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Who are the next lions of Sonoma County defense law?

  • Stephen Turer, left, and Chris Andrian, right, have both been attorneys for over 40 years. (Crista Jeremiason / The Press Democrat)

Santa Rosa's most celebrated defense attorney, Chris Andrian, likes his football.

Andrian and his friend and colleague, Steve Turer, have held season tickets to the San Francisco 49ers for longer than either cares to remember.

So it seems fitting that Andrian, 69, offers a football metaphor when asked about his plans for retirement.

Bottom line is, he's not heading to the locker room any time soon.

"As long as I can keep throwing touchdown passes, I'm going to stay in it," said the tweedy attorney who wears a 49ers belt buckle in court. "I like being in the mix."

Same for Turer, 68.

"I'll stop when they pry my iPad from my cold, dead hands," Turer joked recently as he hustled between cases at the Sonoma County courthouse.

But the old lions of the local defense bar can't stop the march of time. Their beards whiten with each passing year. Like many in the generation inspired by social movements of the 1960s, time is catching up. And there's only so much more money to be made.

They've acknowledged it in not-so-subtle ways. Both have hired younger associates with an eye toward grooming new talent for the years ahead.

It's a phenomenon that's playing out throughout the county as fixtures of criminal law prepare to adjourn their careers.

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