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Daniel Horowitz : biography

December 14, 1954 -

Daniel 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.


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. Horowitz and Northrup had a son, Isaac Aaron, in April, 2009.


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,http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090418/A_NEWS/904180324 and the Anna Nicole case.

Pamela Vitale's murder

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. Medical examiners have concluded that Vitale died from blunt trauma to the head. When contacted via cell phone by a Bay Area newspaper, Horowitz said, "I can't talk, I can't. It's beyond words." - San Francisco Chronicle, 10/16/05

On October 20, 2005 police arrested a 16-year-old boy, from Lafayette, California, Scott Dyleski, in connection to the crime. Horowitz had never met the boy but had done free legal work for Kim Curiel who was a co-owner in the house where Dyleski lived. Curiel was partners with Dyleski's mother in the business.

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.

High Profile Cases

Horowitz, recently 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 http://law.lexisnexis.com/practiceareas/Copyright-Law/Judge-tosses-Savages-suit-against-Islamic-group

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.http://dockets.justia.com/docket/court-candce/case_no-3:2008cv01443/case_id-201405/

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.

Horowitz' defense of husband killer Susan Polk was portrayed on Dateline NBC., Dateline NBC

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.http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081003/A_NEWS02/810030311http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080820/A_NEWS02/808200325/-1/RSS09 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.http://www.nlada.org/DMS/Documents/1205440056.43/A_NEWS07" 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.http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081121/A_NEWS02/811210321

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.\http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/03/22/BAGE4OPTKO8.DTL 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.http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/opinions/nonpub/A120258.PDF

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.

Marriage to Pamela Vitale

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." - San Francisco Chronicle, 10/17/05

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. - Manhattan Beach News, 2005 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.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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