About Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC, P.C.

In defending and protecting our clients, we insure that their rights are not being violated. We provide our clients with accurate and thorough information that will help them make informed decisions.

Throughout Colorado, Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC has a reputation for its tenacity in protecting and advocating for its clients. We take a proactive approach to each case. While many cases can be negotiated resulting in a disposition, we never back down from a trial when that is the right decision.

Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC relies upon thoughtful planning, thorough preparation, and highly developed trial skills. We do not take any detail for granted when going into a trial. Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC utilizes a range of techniques and procedures, including but not limited to associating and retaining necessary and relevant experts, mock trials, focus groups, and jury selection experts to ensure that there will not be any surprises in the courtroom.

In this practice the stakes are very high. You do not want glitz. You want a lawyer who is personally committed to protecting your life and liberty. Joseph "Andy" Gavaldón together with his staff is currently recognized as one of the most effective criminal defense teams in the country. Andy has carefully developed his skills over 40 years as one of the top criminal and trial attorneys in the nation.

Our Firm‘s History

Public perceptions of what goes on in court are often based upon the legal dramas of television and film. In such depictions, lawyers use their wits and charm to sway judges and juries while pulling eleventh hour solutions out of a bag of legal tricks.

Reality, however, is much different. Instead of glamour and plot twists, an effective criminal defense lawyer relies upon thoughtful planning, preparation and persuasive skills in the courtroom.

"You don’t want glitz. You want a lawyer who is personally committed to protecting your life and liberty."

"In this business the stakes are very high," says Andy Gavaldón. "You don’t want glitz. You want a lawyer who is personally committed to protecting your life and liberty."

Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC developed our approach to criminal law during our16 years with the Colorado Office of the Public Defense (PD). During those years, we were often charged with handling cases that upon first impressions appeared futile. The difficulty of such cases was compounded further by the PD’s budget constraints.

"As a public defender your resources are really limited. At the same time, our opponent – the district attorney – had all the resources of the state at his disposal," Andy recalls. "Some of our cases were tremendous challenges. They would come to us as ‘no-win’ cases – cases that no one else wanted to handle."

Andy Gavaldón learned to win difficult cases against unfavorable odds.

It was an invaluable experience, which resulted in Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC learning to win difficult cases against unfavorable odds. Throughout the late ‘80s and the ‘90s, Andy Gavaldón handled virtually every high profile case in the Fort Collins area. In addition, he also spent much of that period overseeing the Public Defender’s office in Larimer County. As a result, Andy has learned not only how to resolve cases favorably for his clients, but to do so quickly and efficiently.  

1974 - Public Defender
Joseph Gavaldón Works in public defenders office defending the rights of hundreds of the accused.

1997 -Gavaldón Law P.C. Opens
Gavaldón Law P.C. starts new practice with the intent to defend the rights of the accused with their best interest in mind

2004 - Gavaldón Law Rated Top Criminal Defense Law Firm in Ft Collins
Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC becomes prestigeous memeber American Board of Criminal Lawyers. An honor only given to lawyers with extreme credentials and masterful experience

2012 - Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC Opens
Andy Gavaldón and David Mestas form Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC to protect the rights of accused persons

Meet the Team:

Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC maintains a full staff which includes an office manager, bookkeeper, investigator, paralegal and legal secretary. In addition, we regularly employ a team of experts and consultants to enhance the successful outcome of our clients‘ respective cases.

At Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC, we treat each case individually, assessing all options, combining the best resources while fiercely representing those who have trusted us to defend them.

With nearly 100 years of legal experience among staff we are currently recognized as one of the most effective criminal defense teams in the country.;

Andy Gavaldón

Joseph A. "Andy" Gavaldón

Joseph A. "Andy" Gavaldón has been practicing law in Colorado for over 40 years. His practice areas include: complex litigation, criminal defense and trial practice.

David Mestas

David A. Mestas

David A. Mestas Has a wide range of criminal defense experience ranging from DUI defense to serious felonies, including some high profile cases. Mr Mestas represents persons accused of felonies, including, drug cases, felony assaults, arson, burglary, theft, fraud, murder and kidnapping. He also represents persons accused of DUI defense, domestic violence, criminal mischief and other misdemeanors. Mr. Mestas also will be accepting personal injury clients injured in automobile/motorcycle accidents and medical malpractice. Mr. Mestas has practiced in these areas, along with criminal defense, for over 27 years. His training and experience in dealing with insurance is extensive. He has tried personal injury cases with successful outcomes, including those with verdicts in excess of $1,000,000. Mr. Mestas formerly practiced at Gerash, Robinson & Miranda, P.C. in Denver, CO and was the managing partner at Willett & Mestas, LLC in Denver, CO. He was the Chairman of the Colorado Supreme Courts‘ Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee for 8 years. Mr. Mestas was born and raised in Fort Collins, CO and is well respected by local lawyers and judges.

Our Philosophy:

Throughout Colorado the Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC has a reputation for its tenacity in protecting and advocating for its clients. 

Our clients are entitled to the highest level of representation.

The cornerstone of our practice is that we are entrusted with the life and freedom of our clients, and therefore they are entitled to the highest level of representation. 

A lawyer must have a clear and consistent approach to practicing criminal law.

If a lawyer is going to effectively fight for the client while maintaining high ethical standards, then that lawyer must have a clear and consistent approach to practicing criminal law. For this reason, the Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC firm operates according to a well-defined set of steps, techniques and values.

In defending and protecting our clients, we ensure that their rights are not being violated. We provide our clients with accurate, thorough information and advice that will help them make informed decisions.

3-Fold Approach

  • Defend & Protect
  • Advise
  • Advocate

Defend and protect

In defending and protecting our clients, we insure that their rights are not being violated. Our first step is to assess the situation and see that the district attorney is handling the case in an even-handed manner. If that is not what is happening, we take immediate steps to address that situation.

It is important that our clients be able to make good decisions about their respective cases.

Our initial step includes evaluating the merits of the district attorney’s case against our client. We will scrutinize the charges and evidence while asking ourselves questions such as: Is our client guilty of the charges as they are written? Is this a case that relies upon questionable evidence? Is this a case that can be resolved outside of the courtroom, or is a trial inevitable?

Advise

It is important that our clients be able to make good decisions about their respective cases. We provide our clients with accurate information that will help them to make informed decisions. Part of this advisement is to identify what resources may be utilized to build an effective defense, and to design a strategy that incorporates such resources.

There are a wide range of experts and additional counsel that are relevant and necessary for each specific case. A jury consultant, for example, is a specialist who together with the lawyer guide a case through the critical and intricate processes of jury selection and communication. In major cases we often use focus groups, mock juries and/or shadow juries.

Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC also uses a wide range of experts ranging from handwriting analysts to crime scene specialists and even former district attorneys when preparing. Our attitude is that an effective defense requires a team approach. We must always be prepared to match the resources that are pitted against our client from the other side. Thus, we take pains to identify and enlist the best, appropriate experts to help us challenge a specific case.

Advocate

A distinguishing aspect of the Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC firm is that we are fierce advocates for our clients. Advocating means that we take a proactive approach to each case.

It is important that the prosecution understands that our client is a human being, regardless of the charges against him or her.

Our client is a human being, regardless of the charges against him or her. 

Our proactive strategies include evaluating the charges that the evidence, researching the law surrounding the charges, and identifying and collecting witnesses on behalf of the client.

To do this, we conduct our own investigation (we never leave the investigating to law enforcement), initiate action on our client’s behalf, and present the full picture and a complete understanding of the case.

The Key Ingredients to a successful Defense

While many cases can be negotiated outside the courtroom, we never back down from a trial when that is the right option.. When going into a trial we do not take any detail for granted. Our trial strategy is based on preparation, perspiration, and practice.

  • Preparation
  • Perspiration
  • Practice

Preparation

Preparation is the key to a solid defense. The initial steps include examining evidence, taking depositions, and thorough communication with our client.

We work to ensure that there won’t be any surprises in the courtroom.

In cases that are headed for a complex or high profile courtroom battle, however, we take our preparation to another level. Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC utilizes a range of sophisticated techniques and processes to ensure that there won’t be any surprises in the courtroom.

Perspiration

In addition to experience and skill, winning difficult cases requires a lot of hard work. 

We are dedicated to working long and hard hours.

Our reputation for winning tough cases is in part the result of the perspiration we invest in our cases. We are dedicated to working long and hard hours to ensure that every detail and every measure is being covered.

Practice

Once in the courtroom, the lawyer must have the skills and confidence to effectively argue in the client’s favor. An effective lawyer must know how to handle himself before a judge and a jury. For that reason, at Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC in addition to our experience we consider the honing of our skills part of the critical ongoing education an effective defense attorney must pursue.

An effective lawyer must know how to handle himself before a judge and a jury.

Throughout the year we are involved in numerous updated, law-related clinics, courses, and conferences. At the same time, we frequently assess and critique our work to ensure the best possible performance for our clients.

Professionalism

    Our clients know that we won’t hesitate to go to trial for them.

At Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC we take our professionalism very seriously whether the case involves a traffic ticket or a felony. While we have represented a number of clients charged in high profile cases, we never lose sight of our single priority – the best interests of our client.

Our clients seek us out because of our reputation for effectively fighting cases, many of which were recognized as more difficult and challenging than normal.

Our clients know that we won’t hesitate to go to trial for them, if that is the right option. We intend to keep on winning cases through our commitment to providing quality legal service for our clients.

Jury & Trial Preparation

  • Mock Juries
  • Shodow Juries
  • Focus Groups

In major cases, Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC uses proven, creative techniques to significantly improve the odds for a positive outcome. 

Top jury consultants, for instance, have elevated jury selection into a sophisticated art form. Using scientific techniques and psychological insight, jury consultants assist the lawyer in questioning potential jurors and in identifying those individuals most likely to give the defense case a fair hearing. Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC works frequently with such highly regarded jury consultants as the nationally renowned Kathy Bennett & Associates.

Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC works frequently with highly regarded jury consultants.

Likewise, mock juries, shadow juries and focus groups have become increasingly sophisticated techniques in fighting criminal cases. As with the use of jury consultants, these practices deal with the impressions and responses a jury is likely to have to the case being presented. When conducted properly, these groups provide invaluable feedback for creating and/or adopting the defense strategy.

While the preparations for these groups are similar, their functions vary. A mock jury is held prior to the trail, usually at a hotel or some other neutral location. Shadow juries are conducted concurrently with a trial – a practice that allows us to present new information and developments to the participants. Focus groups are held prior to a trial; they focus upon specific issues of a case.

While conducting a mock or shadow jury, or focus group, we present the case to 12 to 24 participants who reflect the demographics of the jury likely to be selected (i.e. education, social and ethnic background, income and age). We present the case from both sides, often bringing in an experienced former district attorney to argue for the prosecution.

To achieve reliable results, we ensure that the participants are not subjected to preconceived notions or outside influences prior to the process. We assess the results, study videotapes, interview the participants, and then assimilate this information into our defense strategy.

In the Press:

Gavaldón & Mestas, LLC Gets Sentence Reduced for Sex offender...
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