About

DEAN JOHNSON, ATTORNEY – LEGAL ANALYST


SUMMARY

  • I add a new dimension to any television station’s news coverage.
  • I am able to provide network quality coverage of legal and general news stories to local TV stations
  • My unique professional background give me the ability to make news both insightful and entertaining
  • I am the only person ever to be invited to appear on both of CBS’s top rated shows, 60 minutes and Survivor.
  • I am a former Homicide prosecutor with over 100 jury trials under my belt.
  • I have appeared as a legal analyst on every broadcast and cable network literally hundreds of times covering everything from sensational murder cases to Supreme Court nominations.
  • I am a permanent member of the graduate faculty of a local college, and the highest rated teacher in the history of the institution.
  • I am a stand-up comedian who has performed at the Bay Area’s leading comedy club, The San Jose Improv, as well as other venues in the Bay Area.
  • I am a mountaineer. I was on the 1992 American Expedition to Mt. Everest.
  • I am a martial arts teacher who has fought no holds barred challenge fights in back alley martial arts schools.
  • My father was an itinerant worker for a construction company. I grew up in the Deep South. I participated in my first civil rights march at 16 and got my first union card at 17.
  • I earned two full scholarships to Yale.
  • I was a National Science Foundation Fellow in Political Science at Columbia University
  • I have three Ivy League degrees.
  • I may be the only person ever to earn an Ivy League degree without realizing that I had done so. (Columbia awarded me the newly-created Master of Philosophy after I left for law school.)
  • I earned a full scholarship to a Top Ten law school and graduated near the top of my class.
  • I practiced law at Washington, D.C.’s premiere law firm right out of law school, working on international antitrust and securities cases.

TELEVISION APPEARANCES

  • Legal Analyst under exclusive contract to ABC 7 News in San Francisco.

o        I have covered literally dozens of local and national cases ranging from the NSA Wiretaps and Dubai Seaports contract to sensational murder trials.

o         I regularly appear on set with KGO’s anchors on breaking news stories. I pitch stories to the station, and generally write copy for my segments in conjunction with the anchors and reporters.

o        The story of which I am the most proud is my coverage of the Supreme Court nomination process. I predicted the resignation of Sandra Day O’Connor, and called every turn of the nomination process through its conclusion with the confirmation of Samuel Alito. During this time, KGO interspersed segment of the President explaining what he was doing with my commentary on why his was doing it.

  • Regular guest on MSNBC’s The Abrams Report.

  • Regular guest on CNN American Morning

  • Regular guest on Fox’s The Big Show with Rita Cosby.

  • Regular guest on Court TV shows hosted by Lisa Bloom, James Curtis, Nancy Grace, and Kimberley Guilfoyle.

  • Multiple appearances on The Today Show, Good Morning America

  • Appeared on local stations in Los Angeles, Sacramento and the Central Valley

  • Appeared on local NBC sports programming as commentator on BALCO steroid scandal.

APPEARANCES IN OTHER MEDIA

RADIO

I frequently appear on radio shows, both within and beyond the Bay Area. I have been both a guest and co-host on radio talk shows.

I particularly enjoy radio talk shows, as those show give me an opportunity to converse regularly with listeners.

My most recent appearances were on the Gene Bell and Ron Owens shows at KGO radio. On Bell’s show, we discussed the Jon Mark Karr case. During the show, I discussed profiling and outlined a profile of Jon Benet Ramsey’s killer. People who heard the show described it to me a “riveting.”

PRINT MEDIA

My legal analysis on high profile cases and issues of Constitutional law has has appeared in print media including The New York Times, The New York Post, The Baltimore Sun-Times, The San Francisco Examiner, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Jose Mercury News, and People Magazine.

LEGAL CAREER

  • Former Prosecutor-I bring something TV that no other local personality can claim. I am part of this community. In fact, I spent 15 years of my professional life protecting the lives and security of our citizens. I was a prosecutor for San Mateo County.

o        I have tried over 100 jury cases.

o        My trials include several special circumstance murders

o        I prosecuted drug dealers for 4 years.

o         I prosecuted the first meth lab case in San Mateo County.

o        Tried one the first computer crime cases to be taken to verdict in California

o        I successfully prosecuted a member of the Columbian Drug Cartel  known as “El Viejo.” (It was widely rumored that the Cartel had a contract out on my life afterward, but was never officially confirmed.)

o        I still hold the record for the longest sentences ever handed out to drug dealers in San Mateo County

o        I was once pursued by a homicidal maniac that I had prosecuted. He had been released from a State mental hospital into an outpatient clinic, threatened my life and absconded from the clinic. I carried a gun with the Sheriff’s blessing until the maniac was recaptured.

o        While in the homicide unit, I received basic training in “profiling.” As part of my training, I profiled a serial killer who had committed a double murder in San Mateo County. After he was caught, the profile proved almost 100% accurate. I later assisted in his prosecution. I have since talked about profiling on the radio, predicted that Jon Mark Karr would be shown not to have killed Jon Benet Ramsey and profiled Jon Benet’s true killer.

o        I also applied profiling techniques to the recent Pennsylvania and Colorado school takeovers, correctly predicting hours before the fact that the suspects would not be taken alive and would likely kill one or more victims (Obviously, I did not say this on the air, but the profile was correct nonetheless.)

  • Private Practice-I have been in private practice for about 8 years. My cases include the following:

o        Successfully represented a former firefighter who was caught smuggling drugs from Mexico. I got the case dismissed mid-trial.

o        Successfully represented a woman who was charged along with 46 co-defendants with drug dealing for the Mexican Mafia. I obtained a dismissal. All the other defendants went to Federal prison.

o        Represented a local woman who was suspected of murder after the her child died of SIDS.

o        Currently represent a former US Customs Agent who is suspected of “cyberstalking” his Iranian paramour through government databases.

o        Represented dog breeders pro bono in suit against dog owner who abused animals

  • Before moving to California, worked at Washington, D.C.’s premier firm, Arnold & Porter, on international antitrust and securities cases
  • In law school, worked for United States Attorney’s Office in New Jersey on organized crime cases and for New York Civil Liberties Union on school desegregation and free speech cases.

LIFE EXPERIENCE

  • ACADEMICS: APPLYING ACADEMIC TOOLS TO THE ANALYSIS OF NEWS STORIES

  • My academic background gives me the ability to provide unique insight into general news stories as well as legal stories
  • Before I went to law school, I was well on my way to becoming a professor of political science. I have my Master of Arts and Master of Philosophy in political science and am qualified to teach Political Theory, Comparative Politics and American Government.
  • I now teach at the graduate level. I am Senior Lecturer and a permanent member of the faculty of Notre Dame De Namur University in Belmont, California.

  • I regularly teach a course called “Knowledge, Strategy and Innovation.” This course was designed around an approach to strategic thinking that I developed. This approach integrates the previously separate disciplines of game theory, decision theory and negotiation theory and can be used both to predict decisions based on behavioral models and evaluate decisions after the fact. As pointed out, I have begun to apply this approach to news analysis with some success.

  • For, example: One of my areas of interest in graduate school was the Middle East. Middle East politics can be, and has been modeled as a special problem in game theory. With a little knowledge of the historic context, and a game theoretic model, one can far more easily understand the Middle East conflict, and, in fact, predict the consequences of certain strategies. For example, the increased belligerence of Iran, the failure of the Iraqi Army to “stand up as we stand down,” the rise of Iraqi insurgents and the threatened involvement of the Saudi’s in the Iraqi conflict were both foreseeable and understandable when seen through the proper analytical lens.

  • MOUTAINEERING

The Mountaineering Story-I graduated from the Yosemite Mountaineering School in 1987. By 1992, I was on Mount Everest. I have a first ascent in the Bolivian Cordillera Blanca to my credit.1992 American Everest Expedition

Aconcagua-In 1991-1992, I summitted on Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas. I spent New Year’s Eve, 1991 and New Year’s Day 1992, near the peak in a storm with 100+ MPH winds and temperatures of 35 below zero. Before the storm, a lone climber had wandered into our camp. We fed him and gave him tea. He told us that he had been lost and showed us a “good-bye” note that he had written to his family on the inside of his jacket. When my team returned to the city, we discovered that we had been credited by local newspapers and TV with saving the “lost climber’s” life

  • 1990 First ascent of Northeast wall of Pyramide Blanco in Bolivian Cordillera Blanca-On a 1990 expedition to Bolivia, I climbed the Northeast Wall of the 16,000 foot Pyramide Blanco with my climbing partner Andy Lapkis. This was a highly technical ascent involving repeated pitches of near-vertical ice climbing. As far as we could tell from the record books, this was a first ascent
  • Everest-My guides on the Aconcagua climb were subsequently commissioned to guide Everest. They recommended me as a participant in the 1992 American Everest Expedition. I climbed to the South Col, only to be turned back on summit day with third degree frostbite (a souvenir from Aconcagua). During my solo descent, I encountered my Sherpa team, one of whom had fallen and fractured his leg. I administered on-sight first aid and helped bring the Sherpa off the mountain. This particular Sherpa later became the leader of the first all-Sherpa ascent of Everest.

  • MARTIAL ARTS

  • I have been training in the marital arts since I was four years old, when my father showed some “stuff that he learned in the Army.” Neither I nor my teachers have any patience for phony martial arts. We teach the stuff that works to people who depend on the arts for a living. My own students include a young man who fought off six potential robbers at his school, and a San Francisco cop who took down a belligerent suspect on PCP during his first day on the force, thus earning the nickname “Bruce Lee.”

  • Holder of Black Belt or equivalent in four different martial arts.

  • Won Black Belt in JuiJitsu the “old fashioned way,” by combat.

  • One the only people outside Thailand to be recognized as an Instructor in Muay Thai, the art of Thai kickboxing.

  • Trained in Kung-Fu by instructor one generation removed from Bruce Lee.

  • Personal Student of the Gracie family, inventors of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the Ultimate Fighter No Holds Barred Fighting Competition.

  • Trained directly under 3-time UFC champion Royce Gracie.

  • Taught Jiu-Jitsu under the supervision of the Gracie family for four years. Students included professional wrestlers, police officers and bodyguards

  • STAND UP COMEDY

o  Graduate of the San Francisco Comedy College

o  Performed at the Improv in San Jose, considered the West Coast’s best comedy venue, as well as other venues in the Bay Area.

EDUCATION

Bachelor of Arts, Mathematics and Philosophy Yale University (1972). National Merit Scholar.

Master of Arts, Political Science, Columbia University (1976). National Science Foundation Fellow, University Fellow.  Areas of concentration include Political Theory, Comparative Politics and American Government.

Master of Philosophy, Political Science, Columbia University (1977).

Completed all work toward Ph. D. except dissertation.

Doctor of Jurisprudence, New York University (1980). Root-Tilden Fellow (Full Fellowship to law school based service and commitment to public interest.) Editor, Annual Survey of American Law, author of article “First Amendment Freedoms,” 1979 Annual Survey of American Law.

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