Daniel Horowitz

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Daniel Horowitz
300 Criminal Defense Lawyer Daniel Horowitz.jpg
Born Daniel Aaron Horowitz[1]
(1954-12-14) December 14, 1954 (age 60)
New York City
Nationality United States
Alma mater Hampshire College
Southwestern University School of Law
Occupation Lawyer

Daniel Aaron Horowitz (born December 14, 1954) is an American defense attorney who has represented several high-profile clients including talk show host Michael Savage and is a frequent commentator in the media on criminal cases in the news. In 2014 Horowitz was named a Top 100 Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers. [2]


Horowitz was born in New York City. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Hampshire College. In 1980, he earned his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles, California. He was admitted by the State Bar of California that same year. He is a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law (the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization). He was a frequent TV commentator during the Scott Peterson trial. He has appeared as a regular legal commentator on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. Horowitz married Valerie Northup, his third wife, in June, 2007.[3] Horowitz and Northrup had a son, Isaac Aaron, in April, 2009.[4]


Horowitz became a national media personality when he became a regular television commentator during the Scott Peterson trial. Since the Peterson trial, Horowitz has been a commentator on other high-profile cases such as the Michael Jackson trial, the Mellissa Huckaby trial in Tracy, California,[5] and the Anna Nicole Smith case.[6]

High Profile Cases[edit]

Horowitz represented conservative talk show host, Michael Savage, in Savage's lawsuit against CAIR. The judge sided with CAIR and dismissed Savage's lawsuit in 2008.[7] In 2012 he won Savage's lawsuit against syndicator TRN and released Savage from his contract with that network. [8]

Horowitz represents San Francisco Police officer Andrew Cohen in Cohen's personal injury lawsuit against San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and police chief Heather Fong. This lawsuit arises out of Cohen's so called comedy video tape that led to the "VideoGate" controversy.[9]

Horowitz also represented Kimberly Bell, the former girlfriend of San Francisco Giants slugger, Barry Bonds. Bell testified against Bonds before the Grand Jury that later indicted Bonds for perjury arising out of his denial of steroid use.[10] Horowitz also represented Steve Williams, the man who ended up with Barry Bonds' 700th home run baseball. Various other fans claimed that they were entitled to the ball. [11]

Horowitz' defense of husband killer Susan Polk was portrayed on Dateline NBC.[12]

Horowitz also represented Dr. Wilmer Origel, a chiropractor who was accused of 11 felony charges, of using anesthesiology without a medical license, money laundering, and insurance and workers' compensation fraud totaling $5 million.[13][14] The case became controversial because Horowitz's legal fees were paid by local taxpayers once his client ran out of money to pay for his own representation. Many felt Horowitz's bill would rapidly deplete county funds that were "used to pay local attorneys who represent criminal defendants too poor to hire lawyers themselves.[15]" Horowitz argued that the fees paid to appointed attorneys in Stockton were so low that it almost guaranteed that the clients would receive substandard representation and won the battle over fees. The jury hung 10-2 for acquittal and all charges were later dismissed.[16] Horowitz then sued Travelers Insurance on behalf of Origel claiming that Travelers engineered a false arrest. [17]

Recently Martin Garbus and Horowitz had mixed results on a case involving author Terry McMillan ("How Stella Got Her Groove Back") who sued her ex-husband for $40 million.[18] The Court of Appeal ruled that McMillan could proceed in her lawsuit against her ex-husband for his alleged misconduct at the time of their divorce but could not proceed against his attorney who they alleged used television publicity to force a settlement of the divorce.[19] Horowitz and Garbus are now representing the authors of the book, "The Muslim Mafia" in a federal lawsuit filed against the authors by the target of the book, the organization called "CAIR". [20]

On June 21, 2009, Horowitz hung another jury (8-4) in a high-profile murder case involving a PC World editor killed in a home invasion robbery involving marijuana. One co-defendant pled guilty and testified against the other two. The jury convicted one defendant but hung against Horowitz' client.[21]

Marriage to Pamela Vitale[edit]

Horowitz said he and Pamela Vitale met earlier than 1993 when Vitale worked in Hollywood as an independent movie producer after taking film classes at the adult extension school at the University of California Los Angeles. He had written a screenplay about one of his cases and was shopping it around. Mutual friends brought the two together. According to Horowitz, "she was interested in reading my script," he remembered. "But once I met her I fell completely in love and no longer cared about the script." [22]

Vitale was a single mom raising a 15-year-old daughter and an 18-year-old son. The two began dating long distance. They were married in 1994 on a rainy day in November.[23] Vitale moved to the Bay Area with her daughter, Marisa, and took a job working for Pacific Bell. She eventually became an executive at Informix. When the company was sold, Vitale took her severance pay and began working in Horowitz's law firm maintaining databases.

Pamela Vitale's murder[edit]

Vitale and Horowitz had been married nearly 11 years when, on October 15, 2005, he found his wife dead at the mobile home in Lafayette in Contra Costa County, California. The couple had lived in the mobile home since they were married although the dream home they had been building on the same acreage was near completion when Vitale was murdered. At the time, Horowitz was defending Susan Polk in her murder trial.[24] Medical examiners have concluded that Vitale died from blunt trauma to the head.

On October 20, 2005 police arrested a 16-year-old boy, from Lafayette, California, Scott Dyleski, in connection to the crime. Dyleski was convicted of killing Pamela Vitale on August 28, 2006. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole on September 26, 2006.


  1. ^ State Bar of CA
  2. ^ http://www.thenationaltriallawyers.org/search/?search_key=daniel+horowitz
  3. ^ "Daly waited months to bash Newsom with cocaine rumor". The San Francisco Chronicle. June 25, 2007. 
  4. ^ "CNN.com". CNN. 
  5. ^ http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090418/A_NEWS/904180324
  6. ^ "CNN.com". CNN. 
  7. ^ http://law.lexisnexis.com/practiceareas/Copyright-Law/Judge-tosses-Savages-suit-against-Islamic-group
  8. ^ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/28/michael-savage-talk-radio-network_n_1923066.html
  9. ^ http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court-candce/case_no-3:2008cv01443/case_id-201405/
  10. ^ Red, Christian (July 25, 2007). "Bell's lawyer: Bonds is in deep". Daily News (New York). 
  11. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1890226
  12. ^ Why did Susan Polk kill her husband?, Dateline NBC
  13. ^ http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081003/A_NEWS02/810030311
  14. ^ http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080820/A_NEWS02/808200325/-1/RSS09
  15. ^ http://www.nlada.org/DMS/Documents/1205440056.43/A_NEWS07
  16. ^ http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081121/A_NEWS02/811210321
  17. ^ http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/granule/USCOURTS-caed-2_09-cv-02640/USCOURTS-caed-2_09-cv-02640-2
  18. ^ \http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/03/22/BAGE4OPTKO8.DTL
  19. ^ http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/nonpub/A120258.PDF
  20. ^ http://www.kcbd.com/story/11715487/muslim-mafia-attorneys-show-court-cair-doesnt-legally-exist
  21. ^ Lee, Henry K. (June 21, 2009). "2 guilty in home-invasion killing in Pittsburg". The San Francisco Chronicle. 
  22. ^ "I just wanted to grow old with her" Famed lawyer talks of his wife, who was killed at site of their dream home - San Francisco Chronicle, 10/17/05
  23. ^ Vitale missed by MB friends - Manhattan Beach News, 2005
  24. ^ Court TV host Catherine Crier (February 20, 2007). Final Analysis: The Untold Story of the Susan Polk Murder Trial. ISBN 0-06-113452-X. 

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