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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 63)
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] He is listed as a contributor to the criminal law book, Criminal Law, Practice & Procedure.[3] Daniel Horowitz is also a licensed real estate broker.[4]


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).[5] Horowitz married Valerie Northup, his third wife, in June, 2007.[6] Horowitz and Northrup had a son, Isaac Aaron, in April, 2009.[7]


Horowitz became a national media personality when he became a regular television commentator during the 2004 Scott Peterson trial. Since the Peterson trial, Horowitz has been a commentator on other high-profile cases such as the Michael Jackson trial, the Melissa Huckaby trial in Tracy, California,[8] and the Anna Nicole Smith case. He has appeared as a regular legal commentator on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News. In 2015, Horowitz was a commentator on the Orville Fleming case involving a California Fire Chief who killed his girlfriend and claimed that he was a "zombie" at the time of the killing and therefore was not guilty of premeditated murder. Horowitz was skeptical of the defense and the defendant was convicted.[9][10]

Notable cases[edit]

In 1999, Horowitz represented Sean Twomey, in what the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms claimed was running the "nation's largest black-market weapons trafficking case. A decade later (2012), Horowitz criticized the federal government's Mexican based gun investigation called "fast & furious", where real weapons were sold to gangs so that the federal government could trace the weapons flow.[11] Horowitz claimed that the publicity was political and the scope of the case was blown out of proportion.[12] 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.[13] In 2012 he won Savage's lawsuit against syndicator TRN and released Savage from his contract with that network.[14]

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.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

Horowitz' defense of husband killer Susan Polk was portrayed on Dateline NBC.[18]

Horowitz also represented Dr. Wilmer Origel, a chiropractor who was accused of 11 felony charges, of practicing anesthesiology without a medical license, money laundering, and insurance and workers' compensation fraud totaling $5 million.[19][20] 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.[21]" 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.[22] The jury hung 10-2 for acquittal and all charges were later dismissed.[23]

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.[24] 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.[25] Horowitz and Garbus represented 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"

In 2016, Horowitz represented former Pittsburg, California police officer, Wade Derby who exposed how the department falsified crime statistics by systematically reporting criminal conduct as suspicious circumstances. This lowered the crime statistics and made the department appear to be doing a better job than it was.[26] On July 6, 2016, a New York Times article followed the current status of Horowitz' client, Pavel Lazarenko, the former Prime Minister of Ukraine.[27] The article described how Horowitz and a team of lawyers were fighting the United States government over millions of dollars that were seized as part of the criminal prosecution of Lazarenko more than 15 years ago.

In a 2016 case, Horowitz represented the founder of a white prison gang (Coby Phillips). Phillips read Ellie Wiesel's book "Night" about Wieisel's Holocaust experiences, and he was so moved that he renounced his swastika tattoos and ordered his group members to stop using that symbol.[28]

In March 2017, police were called when radio show host, Michael Savage was thrown to the ground outside of a Marin County restaurant. Savage had been a vocal supporter of Donald Trump and Horowitz represented Savage telling the press that he was investigating "whether it had anything to do his client’s political views and his support of Trump".[29] The event received national news coverage with the headlines focusing on whether the current tense political climate had led the incident. Without documenting the basis for the claim, the extreme right publication Breitbart ran the Savage assault story with the headline, "EXCLUSIVE – Michael Savage Following Alleged Assault: ‘It Is Clearly Open Season on Prominent Trump Supporters’".[30]

Marriage to Pamela Vitale[edit]

Horowitz met Pamela Vitale when she worked in Hollywood as an independent movie producer. He had written a screenplay about one of his cases and was shopping it around.[31] They married in 1994.[32]

On October 15, 2005, he found his wife dead at the mobile home in Lafayette where the couple had lived since they were married. At the time, Horowitz was defending Susan Polk in her murder trial.[33] Two days after the murder, Horowitz was interviewed by MSNBC anchor Dan Abrams who reported that Horowitz said "his wife—quote—‘fought like hell’, as indicated by defensive wounds on her body." [34][35] A local 16-year-old boy, Scott Dyleski, was arrested within days; he was convicted of killing Pamela Vitale and sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole in 2006.[36] Scott Dyleski's mother was also arrested and charged with covering up the murder.[37] On June 9, 2016, federal judge Susan Illston rejected Dyleski's claims of innocence and ineffective assistance of counsel. In rejecting claims of prejudice, Judge Illston stated that the prosecutor properly argued that: “I hope you remember that as you are reflecting on the evidence in this case, that she is about as innocent a victim as you can have in a criminal case,” and by characterizing Vitale as “a woman that virtually everybody in that neighborhood loved or certainly liked.”[38]


  1. ^ State Bar of CA
  2. ^
  3. ^ "cite to book page on google books re authorship contributors". 
  4. ^ "real estate board license info". 
  5. ^ California, The State Bar of. "Legal Specialist Results :: The State Bar of California". Retrieved 2017-02-15. 
  6. ^ "Daly waited months to bash Newsom with cocaine rumor". The San Francisco Chronicle. June 25, 2007. 
  7. ^ "". CNN. 
  8. ^ "Window into mental health of Huckaby",, April 18, 2009
  9. ^ "Legal analyst: 'Deeply troubled' Fleming waged fatal battle to control relationship". Sacramento Bee. June 18, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Ex-Cal Fire chief convicted of 2nd-degree murder in girlfriend's death". Sacramento Bee. June 24, 2015. 
  11. ^ "fast & furious link". 
  12. ^ "Twomey case". 
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Red, Christian (July 25, 2007). "Bell's lawyer: Bonds is in deep". Daily News. New York. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ Why did Susan Polk kill her husband?, Dateline NBC
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2009-08-05. 
  22. ^ "Actual Order appointing horowitz" (PDF). 
  23. ^
  24. ^ \
  25. ^
  26. ^ "East Bay police sergeant accused of taking bribes, other corruption". Retrieved 2016-07-26. 
  27. ^ Wayne, Leslie (2016-07-06). "A Ukrainian Kleptocrat Wants His Money and U.S. Asylum". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-07-26. 
  28. ^ "Contra Costa: White gang leader disavows use of Nazi symbols – The Mercury News". Retrieved 2017-02-15. 
  29. ^ "Pro-Trump radio host Michael Savage claims he was attacked outside Marin County restaurant". Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  30. ^ "Exclusive – Michael Savage Following Alleged Assault: 'It Is Clearly Open Season on Prominent Trump Supporters'". Breitbart. 2017-03-16. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  31. ^ "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
  32. ^ Vitale missed by MB friends Archived 2007-03-12 at the Wayback Machine. - Manhattan Beach News, 2005
  33. ^ Court TV host Catherine Crier (February 20, 2007). Final Analysis: The Untold Story of the Susan Polk Murder Trial. ISBN 0-06-113452-X. 
  34. ^ "'The Abrams Report' for Oct. 17th". 2005-10-18. Retrieved 2017-02-28. 
  35. ^ "daniel horowitz attorney news martinez - Bing video". Retrieved 2017-02-28. 
  36. ^ "Jury convicts Dyleski of murder / Lafayette teen guilty of all charges in neighbor's killing". SFGate. Retrieved 2017-02-28. 
  37. ^ " - Murder suspect's mother arrested - Oct 27, 2005". Retrieved 2017-02-28. 
  38. ^ "Judges actual decision" (PDF). 

External links[edit]