“Christina DiEdoardo…is the sort of cheerful and dogged debater who, if she talked to you long enough, could convince you the Earth was flat.”–C.W. Nevius, San Francisco Chronicle.
I’m not sure if Mr. Nevius intended the above comment as a compliment, but I certainly took it as one. It also sums up nicely my guiding principles as a criminal defense and appellate attorney and as a historian which is namely to proceed, as Winston Churchill says “Forward, unflinching, unswerving, indomitable, till the whole task is done and the whole world is safe and clean.”
I was born and raised in Queens, N.Y. and spent most of my time in Kew Gardens, which is which is mostly famous for three things:
- Being the place where Kitty Genovese was murdered back in March 1964 by Winston Moseley. At the time (and for decades afterward) the story was that almost forty of her neighbors heard or witnessed the attack and didn’t even call the police, let alone help. Within the last decade, this narrative has been greatly discredited and we’ve learned a lot more about Ms. Genovese, including that she was a lesbian with a long-term partner at the time of her murder and that she had previously been involved with numbers running and bookmaking in 1961. While it would be a better story if it were otherwise, according to Kevin Cook’s new book, she apparently had no connection to Vito Genovese, La Cosa Nostra’s onetime Capo di tutti capi (Boss of all bosses) then cooling his heels as an involuntary guest of the federal government after a narcotics bust. I’m looking forward to reading Mr. Cook’s new book on the subject soon.
- Where “Civic Virtue”, ended up for years after Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia objected to looking at the statue’s naked posterior every day. Since it was right above the exit to the Union Turnpike/Kew Gardens subway stop near our apartment, my poor long suffering-mother had to endure years of me asking “Mom! Why is that guy naked?” on every trip back from Manhattan. Alas, Civic Virtue left the Borough of Queens in December 2012, although some wags claim that virtue, at least in politics, departed the borough long before that
- The home borough of the villain and moll from “The Last Dragon”, Barry Gordy’s 1985 homage to kung-fu and gangster cliches, giving us the following quote (which is probably the best scene from the movie). People from Manhattan or Staten Island probably would have been insulted to be referred in such a fashion. To us Kew Gardens folk, we were happy just to be immortalized, if only for a moment in film that’s now charitably described as a “cult classic”.
After moving to San Diego for high school, I did my undergraduate work in journalism and political science at the University of Missouri-Columbia’s School of Journalism and spent almost a decade in newspapers as a reporter and editor before embracing the Dark Side and attending the William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where I graduated cum laude. I’ve lived in San Francisco since 2009, although I’m on assignment around the state and the country frequently. As one of my role models, the late William Kunstler, famously said I “have writ, will travel”. 🙂
When not practicing law, I’m working on my first book, which is a history of La Cosa Nostra in San Francisco from the 1920s through 2006. You can see my writing platform site here and read a sample chapter from the book here. I also do pro bono writing for several sex-worker rights groups in S.F. on request–you can see some recent examples here and here. If you’re curious, here’s my rating and profile on Avvo.com here. Since it appears to be almost required for lawyers these days, here’s my LinkedIn profile.
Finally, while I don’t think this is the most interesting thing about me by any stretch, I’m the only openly transgender attorney licensed to practice law in the State of Nevada (fortunately, there are many more of us in California) and in that capacity, I’ve been honored to testify before the Nevada Legislature on measures to end discrimination against trans- and gender-nonconforming people there, as well as to assist trans clients in both Nevada and California on a variety of civil and criminal matters. I was also the first person to undergo a gender transition at my law school. While things have gotten dramatically better for people like me in the last decade or so, there is still an ocean of work ahead to navigate before I and others can say “the task is done and the whole world is safe and clean”. But that’s job security, right?