STAR Program Graduation Ceremony Held for 8 Participants – Largest Number in STAR History

Posted on September 21, 2017

The Substance Abuse Treatment and Reentry (STAR) Program in Los Angeles celebrated the largest graduating class in its history with 8 participants who successfully completed the program. The graduation ceremony was held in the U.S. Courthouse in Los Angeles and presided over by the Hon. Otis D. Wright, II.  Also in attendance were Hon. Virginia Phillips, Chief U.S. District Judge, and Magistrate Judge Rozella Oliver. Friends and family attended the graduation ceremony. Staff from the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California […]..

8 Participants Graduate from Riverside CASA Program

Posted on September 8, 2017

The Riverside Conviction and Sentence Alternatives (CASA) Program celebrated another graduation today with 8 particpants who successfully completed the program. The graduation ceremony was held in the U.S. Courthouse in Riverside and presided over by the Hon. Jesus Bernal, U.S. District Court Judge. Also in attendance were Hon. Virginia Phillips, Chief U.S. District Judge, and Magistrate Judge Kiya Kato. Friends and family attended the graduation ceremony. Staff from the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California attended the graduation, led by Hilary […]..

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, […]..

Categorical Approach Update

Posted on August 21, 2017

United States v. Martinez-Lopez, __ F.3d __, 2017 WL 3203552 (9th Cir. July 28, 2017) (en banc): The Court considered whether California Health & Safety Code §11352, which—like many California drug statutes—criminalizes a variety of activities related to multiple controlled substances, is a drug trafficking for purposes of U.S.S.G. §2L1.2. The Court first held that the statute, which is overbroad with regard to the type of controlled substance, is divisible as to that element such that the modified categorical approach can be used. The Court […]..

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 […]..

Categorical Approach Update

Posted on July 20, 2017

United States v. Ochoa, __ F.3d __, 2017 WL 2836820 (9th Cir. July 3, 2017): The Court held that a conviction for conspiring to export defense articles without a license under 18 U.S.C. §371 and 22 U.S.C. §2778 was not categorically a firearms offense providing grounds for deportation (under either 8 U.S.C. §1101(a)(43)(C) or 8 U.S.C. §1227(a)(2)(C)), and the statute was not divisible, so the modified categorical approach could not be used. United States v. Strickland, __ F.3d __, 2017 WL 2723926 (9th Cir. June […]..

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 […]..

Categorical Approach Update

Posted on May 26, 2017

United States v. Aguirra, __ Fed.Appx. __, 2017 WL 2258554, *3 (9th Cir. May 23, 2017): The Court concluded that Becerril-Lopez (holding that a conviction under California Penal Code §211 is categorically a crime of violence for purposes of U.S.S.G. §2L1.2) is not clearly irreconcilable with Mathis or Descamps, so it has not been effectively overruled. United States v. Martinez-Rodriguez, __ F.3d __, 2017 WL 2080268 (5th Cir. May 12, 2017): The Court held that a Texas conviction for causing injury to a child (Tex. […]..

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 […]..