Getting to know people over years is a blessing, and I have been blessed to have many great friends in Santa Monica and to see their careers explode. One of those great friends is a fellow attorney who is also an interventionist — Darren Kavinoky. I met Darren years ago through a men’s group and we became good friends sharing war stories about legal clients.

I recently had the opportunity to have Darren on my Men’s Family Law podcast where we discussed his new show “Breaking Point” on the ID channel. Darren’s personal journey from outlaw to criminal defender to criminal interventionist is a local story of redemption, hope and solutions.

Today he is a nationally recognized legal analyst who appears on HLN and ID and is host and co-creator of “Deadly Sins,” a show that examines the connections between the seven deadly sins and murders. His position as an authority on criminal behavior comes out of his years as a criminal defense attorney, and his training as an interventionist dealing with people who have substance abuse problems that are leading them to criminal behaviors.

In Santa Monica, where we have such a robust mix of rehabs, recovery homes and sober livings, we get to see and know people who have turned their lives around. We have places like Victoria’s House for sober living, and the Clare Center that take people from the first stages of detox through to living in a group setting to rebuilding their lives.

Sadly, not all get to make it. People die from addiction every day. Darren shared with me a story on the Men’s Family Law podcast how he represented a man who had been in treatment and hired Darren to defend him in a criminal matter. One day they were celebrating in the hallway the successful win in the criminal case, and then, just five months later, Darren was being invited to this man’s funeral after he had died of an overdose.

That was the genesis of Darren’s path to being an interventionist. He knew as a criminal defense lawyer that he was doing good work, but there was so much more to be done to save people’s lives. It’s one thing to save someone from a harsh jail sentence; it’s quite another to put them on the path to recovery.

Recovery is a rocky, curvy road for many people, as an episode of “Breaking Point” will show. I was enjoying the first episode with a young woman who is skilled at lying to her parents, the police, Darren, and even herself. But with the trained input from an experienced interventionist, she was able to get the first glimmers of help that she needed to pull her life back from the deadly path she was on.

I have many friends and clients who are in recovery; often, it’s a crisis point that leads them to my family law office, whether it was a bad night of drinking that led to a domestic violence restraining order or a years-long decline as a result of drugs that led to a divorce filing. At some point, there is a crisis that can be the pivot point to a new and better life.

Knowing that there are people like Darren to help others recover is one thing; being able to see them, hear them, and rely on them when there is a crisis is a good thing. It not an easy thing for someone to admit they have a problem, and then take action to correct it. Hearing it from a family member is rarely helpful — usually an outside third party is needed to break through the walls of denial and delusion that keep people enslaved to drugs and alcohol.

If you want to learn more about what Darren does, you can listen to our conversation on the Men’s Family Law podcast available on iTunes, or go to the website

David Pisarra is a Los Angeles divorce and child custody lawyer specializing in fathers’ and men’s rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at or (310) 664-9969. You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra.

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