Nicole G. Saperstein, a zealous advocate for her clients with extensive courtroom experience, is an associate attorney at Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P. focusing on criminal defense. She takes a very client-centered, compassionate approach to her cases and is skilled in persuading prosecutors, judges, and juries to see her client’s humanity and the good within them, regardless of the severity of the case. She has represented over 1000 clients charged with felony and misdemeanor offenses and has received not guilty jury verdicts in both state and federal court. Ms. Saperstein has also argued before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the admission of the government’s vehicle expert in a high value drug importation case.
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Saperstein served on the trial Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel for the Southern District of California and the appellate CJA Panel for the District of Nevada, handling court-appointed federal criminal defense cases. Before that, she worked as a trial attorney with Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. from 2010-2015 where she was known for receiving probationary or time-served sentences in cases originally charged as ten-year mandatory minimums. She appeared in district court an average of three or four days a week during her time at Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc., so she is very comfortable in the courtroom. She has a great deal of experience in drug conspiracy, drug distribution, immigration-related offenses, and sexual offense cases including sex trafficking and child pornography.
Ms. Saperstein has received extensive advanced trial skills training including attending the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, the Trial Skills Academy in San Diego, and new Federal Defender Training in Santa Fe. She taught new attorney and intern trainings at Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. in plea negotiations, sentencing practice, case management, and time management. Ms. Saperstein has coached high school students participating in mock trial competitions and enjoys passing on her passion for courtroom advocacy to the next generation.
Ms. Saperstein was highly successful at the University of San Diego School of Law, graduating in the top 3% of her class and earning magna cum laude, Order of the Coif honors. At graduation, she received numerous awards including the Outstanding Criminal Clinic Intern for Defense Award, CALI Awards for earning the highest grades in Scientific Evidence and Professional Responsibility, and a Pro Bono Service Award. She competed as a member of the University of San Diego National Mock Trial Team, served as the learning assistant for 1L criminal law students, and was a member of the Phi Delta Phi Honors Legal Fraternity.
While attending law school, Ms. Saperstein found her true passion in life and completed five internships with the San Diego County, Office of the Primary Public Defender where she was awarded the Volunteer of the Month Award for the County of San Diego by the Board of Supervisors following her work second-chairing a 36 count attempted murder, rape, and torture trial and an 11 count arson trial. As only a second-year law student, she won a 4th Amendment suppression motion which led to the dismissal of her client’s case by showing that officers fabricated the traffic violation using their own dispatch tapes against them. Ms. Saperstein also spent her 1L summer interning for the Douglas County, Nevada District Attorney’s Office in Minden.
Prior to law school, Ms. Saperstein graduated summa cum laude (3.98 GPA) from Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, Nevada with a Psychology major and an English minor. She received a number of graduation awards including Class Valedictorian Nominee, Humanities and Psychology Department Awards, and appeared in the 2007 edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. She presented her research study Cross-Racial Bias in Eyewitness Identification involving the misidentification of Latinx individuals at the Saint Mary’s Western Psychology Conference for Undergraduate Research.
Ms. Saperstein is also a certified yoga instructor and enjoys snowboarding, hiking, kayaking, and true crime podcasts in her free time.
- California 2010
- Nevada 2021
- Southern District of California, 2010
- Central District of California, 2017
- 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, 2013
- District of Nevada, 2021