Cosmo A. Taormina


Biography & Case Successes

Cosmo A. Taormina's background is varied and well-suited to understanding the needs of his clients and aggressively defending them against any charge


In 1988, Mr. Taormina enlisted in the United States Navy and served in the First Gulf War. After serving four years and receiving an honorable discharge, Mr. Taormina received his Bachelor of Arts at the University of San Francisco, graduating Cum Laude in 1996. He was a W. R. Hearst Scholar in 1994, 1995, and 1996 and was the President of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity.


Upon graduation, Mr. Taormina became a Jesse Marvin Unrhur Assembly Fellow for the California State Assembly 1996-1997 session.

In 1998, Mr. Taormina enrolled in Chapman University School of Law where he excelled on the Mock Trial Team and was a member of the Criminal Law Society. During law school, Mr. Taormina was a Law Clerk for the Gang Crimes Division of the Orange County District Attorney and the Internal Revenue Service. He received his Juris Doctorate in May, 2001 and passed the California State Bar in July, 2001. Mr. Taormina worked as an associate for two civil law firms where he honed his litigation and research techniques. Mr. Taormina is familiar with all aspects of litigation including appellate work resulting in a favorable and published opinion in Jones v. Gregory, et al. (2006) 137 Cal App 4th 798.


In addition to owning his own firm, Mr. Taormina currently serves on the Indigent Criminal Defense Appointment Panel, for the County of Los Angeles, provide criminal defense in multiple offender cases in conjunction with the Los Angeles County Public Defender's office. Mr. Taormina also serves as a Captain in the California State Military Reserve in support of the 40th Infantry Division in Los Alamitos.


Case Successes

Mr. Taormina's history of criminal defense includes representation of criminal defendants charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses. The following is a sample of some of Mr. Taormina's successes:


Case Name: People v. Gantt (#BA081989)
Charges: PC 187 murder; PC 211 robbery (Special circumstances)
Jurisdiction: Los Angeles County - CCB
Date: 6/2008
Result: Dismissed
Summary: This case was originally tried in 1994 and resulted in a conviction. The Defendant wrote his own writ of Habeas Corpus to the 9th Circuit court of appeals. The writ was granted on grounds of prosecutorial misconduct. The case was set to be retried in 2007. After 8 days of trial and 4 witnesses, this special circumstances murder case, tried by LADA Major Crimes Chief, Patrick Dixon, and LADA Prosecutor of the Year (2007) Robert Grace, was dismissed. After withering cross-examination of the Prosecution's witnesses, the DA felt that they could no longer make their case and dismissed midway through trial. After 15 years of wrongful incarceration, the Defendant, now 64, went home to his children and grandchildren.
*Read More About This Case Here


Charges: PC 32 to187 murder (accessory after the fact to murder)
Jurisdiction: Los Angeles County - Norwalk
Date: 2/2008
Result: Dismissed
Summary: Mr. Taormina's client was accused of being an accessory to murder. Through a tragic series of events, the Client's husband killed another man. The Prosecution originally thought that the Client played an active role in the killing, or acted to aid her husband to escape. After extensive defense investigation it was revealed that the Client was an unwilling participant and played no role in either the murder or escape of her husband. The Prosecution dismissed the Client after review of the Defense's investigation.


Charges: PC 273.5 domestic violence; 243(e)(1)
Jurisdiction: Orange County - North Court
Result: Dismissal after granting of Trombetta/Youngblood motion
Summary: The case lasted eight months with an intensive investigation to support the Defendant's request for discovery from the prosecution. On the date of trial, prosecution provided to Defense items of discovery not previously disclosed for 8 months. The evidence (what was left of it) became the subject of a Trombetta/Youngblood motion that was granted and disposed of the case. Mr. Taormina also successfully obtained a denial of a related civil domestic violence application brought against his client in Family Court after cross-examination of the Petitioner.


Charges: VC 20002 hit and run
Jurisdiction: Orange County - North Court
Result: Hung Jury


Charges: PC 136.1 intimidation of a witness
Jurisdiction: Los Angeles County - Long Beach
Result: Dismissal for violation of speedy trial rights
Summary: Dismissal for violation of speedy trial rights
Summary: On the day of trial, the prosecution was unable to proceed because its primary witness was arrested out-of-state and was not able to be present at the time of trial. Mr. Taormina argued that his client's speedy trial rights would be violated and the case was dismissed.


Charges: PC 246.3 negligent discharge of a firearm and VC23152(b)
Jurisdiction: Los Angeles County - Long Beach
Result: : Dismissal of PC 246.3 after preliminary hearing; plea to VC23152(b)
Summary: The PC246.3 charge was dismissed after a preliminary hearing where the Defense was able to establish that there was no evidence (testimonial, forensic or documentary) that tied the Client to the discharge of the firearm. Client plead to misdemeanor VC23152(b).


Charges: (contemplated) PC 486
Jurisdiction: Orange County - Harbor Court
Result: Early disposition by Shortstop program
Summary: Mr. Taormina's client was a juvenile that was caught shoplifting. Mr. Taormina was able to get the prosecution to agree to allow the Defendant to participate in a juvenile deterrent program in lieu of filing charges.


Charges: PC 459 burglary, 664 & 487
Jurisdiction: Angeles County - Norwalk
Result: Plea to no jail or prison time
Summary: After granting of a motion on 5th amendment grounds that excluded the Defendant’s statements obtained by police at gunpoint, the District Attorney offered a plea that involved no jail or prison time.


Charges: PC 211 robbery
Jurisdiction: Los Angeles County - Whittier
Result: Dismissal after preliminary hearing
Summary: Dismissal after preliminary hearing
Summary: After an exhaustive investigation, no witness could testify that Mr. Taormina's Client participated in the robbery. It was established by testimony that the Client was on the premises during the time of the robbery, but there were no facts, evidence or testimony that suggested that Client was a part of the robbery. Mr. Taormina's Client was not held to answer the charges.

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