Ethan A. Balogh
Benjamin L. Coleman
Nara Sugino

ethan balogh
A.B., Harvard College
J.D., Yale Law School

The New York Times reported that “Mr. Balogh is known for his eloquent oral arguments.” The New York Daily News described him as an “ever-resourceful attorney” when reporting on his trial examinations. American Lawyer Magazine recognized him as a “top-flight criminal attorney” while the San Francisco Bay Guardian identified him as a “top-rate criminal defense lawyer.” Mr. Balogh earned an honorable mention in the California Lawyer Attorneys of the Year Awards for 2003, and has been honored by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. California Lawyer has repeatedly named him a “Super Lawyer.”

Mr. Balogh has tried more than 30 criminal cases and has won acquittals and judgments throughout California and beyond. He has succeeded for his clients pretrial in a host of matters by dismissal, summary disposition, and convincing the government authorities to decline charges. Mr. Balogh handles every manner of federal indictment, as well as select state court matters.

Mr. Balogh’s appellate experience includes more than 30 oral arguments before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He has won in the Supreme Court of the United States, the Ninth Circuit, and the California Supreme Court.

Mr. Balogh is an experienced civil lawyer as well, with a successful SEC, FINRA, commercial litigation, and civil rights track record. He also represents people in need of counsel in sensitive matters, and his record includes successful resolutions for celebrities and professional athletes.

Mr. Balogh graduated with honors from Harvard College and from the Yale Law School. Yale presented him the C. Larue Munson award for his outstanding work at the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization. Mr. Balogh’s public service includes his work as deputy at the San Diego Public Defender, clerking for the Honorable Marilyn L. Huff, United States District Judge, and serving as a San Diego Federal Defender.

Mr. Balogh furthers the cause of criminal justice by sitting on the Board of Directors of the First District Appellate Project.

ben coleman
A.B., Dartmouth College
J.D., New York University School of Law

Mr. Coleman has presented oral arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States, Ohler v. United States, 529 U.S. 753 (2000), two en banc panels of the Ninth Circuit, United States v. Buckland, 289 F.3d 558 (9th Cir. 2002) (en banc); United States v. Lombera-Camorlinga, 206 F.3d 882 (9th Cir. 2000) (en banc), approximately 100 three-judge panels of the Ninth Circuit, and other federal and state appellate courts throughout the country. He is also an experienced trial lawyer, having represented clients in more than 25 federal jury trials.

Mr. Coleman attended Dartmouth College and New York University School of Law, where he graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif. After law school, he clerked for the Honorable Joseph W. Hatchett, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and, upon completing his clerkship, became a litigation associate with Shearman & Sterling in New York. After relocating to California, Mr. Coleman first worked as an assistant federal defender in San Diego and then practiced in Los Angeles, where he represented a number of celebrities and professionals in highly publicized prosecutions.

Mr. Coleman’s appellate practice has generated dozens of published opinions in a wide range of areas, including honest services fraud, bribery, conspiracy, First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, electronic surveillance, trial procedure, evidence, Sentencing Guidelines, restitution, and immigration offenses. Recent examples of his appellate successes include winning a complete reversal of his client’s convictions and mandatory life sentence for VICAR murder, RICO, and firearms violations, United States v. Young, No. 15-50158, 2017 WL 6603511 (9th Cir. Dec. 27, 2017), obtaining a reversal for a new trial on behalf of the plaintiff-appellant in a multi-million dollar products liability action, Yamaha Rhino Litigation, No. G052182, 2017 WL 4684618 (Cal. Ct. App. Oct. 19, 2017), winning a complete reversal of his client’s mail, wire, and securities fraud convictions, United States v. Spanier, 637 Fed. Appx. 998 (9th Cir. Jan. 21, 2016), freeing a client arrested in the United States on serious charges in Mexico by way of rarely granted habeas corpus review of an international extradition order, Individual v. United States Marshal, No. 14CV00529 (S.D. Cal. 2014), and obtaining a reversal of his client’s conviction on habeas corpus review in one of the most highly publicized murder cases in San Diego history. Tuite v. Martel, 460 Fed. Appx. 701, 2011 WL 6042371 (9th Cir. 2011), cert. denied, 133 S .Ct. 102 (2012). Among his many appellate victories, Mr. Coleman has won multiple complete reversals after federal jury trials where his clients were sentenced to 20 or more years. United States v. Williams, 547 F.3d 1187 (9th Cir. 2008); United States v. Forrester, 512 F.3d 500 (9th Cir. 2008); United States v. Bear, 439 F.3d 565 (9th Cir. 2006).

With respect to his trial practice, Mr. Coleman has won cases by way of acquittal and hung juries, and he has achieved favorable decisions as a result of his creative motion practice. He has convinced judges to dismiss charges, see, e.g., In re Extradition of Platko, 213 F. Supp. 2d 1229 (S.D. Cal. 2002), suppress evidence, see, e.g., United States v. Lopez-Soto, 205 F.3d 1101 (9th Cir. 2000); United States v. Gantt, 194 F.3d 987 (9th Cir. 1999), and throw out convictions for insufficient evidence. See United States v. Orduno-Aguilera, 183 F.3d 1138 (9th Cir. 1999). In one case in which Mr. Coleman had served as trial counsel, the former Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit noted that he “did a marvelous job,” fighting like a “tiger” for his client and “preserving a splendid record for appeal.” United States v. Ramirez-Lopez, 315 F.3d 1143, 1163 n.2 (9th Cir. 2003). Ultimately, the charges in that case were also dismissed. See United States v. Ramirez-Lopez, 327 F.3d 829 (9th Cir. 2003).

Mr. Coleman has been honored with the San Diego criminal defense bar’s award for excellence in appellate representation. He has also devoted part of his practice to death penalty cases, where he has represented clients at the trial, direct appeal, and habeas corpus stages.

Nara Sugino
A.B., Harvard College
J.D., University of Michigan Law School

Nara Sugino is an associate attorney at Coleman & Balogh. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Sugino lived in Japan and worked with the Michigan Innocence Clinic. After relocating to California, Ms. Sugino worked pro bono for the Loyola Project for the Innocent.

Ms. Sugino graduated Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School, where she was a member of the Law Review, and graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif. Following law school, she joined Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago before clerking for the Honorable Judge Diane P. Wood of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Ms. Sugino’s practice now focuses exclusively on federal criminal defense. She is a member of the Illinois bar, and admitted to practice before the Seventh and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals.