Category: Press & Internal News

Former Trial Unit Chief Firdaus Dordi Appointed as Los Angeles Superior Court Judge

Posted on August 25, 2017

Firdaus Dordi, former Trial Chief of the Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California (FPD-CDCA), was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court bench by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. in December 2016. Firdaus was sworn in by former Federal Public Defender Maria Stratton in January 2017. Firdaus spent 14 years with the FPD-CDCA, starting as a Deputy Federal Public Defender and ending his career as the Chief of the Los Angeles office’s trial unit. An investiture was held on August 25, 2017, […]..

Air Force Veteran and victim of workplace bullying found not guilty

Posted on July 28, 2017

Today our client was found not guilty of creating a disturbance at a federal facility by physically assaulting a co-worker. The complaining witness, a man who was 6 inches taller and 100 pounds heavier than our female client, accused our client of chest bumping him, repeatedly hitting him, and pinning him against a wall. During trial, Deputy Federal Public Defender Angela Viramontes presented evidence that the complaining witness had been actively targeting our client with unfounded threats, accusations, and complaints about her work performance. Attorney […]..

75 year old man with dementia can return to Santa Monica Mountains National Park

Posted on July 28, 2017

Following a verbal altercation with park rangers at Paramount Ranch in the Santa Monica National Park, our 75-year-old client was tasered and dragged out of his car, elbowed in the face, handcuffed, taken to the hospital, and then driven to Orange County to spend a night in jail. He was given six citations. Prosecutors refused to dismiss the case against him even after receiving neurological evidence of his dementia. The case went to trial. Our client was acquitted on the four most serious counts. He […]..

New Evidence Helps Free Client From Life Sentence for Attempted Robbery

Posted on July 10, 2017

A Los Angeles man represented by the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California was freed from state prison this week after serving 10 years of a 40-years-to-life sentence for attempted robbery.  The FPD-CDCA identified new evidence concerning the offense and the client’s culpability, which led to negotiations with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.  With assistance from Loyola’s Project for the Innocent, the parties agreed to modify the client’s sentence to result in his release from custody.  The agreement also […]..

10 CASA Participants Graduate from Program

Posted on May 10, 2017

Today, a graduation ceremony was held at the California Central District’s United States Courthouse in Los Angeles for 10 people who successfully completed the Conviction and Sentence Alternatives (CASA) Program. The event was held in the ceremonial courtroom and presided over by the Hon. Dolly Gee, U.S. District Court Judge, Hon. Paul Abrams, U.S. Magistrate Judge, and Hon. Virginia Phillips, Chief U.S. District Judge. Friends and family attended the graduation ceremony. Staff from the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California attended […]..

Former Deputy Federal Public Defender Ingrid Eagly Receives 2017 UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award

Posted on March 13, 2017

UCLA School of Law Professor (and former Deputy Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California) Ingrid Eagly has been honored with UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest honor for academic instruction at the university. Eagly, the faculty director of UCLA Law’s David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy, is one of six professors to receive the honor in 2017. The Distinguished Teaching Award was first granted in 1961. It aims to inspire students and faculty by shining a light on […]..

Homeless Man Found Not Guilty in Fight at Social Security Office

Posted on December 14, 2016

A federal jury on December 14, 2016 found that our client, a 42-year old homeless man, was not guilty of assaulting security guards at a Social Security Office in Los Angeles.  The verdict came after video footage at trial revealed that our client did not attack the officers first.  Security guards testified that our client spit at them, and approached them first with an assaultive stance.  The guards also alleged part of the assault occurred after they took our client down to the ground, because […]..

United States Supreme Court Issues Decision in Shaw v. U.S.

Posted on December 12, 2016

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Shaw v. United States.  Deputy Federal Public Defender Koren Bell argued this case before the Supreme Court on October 4, 2016.  The Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit’s judgment which had upheld Shaw’s conviction and sent the case back to the Ninth Circuit to consider whether the jury instructions were lawful. The Court agreed with our argument that the bank fraud requires the intent to deprive the bank of something of value. It is not enough–as […]..

President Obama Grants Clemency to FPD-CDCA Client Keldren Joshua

Posted on November 13, 2016

In 2014, the Department of Justice, under the Obama Administration, announced the Clemency Initiative, which invited petitions for commutation of sentence from nonviolent offenders who were convicted of drug offenses.  In August 2016, Deputy Federal Public Defender Andre J. Townsend successfully secured a grant of clemency for his client, Keldren Joshua.  Mr. Joshua was a low-level, non-violent drug offender who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to distribute 500 grams of methamphetamine.  Pursuant to President Obama’s grant of his clemency petition, Joshua […]..

FPD-CDCA Staff Helps Prepare Dorsey High School Mock Trial Team

Posted on October 28, 2016

On October 27, 2016, Federal Public Defender Hilary Potashner and other attorneys and staff from the FPD-CDCA visited Dorsey High School in Los Angeles to help coach students participating in the Constitutional Rights Foundation Mock Trial Program.  This year’s Mock Trial Program case, People v. Awbrey, involved a restaurant owner accused of the human trafficking and false imprisonment of an immigrant laborer.  The FPD-CDCA team helped students practice and refine their motions argument, opening and closing statements, and witness examinations in advance of the competition.  […]..