Michael L. Fell – Attorney
Michael L. Fell is a dedicated and passionate defense attorney with a strong background in criminal law forged during his tenure as an Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney. While an Orange County prosecutor for over 18 years, Mr. Fell handled many high profile cases and prosecuted various criminal offenses including, but not limited to: murder, arson, gang cases, sexual offenses, and organized crime. He also served as a Supervising Prosecutor with the Orange County Juvenile Court.
During his time with the OCDA’s Office, Mr. Fell was recognized for his efforts with the prestigious Ambassador of Peace Award from the Violence Prevention Coalition of Orange County in 2003. Mr. Fell has also received accolades and awards from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Community Services Program (CSP)/Victim Witness of Orange County and the Constitutional Rights Foundation of Orange County.
After leaving the DA’s Office, Mr. Fell spent two years as the California Senior Trial Counsel for a civil law firm where he negotiated and litigated multi-million dollar civil cases. He left the civil firm in 2009 to open his own practice–Law Office of Michael L. Fell, A Professional Corporation—where he concentrates on representing individuals accused of various criminal offenses. He is now a California Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist.
Thanks to his years working as a top prosecutor with the Orange County DA’s Office, Mr. Fell knows how cases are prosecuted by his former office and he understands the evidence needed to file charges against those being accused or arrested. Many times, he is able to speak to DAs while they are reviewing the police reports written by the arresting officer and avoid charges being filed.
Mr. Fell is well known as a passionate proponent of “creative sentencing.” Because he feels that jail is seldom the appropriate punishment for his clients, he is very proactive in negotiating with DAs in resolving his clients’ cases for dispositions other than incarceration whenever possible.
Mr. Fell has been publicly noted for his exceptional criminal defense representation in a variety of ways: He has been selected by OC Metro Magazine for the last three years as one of Orange County’s “Top Attorneys” in criminal defense and has been recognized as a “Superb Rated Attorney” with a 10.0/10.0 rating by Avvo.com, a national attorney evaluation and information website.
Denise Hansen Grimes – Attorney
Since her first year of college, Denise Hansen Grimes has been focused on a career in criminal justice. Ms. Grimes attended the University California at Irvine and majored in Social Ecology with a special emphasis in Criminal Justice. While in college, she received a research grant and studied domestic violence cases. She also spent a summer working as an intern on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
After college, Ms. Grimes attended Loyola Law School in Los Angeles where she earned her Juris Doctor degree. During her three years of law school, she was able to intern with both the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office and the Organized Crime Unit of the United State Attorney’s Office. She also had the honor of clerking for the Los Angeles Superior Court and was selected to serve as a staff member on the International and Comparative Law Journal. Ms. Grimes also worked as a summer intern for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
In 1991, Ms. Grimes was sworn in as an Orange County Deputy District Attorney. She worked as an OC Prosecutor from 1991 until 1998. While at the District Attorney’s Office, she prosecuted many types of cases, ranging from misdemeanors to felonies and served as vice president of the Association of Orange County Deputy District Attorneys. When she left the office, she was the Hate Crimes Deputy, filing and prosecuting hate crimes and also prosecuting cases involving public officials and police officers.
In 1998, Ms. Grimes moved to Santa Barbara where she continued her prosecutorial career, becoming a Deputy District Attorney in Ventura County. She later worked as a Deputy County Counsel with the Santa Barbara County Counsel’s Office. While with the County Counsel’s Office, she handled enforcement issues, civil litigation defending the county, and advised county agencies on employment law. Part of her duties included advising the County Supervisors in confidential meetings.
Ms. Grimes joined the Law Office of Michael L. Fell in December of 2011. She handles a variety of criminal and Marsy's law cases.
Jana Santiago Burrell - Attorney
Ms. Santiago attended the University of California, Irvine where she competed in Division One Women’s Basketball. Soon after college, she received a scholarship to attend Whittier Law School in Orange County where she earned her Juris Doctor degree. During her three years of law school, she was able to intern with the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and serve as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Kimberly Menninger, a judge for the Superior Court of Orange County. Also, during her last year in law school Ms. Santiago managed the Whittier Journal of Child & Family Advocacy as Editor-In-Chief.
In 2014, Ms. Santiago was sworn in as an Orange County Deputy District Attorney where she worked as a prosecutor. While at the District Attorney’s Office she handled a variety of cases involving juveniles and adults.
As a former prosecutor Ms. Santiago always considered herself a public servant and was able to acquire knowledge of the court system, including prosecutors and judges. Having had the opportunity to work on both sides of criminal law, she understands that some people are simply innocent, and that good people can find themselves in bad situations.
Since 2016 Ms. Santiago has dedicated her career to the field of criminal defense in order to provide people with the best possible defense on their behalf. Additionally, she is fluent in Spanish, and enjoys representing those who are more comfortable communicating in this language.
Irena Nissanoff – Paralegal
Raised in Huntington Beach, Ms. Nissanoff attended Cal State Fullerton and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a minor in Political Science. She then attended Platt College where she obtained her paralegal certification (Associate of Arts in Paralegal Studies). Prior to coming to work for the Law Office of Michael L. Fell, Ms. Nissanoff worked at a civil firm as a paralegal handling legal research, reviewing contracts, and preparing legal letters.
In 2010, Ms. Nissanoff joined the Law Office of Michael L. Fell, assisting the attorneys with their duties and projects. She also supports client services, conducts legal research, and helps in the preparation of pleadings, declarations, and motions. Ms. Nissanoff also prepares documents for filing with the court, organizes case files, and manages the daily operations of the firm.
Ms. Nissanoff speaks fluent Farsi and is a sworn Notary Public.