History

HERE I MIGHT PUT SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE ANECDOTAL, ESP MENTIONING SOME HIGH PROFILE CASES/SUCCESSES.

 
 
 

Attorneys

 
 
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Partner

Dennis Riordan

Over the last two decades, Dennis P. Riordan has repeatedly been evaluated as one of the best appellate litigators in California and the nation.  He has argued issues of great breadth and importance in both criminal and civil cases, including several in the United States Supreme Court, and hundreds in state and federal appellate courts around the country.   

In 1989, California Lawyer Magazine named Mr. Riordan, labeled by his peers the "best criminal appellate attorney around," as one of the state's "Most Respected Lawyers."  Since that time, Mr. Riordan has repeatedly been acknowledged as one of the outstanding litigators in the Bay Area, the state of California, and the entire nation. In the 2002 edition of his book "Persons and Masks of the Law," Judge John Noonan of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals cited Mr. Riordan as the single example of a lawyer who could make a difference on behalf of a defendant in a federal criminal appeal.  

In 1996, California Lawyer listed Mr. Riordan among its "Lawyers of the Year" for his work in first overturning George Franklin's murder conviction in the first case based on "repressed memory" testimony.  That same year, the San Francisco Daily Journal called Mr. Riordan "one of the top criminal appellate specialists in California."

In 2003, Mr. Riordan won honors from the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the "'Top Ten Lawyers" in the Bay Area, nicknaming him "the Last Hope." In 2005 San Francisco Magazine described him as one of the nation's top appellate lawyers. The San Diego Union called him "one of the state's top appellate lawyers" following his success in overturning a new trial motion on the corruption convictions of former San Diego councilman Michael Zucchet. In May of 2006, the Sacramento Bee named Mr. Riordan as "one of the nation’s best known lawyers of last resort" in an article concerning his entry into the highly publicized prosecution of Hamid Hayat. In a 2007 article, the New York Times described Mr. Riordan as "one of California's top appellate lawyers... known as a brilliant writer of motions, briefs and jury instructions."

Mr. Riordan has been included in "The Best Lawyers in America" for the past ten years.


 

Education

NYU LAW SCHOOL
Juris Doctor, 1974

Activities & Affiliations

• Root-Tilden Scholar and Arthur Garfield Hays Fellow, NYU
• Fullbright Fellow
• Adjunct Professor at both Stanford and University of San Francisco Law Schools

Bar Admissions

• California, New York

 
 

 
 
 
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Partner

Donald Horgan

Mr. Horgan has been representing criminal defendants at the trial and appellate levels since 1987. Before that, he served for a year as a deputy in the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office. In 1987, he joined the San Francisco firm of Topel & Goodman, where, among other things, he successfully defended former officers of Savings and Loan institutions against civil claims based on alleged financial mismanagement. During this period, he also developed an expertise in state and federal criminal appeals. In 1996, Mr. Horgan joined Dennis Riordan’s firm as an appellate specialist. He became a full partner with Mr. Riordan in January, 2003.

Mr. Horgan was the chief author of the briefing that led the Arkansas Supreme Court to rule in 2010 that Damien Echols, convicted of multiple murders in the case of the “West Memphis Three,” was entitled to demonstrate that new DNA and other exculpatory evidence should entitle him to a new trial, Echols v. Arkansas, 2010 Ark. 417. This ruling was key to negotiating Mr. Echols’s subsequent release in August, 2011.

 

Education

BOALT HALL, UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY
Juris Doctor, 1985

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY
B.A., History, 1981

Activities & Affiliations

• ABCD Bar Association, Member
• Constitutional Conservation, Member

Bar Admissions

• California

 
 

 
 
 
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Of Counsel

Ted Sampsell-Jones

TKTKTK

 

Education

YALE LAW SCHOOL
Juris Doctor, 2002

DARTMOUTH COLLEGE
B.A., 1997

Activities & Affiliations

• TK

Bar Admissions

• California, 8th Circuit, 9th Circuit, U.S. Supreme Court