Philip Remington Dunn
Prior to his work as President of Serving California, Phil Dunn was a celebrated trial lawyer for more than 30 years in Southern California, where he defended people struggling in onerous situations. For his work on People vs. Tony Estrada*, in which he proved the innocence of his client – thus overturning a murder conviction and life sentence, he received a "Local Heroes" award from the Santa Barbara Independent, and "Special Recognition" from the California State Assembly and the United States Congress from Assemblywoman Hannah Beth Jackson and Congresswoman Lois Capps.
Phil has taken the leadership helm at Serving California to scale his healing work throughout the state. Serving California is a Christian faith-based non-profit dedicated to the proposition that we can build a community of empathy for those who are struggling and provide them with the resources needed to transcend their circumstances. Serving California emphasizes three people groups; veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), prisoners seeking redemption, and women recovering from abuse and addiction. Further details on the scope and extent of these programs can be seen atwww.ServingCalifornia.org. In 2014, Phil and Serving California worked to free Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, a former Marine diagnosed with PTSD, who was arrested at
the Mexican border after making a wrong turn. Tahmooressi, in the process of moving to California to seek treatment for his PTSD, had all of his worldly possessions in his vehicle– including his legally purchased firearms, which were illegal to possess in Mexico.
As Tahmooressi’s attorney, Phil was instrumental in the formation of the Mexican defense team and represented Andrew before the Consulate General’s office in Baja, California. In October 2014, a Mexican District Court judge dismissed the charges on humanitarian grounds, in part due to the evidence presented that Andrew suffered from PTSD.
Crucial to Phil’s familiarity with Mexican process and procedure is his humanitarian work in Mexico. Phil is a founding member of the Baja Christian Ministries (BCM), where he has helped build more than 2,000 homes for the poor, over 50 churches, and even a chapel inside Ensenada State Prison.
Recently retired from his law practice, Phil now devotes himself full time to Serving California, which serves as his platform for empowering crime survivors, assisting veterans, and advocating for criminal justice reform. A prolific writer and recognized speaker, Phil regularly addresses conferences and other audiences on topics ranging from victims rights, prisoner rehabilitation and reentry, and treatment of veterans suffering from PTSD.