Elected in 2014, Michael A. Hestrin has served as district attorney of Riverside County since January 2015.
Born in the Coachella Valley, Hestrin graduated in 1993 from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in history. After college, he spent a year living in Mexico with relatives working as a reporter for a small newspaper based in Guadalajara. He then returned to the United States to begin his legal studies at Stanford University, graduating in 1997 with both a JD and a master’s degree in Latin American studies.
Hestrin spent 18 years as a line prosecutor in the DA’s Office before being elected as district attorney. During his years as a prosecutor, he represented the people of Riverside County in many difficult and challenging cases. He has completed more than 100 jury trials during his career. As trial team leader for the DA's Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Unit, he prosecuted those who target and abuse children. For most of his last 10 years with the DA’s Office prior to becoming district attorney, Hestrin was assigned to the Homicide Unit where he conducted more than 35 murder trials including seven successful death penalty cases.
Hestrin has been recognized for his achievements during his legal career. In 2003, 2005, and again in 2010, he was named Countywide Prosecutor of the Year for Riverside County. In 2008, Hestrin was chosen by the legal publication, The Daily Journal, as one of California’s “Top Twenty Lawyers Under Forty.” In 2009, he was honored as the Statewide Prosecutor of the Year by the California District Attorney Investigators Association. In 2010, the California District Attorneys Association recognized him as California’s Outstanding Prosecutor of the Year.
In addition to prosecuting cases, Hestrin conducted trainings for prosecutors, paralegals, law enforcement officers, Riverside County Bar Association members, and social workers in ethics, trial advocacy, sex offender prosecution, homicide prosecution, and capital case litigation. He has also been an adjunct professor at Azusa Pacific University for the last 10 years teaching American Government, Introduction to Criminal Law and Procedure and Latin American History.
Mr. Hestrin's Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at CMC.