The Honorable John R. Zitny

Orange County Superior Court, Department W1


The Hon. John R. Zitny is a judge for the Superior Court of Orange County in California. He was appointed by former governor Jerry Brown on December 24, 2014, filling a vacancy created by the conversion of a court commissioner position to a judgeship.

Zitny earned a B.A. from California State University, Fullerton. He then received a J.D. from Western State University College of Law.

He began his legal career in 1985, working as an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Orange County. Three years later he joined the Office of the Public Defender of Orange County. He served as a deputy public defender until 2006, trying every type of criminal case. He left Orange County in order to accept a position as chief deputy with the Office of the Public Defender of San Bernardino County. He was tasked with developing a writs and appeals section and a training department. He was also responsible for supervising the Capital Case Unit.

Zitny served as the Director for the Board of the Inland Counties Legal Services as well as the President of the San Bernardino County Bar Association.

His father, John J. Zitny, started his own legal practice in Orange County in 1954. Both his mother and his father were active participants of the Civil Rights Movement.

In his spare time, Zitny enjoys spending time with his friends and family, attending plays and visiting restaurants. He is a supporter of the Los Angeles Angels, the South Coast Repertory, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He likes to watch NCAA basketball, and he is learning how to play the cello.

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