"Personable and tenacious... Smart and relentlessly aggressive"

~ John Arthur, Managing Editor, Los Angeles Times

"Skilled practitioner dedicated to our profession..."

~ Paul Kiesel; Kiesel, Boucher, and Larson

Career Highlights

  • Licensed since 1976, an Associate with Kiesel, Boucher, Larson LLP, 2008. Drafted pleadings, claims, and law and motion matters, discovery motions in complex business litigation. Argued in Los Angeles County Superior Court. Produced discovery motions in United States District Court. Produced investigative plans, and investigated and assessed potential claims. Conducted extensive legal and factual research. As sole practitioner, represented clients in landlord-tenant cases, real estate, civil harassment, commercial disputes, debt collection, and family law.
  • Mediator under appointment by the Los Angeles County Superior Court, 2009 to present; mediated dozens of cases with 95% success rate. Advanced training, Center for Civic Mediation. Trained as both legal and non-legal mediator. Special Master, under appointment by the State of California. Fee Arbitrator under appointment of the State Bar of California. A licensed attorney since 1976 in Missouri and California. Served and presented for the Los Angeles County Superior Court Bench-Media Committee. Certified by United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District of California, for online practice. Media Consultant, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 2008 to present; deployed on Mississippi River flooding, Midwest storms, and the Joplin tornado disaster. Legal Editor, Legalzoom, 2009-2010
  • Writer and Editor, the Los Angeles Times. Shared Pulitzer Prizes for excellence in reporting on the firestorms of 2003, the Riots of 1992, the bank holdup shootout in North Hollywood 1998, and the Northridge Earthquake 1994; familiar with working journalists nationwide at top media organizations. Directed justice coverage in California. Specialist in local coverage of all types, from the Catholic priest scandal to Phil Spector trial to court budgets. Managed large staffs, from 12 in Los Angeles to 60 in St. Louis, with hiring responsibility, evaluation, and general supervision. Specialized in startup news operations in the San Fernando Valley, Ventura and Orange Counties, and Illinois.
  • Public Relations advisor & Legal Editor, Legalzoom.Com, helped conceive and carry out media campaigns to protect, and enhance, the brand, including extensive reliance on internet-based outreach; counseled on corporate operations in a heavily-regulated environment; handled media relations with the legal press; shared responsibility for crisis public relations with the General Counsel. Coordinated with all departments.
  • Outdoor enthusiast, active backpacker in the Sierra Nevada, throughout Southern Utah; active ocean kayaker.

Professional References

  • Paul Kiesel, Partner, Kiesel, Boucher Larson LLP
  • Brian Liu, Legalzoom
  • Davan Maharaj, Editor, The Los Angeles Times
  • John Arthur, Managing Editor, Bakersfield Californian, former Managing Editor, Los Angeles Times
  • Sam Enriquez, National News Editor, Wall Street Journal
  • Jean Guccione, head of Community Affairs, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office
  • Ardith Hilliard, Editor, The Morning Call, Allentown, Pa.


Practice of law and court-appointed mediator; California Special Master, los Angeles County Superior Court mediator, state fee arbitrator; Consultant for the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Hurricane Sandy in 2013 and the Joplin, Missouri tornado of 2011; consultant for Legalzoom; associate with Kiesel, Boucher, Larson LLP – Associate, 2008-2009. Los Angeles Times, 1983 –2008. Editor in Orange County, the San Fernando Valley, Ventura, and downtown Los Angeles; organized and directed legal affairs coverage for California; editor of web news; coverage of DBCP pesticide trial, complex litigation in the clergy abuse scandal, Anaheim/Angels litigation, trials of Robert Blake, Phil Spector. St. Louis Globe-Democrat, City editor, political columnist.


Yale University, Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. St. Louis University, Juris Doctor.


Information: 2613 Cañada Blvd. Glendale, CA, 91208

Telephone: 310-498-1718

E-mail: JohnSpanoEsq@earthlink.net

Law Licenses

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements.