Category: Press & Internal News

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.  […]..

Attorneys Help Mock Trial Team at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy

Posted on October 21, 2016

On October 21, 2016, Rose Angulo and Marta VanLandingham, attorneys with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California, were invited to visit the mock trial team at Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, Los Angeles.  The team, coached by 8th grade Humanities teacher Kristine Garcia, was already strong in arguing and reasoning skills, but wanted assistance in the structure of the trial, the use of evidence, and their overall delivery. Rose and Marta were extremely impressed by the students, who may have been […]..

FPD-CDCA Staff Discuss Death Penalty with Students at Alliance Judy Ivie Burton Technology Academy High School

Posted on October 18, 2016

Staff at the FPD-CDCA visited a classroom at the Alliance Judy Ivie Burton Technology Academy High School in Los Angeles on Monday, October 17, 2016. The focus of the presentation was capital cases. Our staff did a role play activity in which students had to situate themselves in the middle of a death penalty case and consider multiple perspectives on this important issue. Students had to take ownership of their position and defend it. The activity segued into a discussion about the importance of defending […]..

Staff Participate in Downtown Magnet High School In2Action Community Service Fair

Posted on October 13, 2016

On October 13, 2016, our staff from the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California (FPD-CDCA) participated in Downtown Magnet High School’s In2Action Community Service Fair.  Our office had a table at this event that included information regarding the work that we do at FPD-CDCA. Students from all grades stopped by the table and spoke with our staff to discuss the different career opportunities at an FPD office.  Each student that stopped by also received a free miniature copy of the Bill […]..

Staff Participate in Colton Unified School District Career Affair

Posted on October 4, 2016

Staff at the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California participated at the First Annual Colton Joint Unified School District Career Affair on Tuesday, October 4, 2016. Students, parents, siblings, teachers, and other professionals visited the FPD-CDCA booth where our staff were able to talk about their jobs and discuss what training was needed to obtain a job like theirs. Over 400 people stopped by their booth. Our staff also participated on a legal panel with other members of the local legal […]..

Deputy Federal Public Defender Koren Bell Argues Before the U.S. Supreme Court in Shaw v. US

Posted on October 4, 2016

Today, Koren Bell, an attorney with Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California, argued before the United States Supreme Court in the federal appeal of our client, Lawrence Shaw.  The Court granted review to interpret 18 U.S.C. §1344(1), which prohibits any scheme to defraud a financial institution.  Bell argued that this statute requires the government to prove that a defendant both intended to deceive a bank and intended to thereby cheat that bank by taking its property. The transcript of the oral […]..

Attorney General Kamala Harris Issues Smart on Crime Award to the California Central District’s CASA Program

Posted on July 8, 2015

On July 8, 2015, the Office of the Attorney General’s Division of Recidivism Reduction and Re-entry presented a Smart on Crime Award to the California Central District’s Conviction and Sentencing Alternatives (CASA) program. The award recognizes individuals who are leading the way in innovative criminal justice programs. The award recipients demonstrate leadership in the development of successful recidivism reduction programs and are making substantial contributions to re-entry efforts in California. The CASA program, including members of its team with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for […]..

Deputy Federal Public Defender Jonathan Libby Argues Before the Supreme Court in Alvarez v. U.S.

Posted on February 22, 2012

Today, Jonathan Libby, an attorney with Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California, argued before the United States Supreme Court in the federal appeal of our client, Xavier Alvarez.  The legal issue at question: The constitutionality of a federal law that makes lying about receiving military medals or honors a crime. Mr. Libby argued that the First Amendment would suggest that Congress does not get to decide what we can and cannot say. Further, there needs to be harm associated with the lie […]..