Francisco Cortés is an accomplished criminal defense attorney who has represented thousands of clients, both at trial and on direct appeal. He is an expert at using law and procedure strategically to help his clients. 

Francisco started practicing criminal defense in 2005. He began his law career as a deputy public defender in Kern and Solano Counties. After leaving the Solano County Public Defender’s office in 2010, Francisco represented adults and minors in the California Courts of Appeal.

Before law school Francisco earned a Master's degree in ethnomusicology and a Bachelor's degree in music at the University of Texas at Austin. In his free time, Francisco enjoys running, yoga, and reading. Francisco is a veteran of the first Gulf War and a bilingual Spanish speaker. 


University of California, Berkeley, School of Law Juris Doctor, June 2004

University of Texas, Austin Master of Music, Ethnomusicology, June 2000

 Bachelor of Arts, Music, June 1997

Austin Community College, Associate in Arts, Business, 1994


Appointed Appellate Counsel for the First, Third, Fifth and Sixth District Courts of Appeal, 2011-2013

Napa County Office of the Public Defender, Deputy Public Defender (extra help), February-August 2013

Solano County Office of the Public Defender, Deputy Public Defender, 2007-2010            

Kern County Office of the Public Defender, Deputy Public Defender, 2006-2007

Professional Memberships and Affiliations

California State Bar, Member (239652)

 California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Member

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member

Napa County Bar Association, Member  


Gulf War Veteran, United States Army Reserves, 1990-1998