Mark Overland has been lead counsel in over 200 jury trials in California and other jurisdictions, involving federal and state criminal charges, including successful defenses of 14 capital murder cases. He was named 2002 Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Criminal Courts Bar Association. In 2012 he received the Career Achievement Award from the Criminal Law Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Mr. Overland was rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell for 2016 and 2017, the Highest Possible Rating in both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards.
Mr. Overland has represented individuals and corporations in state and federal trial and appellate courts in matters involving contract claims, civil RICO, mail and wire fraud, securities violations, legal malpractice, civil forfeiture, age discrimination and civil rights. He has defended charges ranging from homicides and capital murders to white collar prosecutions. He has also represented individuals in various administrative proceedings, including State Bar hearings.
In addition to his work in California, Mr. Overland has represented individuals in Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, D.C. as well as in a criminal prosecution in Luxembourg.
Mr. Overland represents clients in both state and federal criminal proceedings, as well as civil litigation. Among his jury trials, he represented the 86-year-old defendant charged with ten counts of vehicular homicide that occurred in 2003 at the Santa Monica Farmers Market, as well as defendants in a multimillion dollar federal wire and bankruptcy fraud case. He also represented a former Los Angeles Police detective accused of a 1986 cold case homicide.
From 1966 to 1981, Mr. Overland was an attorney with the Los Angeles County Office of the Public Defender, where he was a member of the Special Trials Unit, representing clients in complex criminal and capital cases. He supervised the office training program for approximately 400 attorneys and became Chief, Central Superior and Municipal Court Trials, supervising approximately 80 trial attorneys.
Mr. Overland is a past Chair of the State Bar of California Criminal Law section, and has been an advisor to the Law Reform Commission, a member of the California Bail Reform Evaluation Advisory Commission, the State Committee that implemented California’s determinate sentence legislation, and a member of the California Senate Advisory Commission on Criminal Procedure. He has also testified numerous times before California legislative committees on bills relating to constitutional issues, the death penalty, evidence, and criminal law and has drafted legislation on behalf of the California State Bar which was subsequently enacted into law by the California legislature. He has testified numerous times in state and federal courts as an expert witness on issues relating to effective assistance of defense counsel.
Mr. Overland is the co-author of the leading criminal law treatise California Criminal Practice, Motions, Jury Instructions and Sentencing (7 volumes) (1983-2017) Thomson West Publications and The Complete Sentencing Handbook (1983-1993). He has been a lecturer on Continuing Education for Superior Court judges and has lectured throughout the state on substantive and procedural criminal law matters, evidence, and constitutional issues. He is a member of the New York and California Bars.
Mr. Overland graduated from the University of California School of Law, Boalt Hall. After graduation he received a Ford Foundation Fellowship from Boalt to study Juvenile Criminal Law for one year in Germany.