Meet The Team
Mr. Melnik routinely goes the extra mile for his clients. Mr. Melnik has a very long list of appreciative clients. Mr. Melnik has the special distinction of saving a completely innocent man from Death Row who was wrongly fingered by an eyewitness and falsely charged with special circumstances homicide for allegedly executing a witness in another murder case.
To make his case, Mr. Melnik out-investigated several seasoned LAPD homicide detectives (again) with diligent fact finding through a unique investigation process involving the use of subpoenas, court orders and 21st century technology.
Joshua M. Baskin
Attorney of Counsel
Attorney Joshua M. Baskin joins us as the newest “Of Counsel” for Orange County Criminal Defense Attorneys. Mr. Baskin earned his Juris Doctorate from Whittier Law School with a Certificate in International and Comparative law. While pursuing his legal degree Mr. Baskin was a valuable extern with two top judges obtaining an instrumental exposure to the justice system. It was during this time and his exposure to the criminal matters that his passion for criminal law defense took shape.
Upon graduating, Mr. Baskin launched his legal career in the Inland Empire focusing on criminal and family law matters. Mr. Baskin expanded his reach into Orange and Los Angeles Counties covering a multitude of matters utilizing his extensive background in addressing the intricacies of DUI, Drug and all types of criminal cases.
Mr. Baskin, being born and raised in Southern California, understands the needs of the community in which he so vigorously serves. After attending the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing, Mr. Baskin began working in the Import/Export industry. After a couple years Mr. Baskin returned to Orange County and began a career in marketing for consumer products working directly with top executives from a multitude of Fortune 100 and 500 companies. These relationships have created in Mr. Baskin an understanding of meeting and exceeding client expectations. Mr. Baskin is diligent and provides a high-quality and vigorous representation to each client he represents.
Mr. Baskin’s experience has given him invaluable insight into the criminal justice system and created relationships that provide an incredible asset in any criminal defense case. Mr. Baskin takes advantage of these connections throughout his practice in advocating for the best resolutions and results for his clients. In addition, to his extensive criminal defense cases, Mr. Baskin also provides full representation in family law matters and was a passionate advocate providing legal services to the California Teacher’s Association in the Inland Empire. Mr. Baskin believes in the value of focused teamwork to solve client problems, and provides dedication, commitment and service to all matters and clients he serves.
Attorney of Counsel
Mr. Ruyle was lead to the area of criminal defense when he was working in his other areas of practice which were Estate Planning, Business Planning and Bankruptcy. The families often had family members that got into trouble and needed a familiar face to help them out.
Other than practicing law his other passion is working with students advance in their intended careers as a lawyer or in within the criminal justice field. After becoming an attorney he began working with law students in preparation for the California Bar Exam. Each student must memorize more than a dozen subjects and apply that law in a 2 day written exam. He is the founder of BarPerfect that helps students apply a analytical writing methodology.. He has also worked as a professor in the criminal justice departments for Westwood College and the University of Phoenix were he conducts his classrooms with real world applicability.
He is often asked why he would want to become a police officer after being an attorney. His common answer is he wanted to understand the dynamics of a law enforcement institution and their limitations as well as what a patrol officer experienced on a daily basis. In the end he believed that officers are people too that have feelings and makes mistakes. The officer’s that he worked with all had good intentions and really cared about the community they served.
When not working he has an appreciation for the dynamic topography of San Diego County from the ocean to the mountains. He often enjoys camping with his family and friends. He has found that there is no greater sense of community when people pack up their families for a weekend, turn off the devices and have more personal time.
His volunteer work has been recently more focused as a Master Mason and active member of Unity Lodge #632 in Normal Heights.
Thomas J. Beck
Director of Operations
Mr. Beck joins Orange County Criminal Defense Attorneys as the Senior Executive and Director of Client Operations. Mr. Beck has spent nearly 20 years as an industry leader with one of the largest consumer law firms in Arizona. Mr. Beck joins Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney’s defense team bringing a dedication of excellence that consistently exceeds client’s expectations, through tenacity and hard work that people have grown to know and trust at Orange County Criminal Defense Attorneys. Mr. Beck has limited his professional consultations to Criminal Defense and DUI only. Mr. Beck is a critical member in DMV hearing process as well. Mr. Beck has argued DMV cases both in person and telephonically. His area of expertise focuses on all the major elements of the DMV process and provides the most aggressive defense in helping clients who are facing a DMV suspension.
At Orange County Criminal Defense Attorneys, we make certain that each client is given the best in customer service and we are available to clients at all hours of the day and every day of the week. We strive to make each client feel like our only client and we promise to take the time and listen carefully about your case and work as a team to get the best result as possible.
Thomas (TJ) Filicia
New Client Relations
Thomas Filicia joins the Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Law Firm, as the firm’s Director of New Client Relations. Thomas is responsible for extensively evaluating each case, and then consulting with the rest of the team to determine how the specific needs of each individual client can best be addressed. Thomas’ attention to detail, team mentality, and communication skills have made him a valuable asset to our firm
Thomas was born and raised in San Diego, and has resided in Southern California for most of his life. He is a graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law, where he was a member of the school’s American Bar Association Negotiation Team. At Syracuse, he developed a passion for criminal defense law, and clerked for a law firm that handled primarily criminal appeals. He has drafted appellate briefs in several areas of criminal law including Parole Violations, Domestic Violence, Rape, and Murder. After graduating law school, Thomas worked for one of San Diego’s preeminent Construction Defect and HOA law firms. He is also a member of the St. Thomas Moore Society for Catholic Attorneys.
Prior to attending law school, Mr. Filicia studied Communications at Loyola Marymount University, where he also played Varsity Baseball. He then went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from St. John’s University. At St. John’s, he was a member of the University’s Ethics Debate Team, which competed annually in national competitions.
Thomas is an avid sports fan, who enjoys staying active, and rooting for the Padres, Lakers, and Cowboys, in his free time.
Former Chief Trial Attorney - "RIP 2017" A Living Legend
Director of New Client Development
John Park joins the Los Angeles team as the Director of New Client Development. He is the first point of contact for all new clients, acting as liaison between attorney and client. Before coming to the firm, John’s passion for social justice and desire to be an advocate for all people led him into the education sector, working as a lead educator, principal, and marketing director for 15 years. John strongly believes in the importance of preserving and fighting for the rights of all people. Through these experiences, John has developed the capacity to clearly and effectively inform new clients on the services of law firm and provide individual care for each client. He has a Bachelors in Education from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His objective is to provide potential clients with utmost care and importance, ensuring their needs are completely met by the firm.
Senior Legal Administrator
Richard Silber is a lifelong Californian with over 30 years of client services experience. After graduating from the University of California, San Diego with pre-law degrees in Philosophy and Political Science. Mr. Silber began his professional career in client services by taking customer facing positions in the technology industry.
Mr. Silber has filled client services position in both inside and outside of the legal community. Though his career has taken him into different industries, the constant has always been putting the client’s needs first and foremost. This philosophy has made Mr. Silber a perfect fit for the firms role as a legal administrator, where our clients’ best interest is job number one. His responsibilities vary at our firm, but all of them revolve around exceeding our clients’ expectations.
Private Investigator of Counsel
K.T. served honorably in the United States Navy from 1997 – 2001. While stationed in San Diego, California, K.T. was deployed twice (Onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln) to the Persian Gulf in support of operation Southern Watch. During the 1998 deployment, the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier battle group launched Tomahawk cruise missiles against two sites. The first was a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory suspected of assisting Osama Bin Laden in making chemical weapons. The second was Bin Laden's terrorist training camps in Afghanistan. These strikes were ordered by President Clinton thirteen days after terrorists bombed the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and was codenamed Operation Infinite Reach. While serving in the US Navy, K.T. received several awards / recognitions.
Personal Accomplishments / Awards:
Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (2)
Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (2)
Meritorious Unit Commendation (2)
Good Conduct Medal
Coast Guard Unit Commendation with Operational Distinguishing Device
Battle “E” Award
Flag Letter of Commendation
Navy Achievement Medal
Letter of Commendation from Rear Admiral, United States Navy
Sailor of the Month
Junior Sailor of the Month
Letter of Appreciation from Commanding Officer HS-4
Letter of Commendation from Commanding Officer HS-4
After serving honorably in the US Navy, K.T. attended the Golden West Police Academy (Huntington Beach, CA) from November 2001 – April 2002. Due to K.T. being at the top of his class, he was hired by the Cypress Police Department in February 2002. As a police officer with the City of Cypress, K.T. was worked as a patrol officer, training officer, SWAT team member and a criminal investigations detective. K.T. has approximately 2,000 hours of formal training, as well as thousands of additional on the job training. K.T. has also attended / completed hundreds of hours of advanced officer training, some of which are listed below.
Patrol Officer – As a patrol officer, K.T. provided for public safety by maintaining order, responding to emergencies, protecting people and property, enforcing motor vehicle and criminal laws, and promoting good community relations. Identify, pursue, and arrest suspects and perpetrators of criminal acts. Patrol officers shall review facts of incidents to determine if criminal acts (state and federal) or city municipal violations were committed. Part of the job of a patrol officer is to testify in court to present evidence or act as witness in traffic and criminal cases. K.T. often had to process prisoners, prepare and maintain records of prisoner bookings and prisoner status during booking and pre-trial process.
Training Officer – As a training officer, K.T. was responsible to train / evaluate new officers to insure that they can work unaccompanied in a safe, skillful, efficient and professional manner. The new officer is assessed on performance (including but not limited to report writing, knowledge of city, state and federal laws, driving skills and officer safety), improvement and overall conduct.
SWAT Team Member – As a SWAT team member, K.T. responded to SWAT “callouts”, which were most commonly used in order to ensure the safety of other police officers in case a large, violent outburst occurs. These situations include the arrests of violent criminals, hostage situations, riots, counter-terrorism, perimeter security, identifying threats in high-security situations and many other police situations where the safety of the public or police officers is in danger. As part of the West County SWAT Team, K.T. also carried out high risk search/arrest warrants. K.T.’s primary position on the SWAT Team was the breacher, responsible for breaching the structure in question to allow the entry team access to the structure in question.
Criminal Investigations / Detective – K.T. was a criminal investigator for 4 years. While a police detective, K.T. worked on fraud cases (including but not limited to identity theft, fraudulent use of access cards, etc.) property crimes (including but not limited to burglary (residential and vehicle), vandalism, theft, etc.) as well as crimes against persons (including but not limited to sexual assault cases, domestic violence, robbery and homicide). As a detective / investigator K.T.’s job tasks included performing regular investigations for all crimes and establishing appropriate witnesses and suspects, maintaining knowledge on all factual requirements, coordinating with the crime lab team to perform various tests on evidence collected from scene and monitor all conditions of victims and assist to obtain all required statements. K.T. also worked directly with the district attorney’s office to build strong cases for jury trials. Writing search warrants, meeting with the district attorney to review the search warrant and meeting with a judge to review and sign the search warrant was a common occurrence as a police detective / investigator. As a police investigator / detective, K.T. also spent hundreds of hours conducting undercover surveillance operations following suspects involved in criminal activities (including but not limited to narcotics and homicides). K.T. spent hundreds of more hours conducting static surveillance on locations in preparation for search / arrest warrants. As a lead investigator, K.T. would oversee a group of detectives / investigators and often times outside law enforcement (FBI, DOJ, Secret Service, etc.) to work complex cases. This involved overseeing and managing up to 25 other law enforcement professionals.
Personal Accomplishments / Awards:
Gold Distinguished Service Medal – Awarded for heroism and bravery displayed during an officer involved shooting of an armed robbery suspect.
Letter of Commendation – From the Orange County District Attorney’s Office during my investigation of a high profile case.
Letter of Commendation – Following bank robbery that resulted in a vehicle pursuit with the apprehension of the “Cash and Carat” bandits.
Letter of Appreciation from Los Alamitos Chief of Police for apprehension of suspects who fled from officers.
Formal recognition from the Cypress Chief of Police for the apprehension of an illegal narcotic suspect who fled from officers.
I designed and implemented a new “department wide” form that is used when investigating subjects under the influence of illegal narcotics.
Letter of Appreciation from American Rentals for Solving a Complex Theft Case Involving Industrial Equipment.
Letter of recognition from the Cypress Chief of Police for “team effort and dedication” with regards to a large scale search for a robbery suspect.
Letter of recognition from the Cypress Chief of Police for the successful apprehension of several felony vandalism suspects who were unable to escape due to “planned approach that thwarted any escape.”
Letter of recognition from the Cypress Police Narcotics Sergeant regarding a confidential informant referral that resulted in a search warrant service, resulting in the arrest of two subjects, for a large amount of methamphetamine, packaging material, scales, paraphernalia and a firearm.
Advanced Officer Training:
Criminal Investigations – Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
Courtroom Testimony – Riverside County Sheriffs’ Department
Advanced Interview and Interrogation – Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
Child Abuse / Sexual Assault – Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
Homicide Investigation – Orange County Sheriff’s Department
Elder Abuse Investigation – Orange County Sheriff’s Department
Drug Abuse Recognition – California Narcotic Officer Association
Search Warrant Instructions – San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department
Emergency Response To Terrorism Incidents – Orange County Sheriff’s Department
Certificate of Training in the Identification Of Counterfeit Digital Video Disc (DVD) – The Motion Picture Association Of America, Inc.
Vehicle Theft – Orange County Sheriff’s Department
Identity Theft – San Diego Regional Training Center
Alcohol Sensor Device Certified – Orange County Sheriff’s Department
Certified in the Lawful Interception of Wire and Electronic Digital Pager or Electronic Cellular Telephone Communications – State of California Department of Justice
DNA Evidence Collection – City of Cypress
Certified with the QUICKCHECK Narcotic Identification Kit
Training on the PENI Street Gang (Public Enemy Number One) – The Southern California Skinhead Task Force & The Orange County Training Managers Association
In 2013, after receiving a retirement from the Cypress Police Department, K.T. started a private security firm. As a business owner / vice president, K.T. was tasked with developing a business plan that includes a description of the product or service, how to finance the business (loans, investors), deadlines for the business and the overall goal. K.T.’s duties include reviewing sales reports and financials, and comparing them to goals set out in short- and long-term plans. K.T. was also tasked with reviewing profit-and-loss statements and other financial reports related to the company balance sheet. As a business owner other duties / responsibilities include (but not limited to) identify problems, make decisions, interpret results based on quantitative techniques and improve quality and productivity by streamlining systems and processes. Below are some of K.T.’s personal accomplishes as well as the accomplishments of the company.
Accountable for the direction and successful operation of the Sales Division / Operations Division of the company which resulted from zero revenue from the start of the company to over 4 million dollars by the end of year three. Part of my accomplishment was forecasting a sales growth of 5.5 million by the end of year four, while maintaining a 40 percent profit margin and 150 employees company-wide.
Directly responsible for the purchasing, deployment and maintenance of 35 patrol vehicles into the company fleet.
Orange County Business Journal – Named the second fastest growing small business within Orange County, CA.
San Jacinto School District Certificate of Recognition for service to the community.
In 2015, while owning the private security firm, K.T. opened up a Private Investigations Firm. As the owner and private investigator, K.T. worked Criminal / Civil Defense Investigations, AOE/COE Investigations, Welfare / Insurance Fraud as well as provide expert witness testimony.
While being very busy during a professional career, K.T. has still found time to continue his professional education and obtain professional licenses, see below.
55+ General Education units from Cypress College, Golden West College and Coastline Community College
Basic Peace Officer Standards and Training certificate
Intermediate Peace Officer Standards and Training certificate
Advanced Peace Officer Standards and Training certificate
Private Patrol Operator – Bureau of Security and Investigative Services
Private Investigator – Bureau of Security and Investigative Services
Guard Card – Bureau of Security and Investigative Services
Certificate of Completion Used Vehicle Pre-Licensing Education Program
Department of Motor Vehicle Specialist
Chris Vaughan joins the team at San Diego DUI Attorney as the firm’s expert in the DMV administrative proceedings. Mr. Vaughan has focused his entire career in assisting the clients of San Diego DUI Attorney whose livelihood and/or careers are tied to their ability to operate a motor vehicle. From pilots to Commercial Truck Drivers, Mr. Vaughan works very close with each client in developing a personal strategy as it pertains to the administrative law process of the DMV. Mr. Vaughan has been recognized in the Southern California legal community as an expert in the process of DMV hearings. Mr. Vaughan has handled issues ranging from DUI suspensions to license revocations and his tenacity and creative approaches to each client’s case set him apart as an expert in the DMV hearing process. Chris Vaughan’s success representing drivers against the DMV is a product of his experience, knowledge and reputation. Chris has conducted well over 1,000 administrative hearings and has assisted in several successful Writs of Mandamus, which is an appeal in civil court where the driver sues the DMV for wrongfully suspending the license after a hearing. In order to succeed against the DMV, Chris exhaustively studies the statutes, codes and case law that govern the administrative hearing procedures. Chris’ constant presence at the Driver Safety Office over the years enabled him to foster positive working relationships with the various personalities involved in the process and he has gained an intimate knowledge of the constantly evolving practices and idiosyncrasies of the DMV. Chris is skilled in handling numerous types of suspension actions including DUI (“APS”), negligent operator (“Neg Op”), physical and mental (“P&M”), lack of skill, financial responsibility (“FR”), fake IDs and both regular and emergency re-examinations. Chris is proud to represent his clients, who find him friendly, sympathetic, savvy and highly accessible.