About Tim Hennessy
Tim Hennessy is the founder of the Hennessy Law Group. He is currently a member of the Kern County Indigent Defense Panel and the California's Eastern District's Federal Defense Panel. He has previously worked at the Sacramento County Public Defender's Office, Monterey County Public Defender's Office, and the Kern County Public Defender's Office (in his last full year of employ he was voted top Deputy Defender by Bakersfield Magazine). He has dedicated his entire career to fighting for the underrepresented and trying to make a positive impact on the criminal justice system. He prides himself on using his skills to serve the indigent accused and strives to give every client, regardless of the crimes accused and charges levied, their day in court. He holds steadfast that in all instances where an individual faces the loss of liberty, they must not be made to face their accusers with sub-par counsel. Aggressive lawyers in criminal courts are necessities, not luxuries. His mantra that being a public defender is a mindset, not simply a position of employment, is what compels him to always represent a few cases Pro Bono and many at a discounted rate.
This is a life-long dedication to a cause, not something that he stumbled into after law school. Mr. Hennessy received a bachelor's degree from University of California, Davis, in Sociology, with a specialization in Law and Justice and a minor in Psychology. He received a master's degree from California State University, Sacramento, in Criminal Justice. His master's thesis focused on the disparity, or lack thereof, between the District Attorney and Public Defender. He obtained his law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a specialization in Public Interest law, focusing on Indigent Defense. At UCLA he took part in the Criminal Defense Clinic, where he worked tirelessly to successfully secure an acquittal for a client in Federal Court; participated in the Criminal Trial Advocacy Clinic; created the Public Defender Employment Guide for UCLA students; assisted with the American Civil Liberties Union's Video Sentencing Project as a Researcher; worked as a Clinic Volunteer with the Prisoner Reentry Initiative; and, was President of the Innocence Project - UCLA Chapter for two years running.
Understanding knowledge is your greatest weapon, Hennessy has never stopped continuing his education. He routinely attends trainings and seminars yearly. He is a graduate of the prestigious National Criminal Defense College at Mercer Law School in Macon, Georgia. He has attended the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorney Death Penalty Seminar; California Public Defender Association Homicide Defense Seminar; DUI Defense Lawyers Association Seminars; Trial Lawyers College Voir Dire Seminar; the California Public Defender Association Skills Seminar; Larry Pozner's Advanced Techniques in Cross Examination; and countless other trainings and seminars.
Aware that this fight is not something that can be done alone, he is a proud member of many organizations committed to this cause: The California Public Defender Association; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; National Association of Public Defenders; and California Attorneys for Criminal Justice. He has also been on the board of the Kern County Bar Association's Criminal Defense Section for the last three years and is currently the Treasurer.
Committed to inspiring change in the system has led to several pursuits in academia. He was a teaching assistant for the Sociology Department at UC Davis (as an undergraduate) and for the Criminal Justice Department at California State University, Sacramento (as a graduate student). He has worked as a lecturer at California State University, Sacramento, California State University, Bakersfield, and as an adjunct professor at Southern New Hampshire University. He was also a Panel Chair and Presenter at consecutive Western Society of Criminology's national conventions. He has also worked as a substitute teacher for El Centro High School (Sacramento County Probation Department's educational component to its juvenile hall).
Active in volunteer work, every year he volunteers as a non-faculty adviser for the Public Defense Training Day at UCLA. He assists by helping recruit fellow public defenders from across the state to conduct training exercises for those law students who are aspiring public defenders. He also volunteers with One Justice and Greater Bakersfield Legal Aide to conduct “Clear Your Record Workshops” to help individuals fill out and file PC 17(b) reductions and/or PC 1203.4 expungement motions in hope to better situate them for future employment.
For almost the entire breadth of human history the few in power did what they wanted to do, when they wanted to do it, while the majority obeyed, lest be killed or imprisoned. Our constitution is a promise, from those in power to the powerless, that our country will not run that way. That all citizens are created equal, and should therefore, all have rights and a voice. While this experiment has been almost 300 years in the making, that is a small blip in history. A drop in the bucket. To rest on our laurels and believe "this is how it will always be. We will always have these rights" is dangerous. You need an attorney who understands your stakes. Who will fight for you. Who wants to tell your story.