation involves a lot more than simply trial work: it includes the entire process of argumentation from filing of a lawsuit to judgment, and that can be a long and winding road full of hearings, orders, and negotiations, with victories and losses for both sides. Statistics mean nothing. An intelligent lawyer’s dedication to your case: that’s what counts.

Question 7

Will I win, and how much will it cost me?

Lawyers are strictly forbidden from providing clients with predictions, guarantees, or warranties. A lawyer cannot tell you or even know if you will win your case because nobody knows the future. Whether a lawyer has won past cases or not is irrelevant. Each case is different, with its own strengths and weaknesses and with its own set of unique facts. The better the facts are in your case, the stronger case you may have. A great lawyer seeks to maximize the strengths of your case and defend its weaknesses. As to how much a lawyer’s representation will cost you really depends on how much work the attorney has to do for you. You can read more about Attorney’s Fees and Limited Scope Representation in these articles that I wrote. Ultimately, the best way to save on attorney’s fees may be to hire an attorney well before heading into complex legal terrain or iffy situations so that hopefully you can avoid legal troubles rather than try to fix major mistakes: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as Benjamin Franklin said.

Upon researching your firm, I came to a better understanding of what you do. Between your vast areas of practice and your remarkable language dexterity, I am awfully impressed . . . I find your transition from teacher, professor, and farm-worker to a public interest attorney to be both poignant and inspiring . . . I want to thank you for all that you do and tell you how great your involvement in social justice truly is. I know it might not mean much, but you have truly convinced a seventeen year-old girl that a career in law might be for her.
— Part of a Letter to Ali Shahrestani, Esq. from a Sacramento, CA High School Student, January 2010