John P. McCurley is an appellate law specialist (certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization). He started practicing law in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is currently practicing in San Diego, California. Since being admitted  to the bar, John has focused on trial- and appellate-level writing. He is admitted to practice in California state courts, the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal, and Northern District of California.

John is originally from Oklahoma, but has lived in California most of his life. In 2005, John graduated from U.C. San Diego with a bachelor of science in engineering physics. After completing his undergraduate education, he did volunteer work in Ecuador, where he learned Spanish. John graduated from the University of San Francisco School Law (USF) in 2008.

Since law school, John has been committed to criminal defense and public interest work. As a law student John worked with Prison Legal Services in San Francisco, and the Prison Law Office in San Rafael (now in Berkeley). John started representing indigent criminal defendants in court while participating in the USF Criminal Law Clinic. He subsequently interned with the San Francisco and Contra Costa County public defender’s offices.   

John practiced with private criminal defense firms in the San Francisco Bay Area for about four years. In 2012, he moved to San Diego and started working with the Writ and Research Office of the Dependency Legal Group of San Diego (DLG). With DLG, John handled over 200 cases in the Fourth District Court of Appeal.

John has four published appellate victories. In In re Juarez, 182 Cal.App.4th 1316 (2010), John won a case for a life prisoner by convincing the appellate court to reverse the parole board’s decision denying the prisoner release on parole. In 2014, K.F. v. Superior Court, 224 Cal.App.4th 1369 (2014), John successfully represented a juvenile dependency parent who had been denied services to reunify with her child – the Court of Appeal reversed the juvenile court and ordered that the mother be provided with family reunification services. John had two published appellate wins in 2015. In People v. Hill (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 1100, John was co-counsel on a case where the Court of Appeal reversed a first degree murder conviction based on jury instruction error. Most recently, in In re Bianca S., 241 Cal.App.4th 1272 (2015), John won the release of two juvenile dependents who had been unlawfully detained in juvenile hall. (For more information, see Published Appellate Victories.)

John currently has a small private appellate practice in San Diego and is a panel attorney with Appellate Defenders, Inc. (San Diego) and California Appellate Project Los Angeles.