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Crystal M. Center, Attorney, Becker Nelson Center & James


  • Alter ego: traveling food writer

  • Mother of (three) Dragons

  • Words to live by: Success travels in the company of very hard work. There is no trick, no easy way.

Crystal Center is a civil litigator, business attorney and a licensed real estate broker.  She is a thorough advocate for her clients, consistently earning solid outcomes for her clients. When she isn’t handling lawsuits, she enjoys negotiating and finalizing agreements suited to each of her clients’ needs on a wide variety of unique property and business matters.


Crystal has a unique background and diverse experience that allows her to connect with her clients. The vast experience Crystal brings to her legal practice has made her adept at understanding different viewpoints and handling high-stress situations with a calm, focused demeanor.


Crystal has a natural curiosity about the work and lives of her clients and believes in using a holistic and creative approach to achieve the best outcomes for her clients. Because of Crystal's dedication to her clients, she builds long-lasting relationships that have those clients, their families and friends, coming back year after year for the quality legal services they can expect from Crystal and the team at Becker Nelson Center & James.


Crystal's prior experience includes:

  • Deputy County Counsel for Placer County, representing the County in suits in state, appellate, and federal court 

  • Civil litigator with the AV-rated civil law firm of Reese, Smalley, Wiseman and Schweitzer, LLP in Redding, California 

  • Terrorism analyst, researcher and writer, Department for Homeland Security and Office of Military Commissions, Prosecution team (contractor)

  • Counter-terrorism expert, creating and teaching counter-terrorism training for military, civilian and law enforcement

  • Sergeant, U.S. Army military intelligence during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom 


Crystal lives on the South Fork American River and enjoys exploring the great outdoors and above all, a long, slow meal with her friends and family.





  • Civil Litigation

  • Real Estate Law

  • Business Law

  • Landlord-Tenant




  • California, 2012

  • Certified to practice in the Federal Eastern and Central Districts of California.





  • J.D., King Hall School of Law, University of California, Davis

  • M.S. Strategic Studies, Nanyang Technological Institute, focus on Counterterrorism Studies

  • B.A., Humanities, University of Maryland University College

  • Graduate, Defense Language Institute, Korean Basic Course





  • California Real Estate Broker BRE # 02084767

  • Asst. Secretary, El Dorado County Bar Association Board of Directors

  • President and Founder, UC Davis Student Veteran's Association 

  • Certificates in Pro Bono Legal Studies and Public Interest, King Hall School of Law, UC Davis

  • Member, El Dorado County Association of Realtors, California Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors. 

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