35 years, 100 cases
Todd Spitzer is one of California's leading crime victim advocates and one of a select few of attorneys who specialize in victims’ rights representation. He is the recipient of the Crime Survivors Victim Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award. He has more than two decades of experience in the criminal justice system. His breadth of experiences being a prosecutor, legislator and police officer is unmatched in the field of victim advocacy.
As an Assistant District Attorney in the Orange County District Attorney's Office, Spitzer handled complex criminal matters and supervised line prosecutors. He has prosecuted serious felonies including attempted murder, attempted rape, kidnapping, robbery, extortion and reckless driving causing serious bodily injury and death. Spitzer has tried nearly 100 jury trials to verdict. His years of courtroom experience gave him the opportunity to train and develop the skills of other deputy district attorneys.
Spitzer joined the Orange County DA's Office in 1990 as a newly admitted lawyer to the California Bar. During his first stint in the DA's Office (1990-1997) Spitzer quickly earned a reputation as an aggressive and well-prepared trial lawyer who had a special sensitivity and compassion for victims. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers honored Spitzer with its Outstanding Prosecutor Award. Spitzer's colleagues voted him the offices’ Outstanding Prosecutor as well. In one of Todd's earliest evaluations his supervisor wrote: "The intensity he displays is clearly the product of his enthusiasm and his desire to perform well for the benefit of those he serves. He remains an aggressive and enthusiastic prosecutor who will do whatever it takes to get the job done and to get it done right."
In 1994 Spitzer was elected to the Orange County Board of Supervisors. During his tenure he continued to champion public safety and was asked by crime victim Bruce Harrington, whose sister and brother in law were murdered, to serve as state-wide Co-Chair of Proposition 69, the DNA Initiative. Today, every felony arrestee in California must submit DNA to a state database which has resulted in unresolved crimes being re-investigated and many murderers brought to justice.
In 2002, Spitzer was recruited to run for the 71st District in the State Assembly, was swept into office and was re-elected to two additional terms by large margins. Spitzer quickly became an expert on Public Safety issues and was named by the Assembly Speaker as Chairman of the Select Committee on Prison Construction and Operations. Spitzer also served in the Legislature as Chief Whip, the key spokesman for public policy issues on the floor of the house for his Party.
On August 24th, 2004, the California Governor signed Spitzer's landmark legislation, AB 488 (Parra / Spitzer), which put Megan's Law on the Internet. Spitzer was also picked to Co-Chair the first-ever High-Risk Sex Offender and Sexually Violent Predator Task Force. The Governor praised Spitzer, saying: "Your hard work and dedication to this topic are a testament to your commitment to the public safety of all Californians." This work led to the Governor signing Spitzer's legislation, AB 1015, (Chu / Spitzer) to create a Sex Offender Management Board in California to create policy to manage California's more than 100,000 convicted sex offenders.
Spitzer has led several statewide Initiative campaigns. In November 2004, he became the driving force behind two important law enforcement measures, serving as statewide Co-chair for Proposition 69, the DNA Fingerprint Initiative, which was passed by 61.8% of voters. Additionally, Assemblyman Spitzer became a statewide spokesperson for the No on Proposition 66 campaign and also served as its Orange County Chair. Considered one of the greatest turnarounds in California history, Proposition 66 was defeated 46.6% to 53.4%; the initiative at one point had approximately 65% voter approval. The defeat of Proposition 66, due largely to the involvement of Dr. Henry T. Nicholas III, co-founder of Broadcom Corp., ensured that approximately 26,000 serious and violent criminals remain behind bars. In 2008, Dr. Nicholas recruited Spitzer to be the State-Wide Chair & Campaign Manager of Prop 9, "Marsy’s Law", named after Dr. Nicholas' sister, Marsy, who was murdered by an estranged ex-boyfriend in 1983. California voters approved Proposition 9, the most comprehensive Victims' Rights measure in the nation by 54% of the vote, despite widespread opposition from all of California’s major newspaper editorial boards.