Joseph Esposito is a member of California State Bar and admitted to practice before all California Courts, as well as the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Joseph graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Justice Studies in 1986. He received his JD from Southwestern School of Law in 1989.
Before joining SNW as its managing partner, Joseph Esposito spent the past 32 years at the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office where he started straight out of law school in 1989. Joseph rose up through the ranks from a summer law clerk to achieve the highest non-elected position in the office, Chief Deputy District Attorney. He spent eight years as a member of District Attorney Jackie Lacey’s Executive Management Team. As Chief Deputy District Attorney, Joseph ran all day-to-day operations of the largest local prosecutors office in the United States with approximately 1000 attorneys, 300 sworn investigators and nearly 800 professional staff and a budget of almost $450 million. As Chief Deputy, Joseph also sat as the Chair of the District Attorney’s Special Circumstance Committee, Chair of the Conviction Review Committee and oversight of the District Attorney’s Legislative and Grand Jury units.
Prior to his appointment to Chief Deputy District Attorney, Joseph served as the Assistant District Attorney of Special Operations where he oversaw 17 divisions of specially trained subject matter expert prosecutors. These subject areas included officer involved shootings, complex cyber, healthcare, real estate and white collar fraud schemes, public corruption and all other major significant cases. During his nearly 32 year career with the District Attorney’s Office he also served as Bureau Director for Specialized Prosecutions, Head Deputy District Attorney of the Major Narcotics Division, Assistant Head Deputy of the Hardcore Gang Division, and as a felony trial deputy in the Hardcore Gang Division, Hate Crimes Suppression Unit and Central Trials.
Known for his collaborative style, Joseph developed strong relationships throughout California’s federal, state and local law enforcement communities. He was the first ever prosecutor elected to the California Homicide Investigators Association Board of Governor’s in its 50 year history.
Joseph is an experienced litigator with a vast network of contacts in city, county, state and federal law enforcement and government.
Joseph’s practice areas include consulting, advising and representing individual clients, institutions and government entities with: the review and investigation of significant crimes from homicides to complex frauds; the investigation and defense of Title IX matters; the review and evaluation of officer involved shootings and complex use-of-force cases; developing, reviewing and assisting in drafting of justice system policy and legislation; reviewing and evaluating public corruption matters; Marsy’s Law representation of victims and their families; the investigation and defense of employment and labor matters; and, general tort liability litigation.
Joseph has been a faculty member at Southwestern Law School since 1992, where he is currently a Professor of Law and Co- Director of the Trial Advocacy Honors Program. Over the years he has acted as faculty advisor to multiple appellate and trial advocacy national and regional competition teams.
In addition to his teaching duties, Joseph has also given the keynote address to incoming first year law students and has hosted numerous admissions receptions for prospective incoming students at his home in Los Angeles.
In recognition of his professional accomplishments, Joseph was awarded Prosecutor of the Decade by Justice for Homicide Victims in 1999; California Prosecutor of the Year by the California Narcotics Officers Association; Prosecutor of the Year by the Fidler Criminal Justice Institute; and, Deputy District Attorney of the Month by the Association of Deputy District Attorneys.
Joseph is currently on the advisory board of directors for Covenant House California serving homeless youth in the greater Los Angeles and Oakland areas. He formerly served for over ten years on the Covenant House Board of Directors and acted as the Chair of the Governance Committee. He is also an advisory board member for the Leonetti-O’Connell Family Foundation that serves Southern California by funding innovative projects and initiatives that help to benefit Los Angeles County and improve the well-being of its communities.