Name: John K Van De Kamp


JOHN K. VAN DE KAMP has had a long and distinguished career in public service. After graduating from Stanford Law School in 1959, he worked in the Los Angeles U.S. Attorney's Office from 1960 to 1967, including a stint as U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California from 1966-67.

He then went to Washington, D.C. where he ultimately served as Director of the Executive Office of U.S. Attorneys under Deputy Attorney General Warren Christopher.

He returned to Los Angeles. In 1971 he became the Central District's first Federal Public Defender, and established that office.

In 1975, Van de Kamp was appointed Los Angeles County District Attorney, and was subsequently elected twice. As District Attorney, he established the office's first Victim Assistance Program and chaired the state committee establishing such programs throughout California. He established the office's Career Criminal, Vertical Prosecution, "Operation Hardcore", "Roll-Out", Crimes Against Police, and Sexual Assault programs, and developed special teams dealing with child abuse. He also successfully fought for juvenile justice and bail reform measures.

Van de Kamp was elected California's Attorney General in 1982 and served two terms. Under his leadership as Attorney General, he created the Public Rights Division, which vigorously fought to enforce antitrust laws, and statutes protecting the consumer, civil rights, and the environment. Van de Kamp revitalized anti-trust enforcement, winning two landmark anti-trust decisions in the U.S. Supreme Court. In the civil rights area he took an active role in fighting for affirmative action, in opposing discrimination against persons afflicted with AIDS, and in opening private clubs to minorities and women. In the environmental area, he was successful in fighting to protect Lake Tahoe and in establishing the moratorium on oil drilling off the California coast. Van de Kamp also devised and sponsored the Trial Court Delay Reduction Act ("Fast Track") and brought the A.G.'s office into the forefront of the high-tech era with the implementation of the CAL-ID Computerized Fingerprint Program and the development of DNA technology. The National Association of Attorneys General presented Van de Kamp with its Wyman Award in 1989 in recognition of his outstanding effectiveness in office.

For outstanding leadership in public service and the legal profession and because of his contribution to equal justice, John Van de Kamp was presented the 1995 Maynard Toll Award by the Legal Aid Foundation of L.A. And in 2005 he received the Shattuck-Price Award from the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

After an unsuccessful run for the Governor's Office in 1990, he left office in 1991. Van de Kamp joined the law firm of Dewey Ballantine LLP as partner and chairman of the Los Angeles office's litigation department. He now is Of Counsel. From 1996 to 2004 he was President and General Counsel of the Thoroughbred Owners of California. His law practice now specializes in Arbitration and Mediation.

In 1999 he was appointed with two other former Attorneys General (Frohmayer and Cody) by NAAG to allocate $8 billion of tobacco settlement proceeds as a member of The Strategic Contribution Fund Allocation Committee. Their Final Report and Decision was issued on May 21, 1999.

He was elected and served as the 80th President of the State Bar of California in 2004-2005.

Actively involved with a number of nonprofit organizations, Van de Kamp is now President of the Board of The Planning and Conservation League and serves on the boards of The Skid Row Development Corporation, The Norton Simon Museum, and The Los Angeles Conservation Corps. He is the long-term chair of the Community Campaign for Schools for the Pasadena Education Foundation. He is also on the Board of Directors of Lawry's Restaurants, Inc. For a number of years in the 90s he served on the board of the National College of District Attorneys.

He has also served on the ABA's Special Committee on Criminal Justice in a Free Society which published its report in 1988 (Criminal Justice in Crisis), and on The ABA Task Force on the Federalization of Criminal Law which released its report in late 1998. He now serves on the ABA's Commission on Effective Criminal Sanctions.

The City of Pasadena designated him to chair its Task Force on Good Government (2005-2006) to report on campaign finance reform.

In 2006 the California Senate Rules Committee appointed him to serve as the Chair of its Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice to recommend safeguards to prevent wrongful convictions. Its final report is due at the end of 2007.

In late 2006, the Attorney General of California designated him to serve as the monitor of the Getty Trust. He completes that job in April 2008.