DA's Office Loses A Big One

For years, Brian N. Gurwitz skillfully tormented defense attorneys and their guilty clients, including Gregory Haidl (gang rape of a minor), former Superior Court Judge Ronald Kline (kiddie porn) and former Assistant Sheriff George Jaramillo (public corruption).

Well, those days are nearly over. The senior prosecutor announced yesterday that he'll be leaving OC's district attorney's office. Next month, the Irvine resident will commute to the prestigious Los Angeles offices of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.

Here's part of the announcement to his colleagues:

After spending nearly 13 years doing God's work in the OCDA's office, I've decided it is time for some new challenges, and time to give capitalism a chance. I have loved being a prosecutor and think the world of the people in this office. I'd say more, but then you might think I am sensitive and weak. So I'll say no more at this point.

Gurwitz earned a reputation both inside the DA's office and among judges as--and I'm not exaggerating--a witty, legal genius. Defense lawyers literally moaned when they discovered he was working on their case. Slick moves and fake pleasantries never distracted this pint-sized fellow from full-throttle representation of the people of California.

Though on vacation, DA Tony Rackauckas told OC Weekly this morning: "Brian served our office and the People well for many years. He worked on many important cases for the office. I am very happy that he will be moving on to an opportunity to work in the private sector. We all wish him the best."

Our loss is Pillsbury's gain. The firm has 800 lawyers in offices throughout the United States. Seventeen of its practices are ranked nationally, including appellate law--which Gurwitz has made a specialty in recent years.

Alas, the DA's office won't be Gurwitz-free. He says his wife, Renee, will continue to work as a local prosecutor.


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