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Cheryl Carlson is an associate attorney with the Civil Litigation and Labor and Employment Departments of Mastagni Holstedt, A.P.C. Her practice areas include personal injury and employment litigation. Prior to joining Mastagni Holstedt in September 2019, Ms. Carlson practiced as an Administrative Law Judge for 10 years with the State of California, and as a trial attorney for 24 years primarily in the Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay areas. Ms. Carlson gained extensive trial experience initially practicing insurance defense litigation and then defending public entities in employment, personal injury and premises liability litigation in both State and Federal Courts. For over 10 years, Ms. Carlson also provided employment counseling, conducted employment seminars and served as Board Counsel for the Housing Authority of Monterey County. In addition to managing her own firm for 15 years, she was “Of Counsel” for two major law firms in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. Ms. Carlson also served as Mediator/Arbitrator for the Santa Cruz Superior Court.

Ms. Carlson was born in Venezuela where her family lived until the family moved to Australia when she was a teenager. Ms. Carlson attended high school and her first two years of university at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. She moved to San Diego to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration at San Diego State University. Ms. Carlson then moved back to Melbourne for several years, before enrolling at the University of San Diego School of Law in 1981. After graduating in 1984, she moved to Aptos where she began her litigation practice and raised her two sons. Ms. Carlson moved to Sacramento in 2016 when she transferred to a different state agency as an ALJ and now calls Sacramento home. In her free time, Ms. Carlson enjoys reading novels, playing pickleball and bike riding.

Education:
  • J.D., University of San Diego School of Law (1984)
  • B.S., San Diego State University (1977)
    • With Honors & Distinction in Criminal Justice Administration
    • Moot Court Competition Finalist
  • La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia (1973 – 1975)
Admissions:
  • California State Bar, 1985
  • Northern (1985), Eastern (1986) and Central (1993) District Courts of California