Attorney David Foos is a former California Superior Court Commissioner, Sacramento traffic court judge, public defender, and Legal Aid lawyer who has returned to the practice of law after nearly two decades on the bench.
UC Berkeley to Hastings Law
After receiving his masters at UC Berkeley, David Foos attended the UC Hastings College of Law. David passed the California State Bar exam in 1978 and immediately joined the Legal Aid Society, an organization that provides free legal services to those who would not otherwise be able to afford counsel.
Legal Aid Society
Dave P. Foos, Esq. quickly rose within the Legal Aid Society. Foos comments, “I enjoyed working for the underdog, the indigent, those that society had pushed aside.” “Even people of means can feel overwhelmed by the complexity of law. No matter your income, everyone needs a lawyer who can help when you have been charged with a crime or need to protect your rights and property through litigation,” says Foos.
“David Foos is an AMAZING lawyer who really listens—I mean, he pays attention to what is being said about how things happened so that he can make the best case in court. He’s really smart—a great trial lawyer who is terrific at telling the jury or the judge the client’s side of the story! Most important, though, is that he is passionate about the case, and really digs into the story so that he can make the very best case in court. And he answers the phone!!! He’s great!!!! I’d hire him again!!!” – Google Local
Public Defender’s Office
David moved from the Legal Aid Society to the Public Defender’s office of Solano and later Sacramento Superior Courts, where he defended the rights of those charged with criminal felonies – the most serious of crimes.
“Sometimes people wonder how an attorney can represent someone who has been accused of committing a crime,” notes Foos. “The law only works when all sides are treated fairly. The same rights that protect the innocent, protect the accused, and both must be fairly represented. All of those charges with a crime are forced to go up against the incredible power and wealth of the prosecution. Criminal Defendants deserve someone who will fight for them all the way.”
As a criminal defense attorney with the Public Defender’s office, David excelled in both negotiation and jury trials. “The only way to get a fair plea bargain from the D.A. is to show them that you are ready and able to fight the case to a trial. I demonstrate to the D.A. that they will have to give my client a fair deal or they will have have a fight on their hands.” David’s qualities as a legal mediator led him to becoming the ultimate arbitrator of right and wrong… a judge.
“David Foos was the best person I met all year! Mr. Foos argued in my favor and the judge threw it out. I couldn’t believe it. I was praying I’d only get 6 months. My wife was crying. This was the best Christmas present for me and my family. Very grateful.” – Shari F. on Yelp.com
Superior Court Commissioner – The Judge
From 1990 through 2006 David Foos, attorney at law, was also His Honor, David P. Foos, California Superior Court Commissioner, Sacramento County. “It’s a fancy way of saying I was a family court, small claims court, misdemeanor crime, and traffic court judge,” says Foos. “It may not have the same prestige as a Supreme Court Justice, but that’s okay. These are probably the most important courts to the average citizen.”
Few find themselves in front of a judge because of major criminal charges or headline grabbing civil litigation. For most, the only time they will be in a courtroom is in a divorce, a small claims action, or because of a traffic violation. “It is the ‘introductory courtroom’, which makes it the most important,” says Foos, “And the courtroom, any courtroom, can be an ominous place.”
“Let’s be honest,” says Foos, “Technical legal talk isn’t exactly conversational English. You are in a strange environment faced with someone wearing a robe who has the power to decide an important part of your future or even put you in jail. It’s intimidating. As a Commissioner I was able to demonstrate compassion for those who came before me, however my ability to advocate for change was limited.” After 16 years on the bench, David Foos retired as Superior Court Commissioner and returned to practicing law.
Insider’s Guide to Civil & Criminal Litigation
Years with the Legal Aid Society, Public Defender’s Office, and wearing a judge’s robe have given attorney Foos unprecedented access and knowledge to the people who work in the local courthouses. These contacts are an important benefit when representing new clients.
“Whether it’s suing someone who owes you, or defending you, there is a tremendous advantage when the clerks, judges, and other attorneys recognize and respect your lawyer,” says Foos. “I guess it is fair to say I’m an insider of the system I’ve set out to change.”
Areas of Practice
- Criminal Defense
- Juvenile Rights
- Domestic Violence
- Disability Discrimination
- Personal Injury
- California, 1978
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, 2006
- University of California, Hasting College of Law, San Francisco, California, 1977
- University of California, Berkeley, California, 1974
Past Employment Positions
- California Superior Court, Sacramento County, Court Commissioner, 1990-2006
- Sacramento County and Solano County, Deputy Public Defender, 1983-1990