Author: Federal Public Defender, CDCA

Federal Public Defender, Central District of California Statement on The Death of George Floyd

Posted on June 30, 2020

The killing of George Floyd has brought the plight of Black Americans into public consciousness and galvanized a worldwide movement for criminal justice reform. The brutal and public nature of that killing, combined with the officers’ expressions of cold indifference as Mr. Floyd struggled for breath was reality, reminder, and metaphor for the fate of Black life in America. Our office’s initial silence in response to Mr. Floyd’s death only added to the pain and outrage felt by many of our colleagues and the community. […]..

Joint Statement from Federal Defenders on the Killing of George Floyd

Posted on June 3, 2020

The moral arc of the universe, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, bends towards justice. And yet, we all saw that arc snap again under a police officer’s white knee on George Floyd’s Black neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds. That knee has been placed on too many Black necks before and too often without repercussions. This time must be different. While we can kneel in solidarity with Mr. Floyd, we also must stand up and demand that racism, overt and implicit, be […]..

COVID-19 Information for Families of Incarcerated Individuals

Posted on April 29, 2020

We know that this is a scary time to have a family member or friend in Bureau of Prisons custody. There’s a lot we don’t know about what’s going on inside the BOP right now, but here’s what we do know. Information for Federal Public Defender Clients with Pending Cases The Federal Public Defender’s Office remains open and operational during the pandemic.  We are doing our part to stem the spread of COVID-19 by working remotely.  If you have questions about your case, your loved […]..

Pedro V. Castillo Appointed as United States Magistrate Judge

Posted on January 24, 2020

We are excited to announce that former FPD-CDCA Deputy Federal Public Defender Pedro Castillo has been appointed as a United States Magistrate Judge for the Central District of California. Below is the official District Court press release. The United States District Court for the Central District of California announces the appointment of Pedro V. Castillo as a United States Magistrate Judge. Judge Castillo, who was sworn in on January 24, 2020, will sit in Los Angeles, the Court’s Western Division. Judge Castillo succeeds former Magistrate […]..

Amy M. Karlin Appointed as Interim Federal Public Defender for Central District of California

Posted on October 1, 2019

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has appointed Amy M. Karlin as Interim Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California, effective October 1, 2019. She will serve until the court appoints a Defender for the vacancy created by outgoing FPD Hilary Potashner, who is leaving to take a position in private practice. Ms. Karlin has worked in the Office of the Federal Public Defender in the Central District since 1990 and was promoted to Directing Attorney of the Southern […]..

STAR PROGRAM: Judge Gives Former Gang Member a Second Chance

Posted on June 18, 2019

Spectrum News 1 article discussing Demond Lagway, an FPD-CDCA client and graduate of the Substance Abuse Treatment and Reentry Program (STAR). View the full article here. LOS ANGELES – Demond Lagway has come a long way from the South Central neighborhood where he grew up and joined the 87 Street Gangster Crips at the age of 12. Lagway says it started at a park, as a place he would escape to, looking for community while his parents struggled with drug addiction. “I grew up with […]..

The South Asian Network issues Community Solidarity Awards to former attorneys Ron Chowdhury and Firdaus Dordi

Posted on April 27, 2019

The South Asian Network’s Spring Soiree is a special evening that brings the greater Los Angeles community together in celebration of the achievements of the South Asian Network (SAN), recognition of leaders in our community, and to raise support for SAN’s important programming. It features a formal reception, awards program, and entertainment. This year, SAN’s Community Solidarity Award will be presented to South Asian American judges who preside on federal and state courts in Southern California. We celebrate their achievements and affirm our support for a fair […]..

Attorney Seema Ahmad is Interviewed by American in Justice

Posted on March 25, 2019

Our very own Seema Ahmad is interviewed about the life of a Public Defender, Not as Seen on TV. “The job is raw and real, unlike Hollywood depictions that show these people as either glamorous or bumbling.” The article published at American in Justice is also excerpted below. When you are a federal public defender, sometimes the only things you can do for a client are to stand next to him, bear witness to his struggle and his life, and brace yourself as the criminal […]..

In Central District of California, a Woman’s Place is in Court Leadership

Posted on March 21, 2019

On a January morning, as a federal appropriations lapse threatened to disrupt court operations, Chief Judge Virginia A. Phillips of the Central District of California gathered her senior leaders around a large table in the clerk of court’s office to plan for the impending crisis. She noticed something that she hadn’t before: The court’s senior management team are all women. “I hadn’t looked at the people I work with and thought, ‘Look at all these great women,’” Phillips said. “I focus on the diverse skills […]..