I don't know if my mother intended me to be a lawyer when she named me Pieter (pronounced Peter) or if that was part of the law of unforeseen consequences. As a result of that spelling I have not only questioned authority since the first day of kindergarten, I have attempted to correct it.
I was born in Merced California, raised in Redlands, California, attended Webb School of California in Claremont, went to Wesleyan University in Connecticut, the University of Redlands, the UNAM In Mexico City, California Western School of Law in San Diego, and the University of Barcelona School of Law in Spain.
I started my legal career with Defenders Inc., A nonprofit charitable corporation which was the most magnificent training ground a trial attorney could ever imagine. We received our cases at arraignment and carried them through appeals, if necessary. We had innumerable jury trials with magnificent support from one another. I had my first murder case after a year and a half. By that time I was ready for it.
My wife Catherine and I were married after I had been in Defenders for three years. That same year I joined a fellow Defender, Larrie Brainard in private practice for the next three years. I gave a of course in U.S. juvenile law at the law school of the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara. Our daughter Danielle was born while we were there. On returning from Guadalajara I formed the first Bi-national law firm in the San Diego/Tijuana region before my friends at Baker McKenzie usurped the area.
During that period I started doing Immigration work in an area which has become like a professional tar baby that will not let me escape. For the last few years, I have experienced diminishing cross-border work as our two cultures have become more and more estranged, have been limited to occasional jury trials outside of immigration and have battled with bureaucratic red tape in the immigration area.
From 2005 until 2010 I had a cross-border "drive-time" talk-radio show in Spanish about Immigration issues on AM 1470. We got Arbitron ratings as number 11 in San Diego county during our hour from 5 to 6 PM, but that only measured half of our audience. Our popularity was a double-edged sword since we were not paying for our public-service hour. The sales director of the station couldn't resist the temptation and sold the hour out from under us, stalling my radio career.
At this stage I am still practicing immigration law and attempting to promote comprehensible, as opposed to comprehensive, immigration reform. The truth of the matter is that despite all ofthe obstacles, I enjoy the battle and will continue to try to correct authority to the best of my ability.