Meet Jim

Jim Tanizaki is a conscientious, committed and tenacious attorney with an unparalleled background in criminal law developed in his 33 year career in the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. His breadth of prosecutorial experience—from elite homicide prosecutor to the #2 position in the OCDA’s office—gives Jim a unique skill-set and knowledge on the criminal law process.

During his tenure at the OCDA’s office, Jim had very significant trial experience and prosecuted many of the agency’s most high profile cases. In addition, as Chief Assistant District Attorney, Jim oversaw the entire OCDA operations on a daily basis—including 300 prosecutors, 200 investigative staff, 350 support personnel and a budget of approximately $160 million.

Jim also chaired the DA’s Special Circumstances Committee, where death penalty eligible cases were evaluated to determine whether capital punishment would be sought.

Since 1999, Jim has been Adjunct Professor of Law at Whittier Law School teaching Criminal Trial Advocacy. Many of his students have become prosecutors, public defenders and civil litigators. He has also been elected to the Board of Directors for the statewide California District Attorney’s Association (CDAA) and is former President of the Orange County Japanese Lawyers Association.

Now, Jim is dedicated to providing the best defense possible for individuals accused of various criminal offenses.

Firm Overview

As your defense attorney, Jim Tanizaki will be your advocate to guide you through the entire legal process and make sure your rights have not been violated.

He will conscientiously review all the facts of your case (such as evidence, police reports, past cases and witness statements) to help you know all of your options and the best course of action.

In addition, Jim will strategize to determine the best defense for your case. Plus, if your case goes to court and you are asked to testify, Jim will prepare you so you can give credible statements that will help your case.

Jim will advise you through the whole legal process and will work with you to achieve the best outcome for you.

Areas of Responsibility


As the Chief Assistant District Attorney at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Jim Tanizaki was second in command and supervised all prosecutorial functions. This included oversight over the work of the approximately 300 prosecutors and 200 investigative personnel. On a regular basis, he reviewed and evaluated many of the high profile and high impact cases as well as other cases with unique issues or otherwise requiring discussion.

As the Senior Assistant in charge of the Violent Crimes Division (Homicides, Gangs, Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence), he supervised approximately 70 prosecutors handling cases in the aforementioned areas.
As the Senior Assistant in charge of Branch Court Operations, Jim supervised approximately 100 prosecutors who handled all misdemeanor filings and many lower level felonies to preliminary hearing. Within these operations, the majority of the cases involved drunk driving, drug offenses, domestic violence, burglary and theft, and assaults.
As the Assistant District Attorney in charge of the Juvenile Division, Jim supervised all the juvenile prosecutions. Every year, several thousand juvenile delinquency cases are brought to the DA’s office for review. Since the goal of juvenile prosecution is rehabilitation of the individual, there are many creative methods to achieve that goal.
As a Senior Deputy District Attorney in the Homicide Unit for six years, he prosecuted every level of homicide cases, including death penalty and other special circumstance murder cases. Jim is one of the few prosecutors who handled a death row inmate’s clemency process leading to the inmate’s execution.
Areas of Responsibility