Ward S. Clay

Attorney Ward S. Clay provides high-quality counsel to Frantz Law Group clients who are facing a wide range of criminal defense and civil litigation matters. Through his long and distinguished career, Mr. Clay has tried at least 57 jury trials that led to a verdict, plus over 100 non-jury trials (including trials in juvenile court) and over 130 criminal appeals with six published cases. Two of his biggest victories include conviction reversals in the Federal Court of Appeals.

Areas of Practice

  • Wildfire Litigation/Public Utility Regulation
  • Civil Litigation/Personal Injury
  • Domestic Violence & Child Abuse
  • White Collar Crimes, Including Embezzlement, Fraud, Counterfeiting, Tax Evasion, Financial Crimes, and Bribery
  • Federal Crimes
  • Theft Crimes
  • Workers’ Compensation Fraud
  • Drug Crimes, Including Possession, Sale, Trafficking, and Manufacturing/Cultivation
  • Criminal Appeals

Representation from a Board-Certified Attorney

After completing his undergraduate work Cum Laude at U.C.L.A. in 1982, Mr. Clay obtained his J.D. in 1986 from the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Upon completion of his degree, he took up a position with the San Diego City Attorney’s Office, and it was only a few more years until he opened his own highly successful criminal trial practice in the city of San Diego. Today, he brings his many years of experience and exceptional proven track record to our team, providing you with powerful and proven legal representation.

Throughout his career, Mr. Clay has argued cases in:

  • California
  • Hawaii
  • California Supreme Court
  • Ninth & Fifth Circuit Federal Courts of Appeal
  • Fourth District Court of Appeal

Mr. Clay served as a trial attorney with the San Diego Office of the City Attorney from 1986 to 1989 and was chief of the appellate unit. He was hired by the San Diego District Attorney in 1989 and served there until 1991 when he entered private practice.

Attorney Clay has achieved numerous accolades and recognizable accomplishments throughout his career, including having been named a Certified Legal Specialist in Criminal Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization since June of 2001. This highly-desired distinction demonstrates his dedication to the practice of criminal law, his unwavering dedication to his clients, and his never-ending commitment to ethical conduct. He also has achieved a Superb rating from Avvo.


  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, California
    • Juris Doctorate - 1986
  • University of California, Los Angeles, California
    • Bachelor of Arts - 1982 (Cum Laude)

Bar Admissions

  • California State Bar – 1986
  • Hawaii State Bar – 1998
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit – 1992
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit – 2006
  • United States District Court, Southern District of California – 1989
  • United States District Court, Central District of California – 1997

Awards & Certifications

  • Certified Legal Specialist; Criminal Law – The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization (since 2001)
  • Superb rating from Avvo
  • Selected to Super Lawyers® (2008-2017)

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