Path-Making Litigation in the Public Interest


Strumwasser & Woocher has represented community groups and the City of La Mesa in several criminal justice reform matters. In 2018, the firm drafted Measure R on behalf of a Black Lives Matter co-founder and the community advocacy coalition Reform L.A. County Jails. Measure R was a county-wide ballot initiative that gave subpoena power to the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department Civilian Oversight Commission to effectively and independently investigate misconduct, and that created a mandate to develop a plan to reduce jail populations and to redirect the cost savings into alternatives to incarceration. The measure passed with nearly 73% of the vote in March 2020.

The firm has advised the group San Diegans for Justice on Measure B, a November 2020 charter amendment that replaced the Community Review Board on Police Practices with the more robust Commission on Police Practices that now has the authority to conduct investigations and subpoena witnesses and documents related to deaths resulting from police interactions and complaints made against police officers. The charter amendment passed with nearly 75% of the vote.

In 2020, Strumwasser & Woocher was retained by the City of La Mesa to advise its Citizen Public Safety Oversight Task Force. Together with the Task Force, the firm designed and drafted a robust Community Police Oversight Board and Independent Police Auditor that the City Council passed in October 2020. Since then, the firm has been retained to serve as General Counsel to the oversight Board and has drafted its bylaws and operating procedures.

Strumwasser & Woocher currently represents the Re-Imagine Los Angeles County Coalition on appeal as it defends Measure J, a November 2020 county-wide charter amendment that passed with 57% of the vote and that amended the county’s charter to require that no less than 10% of the county’s general fund be appropriated to community programs and alternatives to incarceration, such as health services and pre-trial non-custody services.