in Cleveland, Robert Sheahen attended the University
of Notre Dame, the Ohio State University and Case
Western Reserve University. After receiving his
juris doctor degree from Case Western Reserve
in 1969, Mr. Sheahen went on to the study of advanced
criminal law at the University of Southern California.
the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), Mr. Sheahen
placed above the 98th percentile with a legal
aptitude score of 689. His writing ability score
of 74 at the time was above the 99th percentile.
He received a full academic scholarship to study
While at Case Western Reserve, Mr. Sheahen was
named a Member of the Law Review and he published
an analysis of current developments in the juvenile
justice system. He was elected President of the
Student Bar Association by a margin of 70 - 30.
As SBA president, Mr. Sheahen helped to create
the Case Western Reserve Journal of International
Law -- which now has been a thriving legal journal
for more than forty years. In 1969, a joint faculty-student
vote named him the Outstanding Senior of his graduating
1970, Mr. Sheahen moved to Los Angeles and joined
the Law Offices of Barry Tarlow as a federal appellate
specialist. Their first case together was a Miranda
victory -- United States v. Garcia, 431 F.2d 134
(9th Cir. 1970) -- and many more came after that.
In 1973, Mr. Sheahen helped Mr. Tarlow publish
a major work on search warrants which became the
paradigm research source for practitioners for
at least two decades.
1974, Mr. Sheahen opened his own office in Century
City for the practice of criminal law and he began
an extraordinary run of victories in homicide
cases, most notably the Calhoun, Choi and Kefurt
cases from the late 1970s. The Kefurt
case was an astonishing achievement -- a complete
dismissal of all charges for a young man who had
faced the death penalty for the double murder
of his mother and father.
the 1980s and 1990s, Mr. Sheahen successfully
represented hundreds of defendants and he established
himself at the highest tier of criminal trial
lawyers in Los Angeles. In 1982, he defended the
woman accused of the murder of John
Belushi. In 1984, he won a hung jury for a
Korean murder defendant in a 92-day jury trial
in Norwalk. In 1987, he managed to get all charges
dropped in the arson case of the man accused of
burning down the Los
Angeles county library.
1991, Mr. Sheahen represented R & B icon Rick
James -- accused of torturing a young woman
with a crack pipe. In 1996, he won a dismissal
of murder charges for a Korean missionary accused
of the torture murder of his wife in the now-famous
case in Malibu.
has represented many members of the Hells Angels
motorcycle club, including its long-time president
Christie. In 2003, Mr. Sheahen successfully
Cid, a transgendered prostitute, accused in
Ventura of murder for the purpose of robbery.
more recent years, Mr. Sheahen has represented
a number of persons and corporations charged with
white collar crime. These cases generally involve
discretion and very limited publicity. In addition,
Mr. Sheahen continues to represent federal and
state drug and homicide defendants on a selective
2007 to 2010, Mr. Sheahen represented an attorney
charged with filicide and won a dismissal of the
murder charge in 2010.
Sheahen and his family live in Sherman Oaks, California.
Mr. Sheahen plays ice hockey at least twice a
week and has played for the Wolves for the past
35 years. He devotes many hours to helping those
afflicted with drug and alcohol addictions.