Donald Horgan obtained his undergraduate degree in history from the University of California at Berkeley, where he graduated with honors in 1981. He obtained his law degree from the University of California’s Boalt Hall in 1985.
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.
J.D., Boalt Hall, University of California at Berkeley, 1985
B.A., with Honors, University of California of Berkeley, 1981
Private civil and criminal practice with appellate emphases in state and federal courts.
Associate, Topel & Goodman
Deputy District Attorney, District Attorney’s Office, Contra Costa County