Meet Tara Allen

TARA K. ALLEN has exclusively practiced criminal law for over 25 years and is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts in California and Arizona, including the United States Courts of Appeals for the Seventh and Ninth Circuits. Tara is also a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar, where she argued as lead attorney in Yarborough v. Alvarado, an AEDPA federal habeas case involving the application of Miranda v. Arizona to juvenile suspects.

Tara is certified as a specialist in appellate law by the California Board of Specialization. Tara has also been qualified and selected by the California Supreme Court to prepare and present appeals as lead counsel on behalf of condemned prisoners on death row. Since 1994, she has focused her practice on state and federal criminal appeals, post-conviction writs and habeas corpus. Tara has obtained relief for persons convicted of all levels of crime from misdemeanors to capital offenses. She has been commended for her work by the Judicial Council of California as follows:

“The committee would like to commend you on your exemplary work on this case. The committee commends you for the extremely well-crafted and persuasive brief by which you obtained a reversal for your client. Your work was very logical and of the highest quality. We commend you for your fine work and continued willingness to handle such difficult appeals. Thank you again for your continued efforts on behalf of indigent appellants in California.”

In the early days of her career, Tara worked with the Battered Women in Prison Project preparing habeas petitions pro bono for women serving life sentences in California state prisons. Tara also represented inmates at Parole Suitability Hearings through the Board of Parole Hearings and helped unrepresented capital defendants prepare petitions for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.

Tara has presented trainings to the California and Montana Public Defenders Associations. She has been published in the California Defender Magazine, is a contributing editor of the California Habeas Handbook, and co-writes the national columns “Habeas Hints” and “SCOTUS Review” with her partner Kent A. Russell for the Criminal Legal News published by the Human Rights Defense Center.

Tara maintains memberships in the following organizations:

California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ)
California Appellate Defense Counsel (CADC)
National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (NACDL)
Federal Bar Association (FBA)