Joshua Newstat Photo

Joshua E. Newstat

In Memoriam (1976-2016)
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Joshua E. Newstat dedicated his entire legal career to protecting the rights of others, including the persecuted, the disabled and the accused.

Prior to becoming a co-founding partner of the firm, Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP, Joshua spent five years as a deputy attorney in the Ventura County Public Defender’s office.

“I enjoy being an advocate for those who face an uphill climb,” Joshua says, “and I believe in working as hard as possible to get results for them.”

As a student at Loyola Law School, Joshua clerked for United States Federal Magistrate Stephen J. Hillman, which gave him the experience of researching, analyzing and drafting numerous opinions on matters such as criminal writs and appeals and social security appeals.

He went on to intern with the Western Law Center for Disability Rights, where he participated in litigation involving complex civil rights issues, and with the Shoah Visual History Foundation, where he handled copyright applications, contracts and tax reporting issues for an organization committed to recording the testimonies of Holocaust survivors and witnesses.

Joshua practiced general civil litigation in matters involving business disputes, personal injury and Indian gaming law before he settled into a role with the Ventura County Public Defender in 2005.

“I’m a firm believer in the Constitutional principle that people accused of crimes are innocent unless proven otherwise,” Joshua says. “I’ve always been one to go above and beyond the call of duty to protect the rights of my clients. When someone is accused of a crime it can be a scary and hopeless feeling. I am satisfied when my clients feel they are well informed and aggressively protected.”

Drawing on his time as a deputy public defender, Joshua has a keen insight into all aspects of criminal law and procedure, from infractions and misdemeanors to serious and violent felonies. He has helped countless clients facing charges such as DUI and drunk driving, drug possession and distribution, homicide, robbery, grand theft, battery, hit and run, elder abuse and domestic violence.

He has extensive experience in trying cases to verdict, with many of his cases resulting not guilty verdicts, hung juries, or lesser sentences than what had been offered before trial.

Joshua’s trial experience and aggressive representation give him a unique ability to successfully negotiate with prosecutors for dismissals, reduced charges and alternatives to jail or prison.

“You have to consider the short and long-term effects for your clients, including jail time, the impact on their jobs, educational goals and whether they are in need of treatment to help deal with important issues, such as drug addiction or mental health issues,” Joshua says.

Joshua has worked as a tireless advocate for the rights of the accused, the injured and the mentally ill throughout his career. As a result, he has received an award and special recognition from the Ventura County Criminal Defense Bar Association for his outstanding contributions to the criminal justice system. He also has been elected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Ventura County chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI).

Joshua served as 2010-2011 president of the Ventura County Criminal Defense Bar Association, which involved meeting regularly with judges, prosecutors, probation officers and others to discuss ways to improve the Ventura County criminal justice system.


  • University of California at Los Angeles B.A., Political Science 1999 (Dean’s List)
  • Loyola School of Law, J.D., 2003 (Dean’s List)

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