The Worthington Law Centre building

Thomas S. Worthington

Certified Special Criminal Law
The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
831-758-1688

Thomas S. Worthington

Since 1970, Mr. Worthington has successfully represented thousands of people in the State and Federal courts throughout California and several other states, including Georgia, Arizona and Washington. He has been the chief trial lawyer in over 100 jury trials from simple misdemeanor DUI to capital murder almost all of which have resulted in acquittals or reduction to lesser offenses. He has argued cases before several districts of the California Court of Appeal and the United States Circuit Court, 9th Circuit.

Mr. Worthington has been Certified as a Specialist in Criminal Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization since 1977. In California there are only 364 attorneys with this distinction (according to the 23rd Annual Report of the California Board of Legal Specialization published May, 2010). He has been elected by his peers each year since 1987 as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” in the areas of Non-White-Collar Criminal Defense and White-Collar Criminal Defense, as well as being chosen and identified in Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Ratings as a Preeminant AV Rated attorney — the highest distinction available. Mr. Worthington has been selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers in the 2006 and 2008 through 2014 editions.

Mr. Worthington graduated in 1969 from University of California Hastings College of Law–California’s first law school–having previously graduated in 1966 from University of California Los Angeles with a degree in Economics. He was admitted to the California State Bar in January, 1970. He began his career in Monterey County that same year and has remained one of the top criminal defense lawyers in Monterey County since.

Mr. Worthington has had a long and distinguished legal career. He has been the attorney of record in many of the most controversial, complex and difficult cases to arise in Central California over the past four decades, some of which are chronicled in our “Notable Cases” section. He has had cases published by the California Court of Appeal and the United States Circuit Court, 9th Circuit; he has written articles for Forum Magazine published by California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis on the use and admissibility in evidence of hypnotically induced testimony and has participated in the preparation of Amicus briefs for California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and he is a frequent T.V. commentator.

As a young attorney in 1974, Mr. Worthington joined as a charter member a then new organization known as California Attorneys for Criminal Justice. CACJ is a statewide organization of criminal defense lawyers dedicated to defending the rights of persons as guaranteed by both the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of California. Since 1974, he has served terms on the Board of Directors totaling over 20 years and has sat on committees including Amicus, Legislative and Prisons.

In addition to his career as a trial attorney, Mr. Worthington was appointed as a Commissioner on the City of Salinas Traffic Commission. He kept this appointment until 1998 when he moved his residence from the City of Salinas to the County of Monterey mandating he resign his commission. He taught economics at Hartnell College from 1971 to1979, teaching many of the returning Viet Nam veterans seeking an education under their veteran’s benefits. Mr. Worthington has been a guest lecturer at a trial practice class taught by Judge Steven Sillman and Deputy District Attorney Chuck Olvis at the Monterey College of Law.

Mr. Worthington has lived in Salinas since 1970 where he and his wife raised three children.

Areas of Practice:
Criminal Trial Practice
Felony & Misdemeanor Cases (White Collar & Non-White Collar Crime)

Bar Admissions:
State Bar of California
Admitted to practice law in:

  • California trial courts
  • California Court of Appeal-Sixth District
  • California Supreme Court

United States Court of Appeal for the Ninth Circuit

United States District Court – Northern District of California

Monterey County Bar

San Francisco County Bar

Education:
Juris Doctorate, University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, CA

Bachelor of Arts in Economics, University of California Los Angeles, CA

Published Articles:
“The Use in Court of Hypnotically Enhanced Testimony,”
The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis

Published Cases:
Worthington vs. Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, 64 Cal. App. 3d 384 (1976).

John C. Green vs. Otis Loggins, 614 F. 2d 219 (1980)

Honors and Awards:
Elected by his peers each year since 1987 as one of “The Best Lawyers in America

Selected for inclusion in Northern California Super Lawyers in the 2006 and 2008 through 2014 editions.

Identified in Martindale-Hubell’s Peer Ratings as a Preeminent AV Rated attorney — the highest distinction available.

Selected for inclusion in The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers

Professional Association Memberships:

  • California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ)
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
  • California Public Defender’s Association (CPDA)

Community Organizations:

  • Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • Salinas Oldtown Association