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David W. Fermino Partner

One Embarcadero Center
Twenty-Second Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111


Mr. Fermino’s practice is focused on white collar criminal defense, cybercrimes and data security incidents, intellectual property, and complex criminal and civil appeals in the state and federal courts. Mr. Fermino also assists clients in the cannabis industry develop the necessary infrastructure and organization to succeed while remaining in compliance with the complex legal and regulatory framework burdening the industry. Working with the other members of the firm’s well-rounded cannabis practice group enables him to create a strategic and coordinated approach to not only business and criminal litigation issues but also to business structuring, organizational and regulatory issues, intellectual property, tax, and estate planning matters.

Mr. Fermino has focused his practice on litigation throughout his legal career.  Following graduation from law school, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable George N. Leighton, (retired) United States District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois.  He was a Supervising Deputy Federal Public Defender in Los Angeles where he was responsible for heading up the Capital Habeas Unit, providing representation in complex federal habeas corpus proceedings for inmates under sentence of death in California.  Mr. Fermino was also an Assistant Federal Public Defender in San Francisco, where he handled a broad spectrum of matters, including criminal tax matters, complex fraud matters, and major gun and drug trafficking cases.

In addition to his trial experience, Mr. Fermino’s appellate experience includes oral argument before the United States Supreme Court, an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, numerous three-judge panels of the Ninth Circuit and the California Courts of Appeal that have resulted in significant published opinions.  In addition to these matters, Mr. Fermino has handled death penalty cases at the trial level, direct appeal and habeas corpus stages.

Prior to joining Sideman & Bancroft, Mr. Fermino was Special Counsel in the San Francisco office of Denver-based Ridley, McGreevy & Winocur, LLP.

  • Doe v. Ayers, 2015 WL 1427578 (9th Cir. 2015)
  • Carey v. Musladin, 549 U.S. 70 (2006)
  • Recordon & Recordon v. Brayton Purcell, LLP, 575 F.3d 981 (9th Cir. 2009)
  • Garza v. Abestos Corporation Ltd., 161 Cal.App.4th 651 (2008)
  • Musladin v. LaMarque, 403 F.3d 1072 (9th Cir. 2005), reh’g denied, 427 F.3d 647 (9th Cir. 2005)
  • United States v. Carter, 421 F.3d 909 (9th Cir. 2005)
  • Anthony v. Cambra, 236 F.3d 568, (9th Cir. 2000)
  • Drayden v. White, 232 F.3d 704 (9th Cir. 2000)
  • Calderon v. United States District Court (Kelly), 163 F.3d 530 (9th Cir. 1998) (en banc) (10-1 decision)
Professional Involvement

Vice-Chair, Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission, California State Bar-2017

Member, Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission, California State Bar, 2015-2017
The mission of the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE) of the State Bar of California is to assist the governor in the judicial selection process and thereby promote a California judiciary of quality and integrity by providing independent, comprehensive, accurate and fair evaluations of candidates for judicial appointment and nomination.

Habeas Corpus Local Rules Advisory Committee, Northern District of California, Appointed 2006

Board of Directors, American Civil Liberties Union, Northern California Affiliate, Member 1999-2003

Board of Governor, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ), Member 1996-2000

CACJ/CA Public Defenders Association Death Penalty Seminar Planning Committee (CPDA), Member 1996 & 1999

American Bar Association Committee on the Death Penalty, Young Lawyer Representative 1995

Criminal Law Committee, Barrister’s Club of San Francisco, Vice Chair, 1995


Adjunct Professor of Law, Evidence, New College of Law, San Francisco, 1994 – 1996
Instructor, Legal Research and Writing, University of California, Hastings College of the Law,  1992-1993
American History Teacher, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, Riverdale, New York, 1982-1984