Gary Schons

Adjunct Professor of Law

  • JD, 1976, University of San Diego
  • BA, 1973, University of San Diego

Professional Experience

After graduating from law school, Schons joined the Criminal Division of the San Diego Attorney General’s Office as a deputy attorney general, handling felony appeals, writs and trial matters. He was later assigned to the Special Prosecutions Unit where he investigated and prosecuted organized crime cases, major narcotics and major fraud, and was cross-designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. He organized and led the office’s Asset Forfeiture Unit. In 1989, he was appointed to head the police misconduct section of the San Diego Homicide Task Force. In 1991, he was appointed senior assistant attorney general and headed the Criminal Division in the San Diego office for nearly 20 years, supervising capital cases, felony appeals, writs and trial prosecutions. In 2011, Schons retired from the Attorney General’s Office and joined the San Diego District Attorney’s Office where he served for nearly three years as Senior Advisor for Law & Policy. He recently joined the firm of Best Best & Krieger, where he heads the firm’s Public Policy & Ethics Compliance Group. For the past five years Schons has served as the chief prosecutor for the Commission on Judicial Performance, the body charged with the discipline of judicial officers in California.

Professor Schons teaches Criminal Procedure.

Honors and Affiliations

Schons is a career - long member of the California District Attorneys Association, which awarded him the William E. James Award in 1990 as their office’s outstanding member. He is a member of the San Diego County Bar Association and has served on its Judicial Evaluations and Ethics Committees. The National College of District Attorneys has recognized Schons as Lecturer of Merit. Schons is a past president of the USD School of Law Alumni Association and has served on the law school’s Board of Visitors for over a decade. He has made presentations, published numerous articles, and contributed chapters to professional publications concerning professional ethics, public integrity, criminal investigation and trial, money laundering and asset forfeiture.