Justice Suzukawa served on the legal staff of the California Teachers Association while in law school and was an associate with one of the principal law firms working with the United Teachers of Los Angeles. He worked as a deputy district attorney for the County of Los Angeles from 1980 to 1989 and was assigned to the Career Criminal Division, which was responsible for the prosecution of repeat offenders.
Justice Suzukawa was appointed to the Compton Municipal Court in 1989 by Governor George Deukmejian and to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1992 by Governor Pete Wilson. As a trial court judge, he presided over 300 felony jury trials. He served as a justice pro tem for the Court of Appeal in 1992, 2004, and 2005, and was appointed as an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeal in May 2006 by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Justice Suzukawa is married to Mary Suzukawa, a deputy district attorney for the County of Los Angeles. He enjoys sports, cooking, and travel