Attorney, firm find niche in law - The Arizona Republic: Archives

The extracurricular activities of his earliest clients guided DUI defense attorney Craig Rosenstein, founder of the Rosenstein Law Group, to his specialty not long after starting his Scottsdale-based practice in 2006.

Rosenstein has carved a niche for himself and his firm when it comes to ensuring that the rights of those arrested for driving under the influence are protected and that the process is as just as possible.

It's not about getting guilty people off, as he's heard many times from those who hastily pass judgment with a superficial glance. Often, its making sure that a client isn't getting a more severe sentence than he or she deserves due to human error, faulty equipment or faulty testing procedures. Sometimes, Rosenstein's comprehensive research and diligence show clients are not guilty.

Criminal intent is absent from those who drive under the influence and therefore distinguishes this crime from others, he explains.

"I don't advocate DUI, no one does. We fight to ensure our clients' rights aren't violated," Rosenstein said. "If the prosecution had its way, what's on that piece of paper would be the (truth). But there are so many reasons why the facts don't support the information that's being reported. Unless you understand that, you're not going to represent your clients appropriately."

When Rosenstein started practicing law, he was mostly doing civil work representing clients in the real-estate industry. At the time, the movers and shakers seemed to be getting younger and wealthier.

"The economy was different then. In 2006, everything was gangbusters and there was a lot of money going around with younger demographics," Rosenstein recalled.

A few of his clients were arrested for DUI and Rosenstein represented them in court.

"I fell in love with it. I felt comfortable in the courtroom," he said. "I liked my clients and became obsessed with providing the best representation."

Rosenstein focused on the field until DUI cases made up the bulk of his caseload. By 2008, his practice had taken off. He brought his wife, Jaclyn, on board to help resolve civil cases, which allowed him to concentrate on DUI cases and perfect his skills.

"Her coming on board was instrumental and accelerated dramatically my ability to focus on DUIs," he said.

Rosenstein started in a back room of a windowless office and now runs his practice from a 4,000-square-foot headquarters. He also has a Phoenix office.

This summer, Rosenstein earned his board certification by the National College for DUI Defense, which is accredited by the American Bar Association to certify lawyers in this specialty area.

Currently, he is the only attorney in Maricopa County with this certification and one of three in Arizona. There are 50 lawyers nationwide with this certification.

Rosenstein said getting certified was the toughest testing process he's ever endured.

On New Year's Eve 2009, former Scottsdale resident Harold Hamilton was arrested on suspicion of DUI. After meeting with a handful of attorneys, he felt the most comfortable with Rosenstein, whom he described as personable, reassuring and professional.

Rosenstein took Hamilton's case in 2010 and was able to gather evidence and used science that resulted in a not guilty verdict in 2011.

"He was very aggressive and I know he went beyond the call of duty. He really paid particular attention to my case," said Hamilton, who now resides in Peabody, Mass. "I was very relieved with the verdict. I had a lot of confidence in him."

A native of Southern California, Rosenstein hails from a family of doctors. Rosenstein was familiar with U.S. Food and Drug Administration law due to his father's career in pharmaceutical distribution.

While attending law school, Rosenstein worked for attorneys 40 hours a week. One of them offered Rosenstein a partnership when he graduated. Soon after, that firm dissolved, leaving Rosenstein as the sole owner of his own firm.

"It's crazy looking back on it. I'd never suggest that for anyone else," Rosenstein said, chuckling.

For someone who avoided the medical path because he doesn't like the sight of blood, Rosenstein's career twist is ironic.

"And I find the one practice of law that requires me to look at blood," he said.

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Rosenstein Law Group

Where: 8010 E. McDowell Road, Suite 111, Scottsdale.

Employees: Eight.

Interesting stat: Depending on the attorney's experience level, location and complexity of the DUI case, nationally fees can range from $250 for entering a guilty plea to as much as $25,000 to fight the charge in court, according to MSN Money.

Details: 480-248-7666.

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.

Abstract (Document Summary)

Rosenstein has carved a niche for himself and his firm when it comes to ensuring that the rights of those arrested for driving under the influence are protected and that the process is as just as possible. Rosenstein was familiar with U.S. Food and Drug Administration law due to his father's career in pharmaceutical distribution.

Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.