Mr. Cortez has unwaveringly devoted his practice to the defense of federal criminal cases and other federal matters since 1984. He is deeply commitment to the highest quality of criminal defense for those accused of federal crimes and the highest ethical standards in the legal profession.
Mr. Cortez's legal ability and ethical conduct have earned the highest peer-review rating available from Martindale-Hubbell - an AV rating. ("A" rates Mr. Cortez's legal ability as "Very High to Preeminent"; "V" rates his ethical conduct as the highest ethical standard possible).
For over a decade now, Mr. Cortez has been continuously listed in The Best Lawyers In America- a national standard of excellence for the legal profession. This unique professional accomplishment is earned only after an extensive survey of leading lawyers in San Diego and throughout the nation to determine the quality of the legal abilities of other lawyers in their individual areas of practice.
Mr. Cortez was also listed in San Diego Magazine's "Best Lawyers In San Diego" in 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2001 as one of only a handful of elite criminal defense lawyers described by the magazine as the type of lawyer that other "attorneys would go to if they needed a [federal criminal defense] lawyer." And by Super Lawyers for the 2007 California: San Diego, Criminal Defense: White Collar category as one of the "Seriously Outstanding Top 5%" in his field.
As an ambassador for his profession, Mr. Cortez was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in October 2003 by the State Department to teach trial techniques to defense attorneys, prosecutors and judges at the University of Concepcion, in Chile. Mr. Cortez is also a current Commissioner with the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE Commission) for the California State Bar.