Biography of Casey Gwinn   


Casey Gwinn, J.D. serves as the President of the National Family Justice Center Alliance. Casey has been recognized by The American Lawyer magazine as one of the top 45 public lawyers in America.

Casey served for eight years as the elected City Attorney of San Diego from 1996 to 2004. Prior to entering elected office, Casey founded City Attorney’s Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Unit, leading the Unit from 1986 to 1996 – prosecuting both misdemeanor and felony cases. In 1993, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges recognized his Child Abuse/Domestic Violence Unit as the model domestic violence prosecution unit in the nation. During Casey’s tenure, the Unit's work was honored for playing a major role in the 90 percent drop in domestic violence homicides in the City of San Diego over the last twenty years. San Diego now has the lowest domestic violence homicide rate of any major city in the nation. In 1986, Casey co-founded the San Diego Task Force on Domestic Violence. In 1991, he founded the San Diego Domestic Violence Council.

In 2002, Casey saw his vision of a comprehensive, “one stop shop” for services to victims of family violence become a reality in San Diego. In partnership with former San Diego Police Chief David Bejarano and current Chief Bill Lansdowne, he led the effort to open the nationally acclaimed San Diego Family Justice Center. The Family Justice Center opened its doors in downtown San Diego on October 10, 2002. In January, 2003, Casey and the San Diego Family Justice Center were profiled on the Oprah Winfrey Show as leading the way for other communities in its coordinated approach to co-locating services for victims of domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, and sexual assault. In October, 2003, President George W. Bush announced a national initiative to begin creating Family Justice Centers across the country and asked Casey to provide leadership to the effort. Casey currently oversees a national technical assistance team that supports all existing and developing Family Justice Centers in the United States and around the world, speaks in communities across America, and provides leadership to the YWCA of San Diego County.

Casey also serves on the Board of the YWCA of San Diego County which manages the Becky’s House shelter, transitional, and affordable housing programs for victims of domestic violence and their children and programs for homeless women and families, legal services for domestic violence victims, after school programs, a city school for children housed in shelter, and other social service and support programs for women and children. He is currently focused on redeveloping the YWCA’s historic downtown building at 10th and C to create a unique block of services for women, children, and families.

Casey has served on the U.S. Attorney General’s National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women and the American Bar Association Commission on Domestic Violence. He recently chaired the California Attorney General’s Task Force on Domestic Violence (See the report at He also served on the congressionally created Department of Defense task force, studying the handling of family violence throughout the Department of Defense. He has authored a host of articles on domestic violence and has co-authored two books on the Family Justice Center movement. The first book entitled “Hope for Hurting Families” ( calls for the creation of Family Justice Centers across America to help hurting and violent families. His second book, co-authored with Gael Strack, was released in April 2007, “Hope for Hurting Families II: How to Start a Family Justice Center in Your Community” (Operation for Hope Publishing – Recently, Gael and Casey have authored a third on-line book, published in Arabic, focused on developing co-located service centers in the Middle East (

Casey has received many local and national awards, including the Stephen L. Lewis Lecturer of Merit Award from the National College of District Attorneys, the San Diego Domestic Violence Council’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the Women’s International Living Legacy Award, the Men’s Leadership Forum Hometown Hero Award, Sharp Healthcare’s Excellence in Education Award, the San Diego Press Club’s Diogenes Award, the San Diego Mediation Center’s Peacemaker Award, the San Diego Ecumenical Council’s Christian Unity Award, Lifetime Television’s Times Square Salute Award, Advocate of the Year Award presented on Disability Independence Day from the disabled community in San Diego, and most recently, in 2007, the California Peace Prize from the California Wellness Foundation.

One of Casey’s great personal passions is Camp HOPE, the unique camping initiative of the San Diego Family Justice Center. Camp HOPE is the first specialized camp in America focused exclusively on children exposed to domestic violence. The camp is now in its sixth year of operation ( He is the founder and a dedicated volunteer as the camp continues to develop.

Casey and his wife, Beth, have three children: Kelly, 21; Karianne, 20; and Chris, 19.

Casey is an honors graduate of Stanford University and UCLA School of Law.


Contact Casey Gwinn at 1-888-511-FJCA (3522) or by email