June News

Friday, June 1, 2018

DREAM Graduation

In June, we had another client graduate from DREAM. At a very young age, this client's mental health was misdiagnosed and therefore, improperly treated. The client started using controlled substances as a teenager and that use culminated with federal charges. Once properly diagnosed while in DREAM, the client finally received the mental health treatment and support required to help the client successfully complete treatment for the substance use disorder. The client now enjoys long-term sobriety, a home, a career, and renewed relationships with family and friends. Congratulations!

Staff News

AFD Kyana Givens was selected by the Defender Services Office of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AO), to join the Visiting Federal Defender Program. Kyana will be in the Training Division on a temporary duty basis. The DSO administers the federal appointed counsel program pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) and serves as staff to the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Defender Services, which oversees the CJA program. The training division Attorney Advisor’s responsibilities include: planning, coordinating, preparing written materials for and serving as faculty at local, regional, and national training programs for CJA panel attorneys and FDO’s. As well as, responding to telephone inquiries from CJA panel attorneys and federal defenders regarding all aspects of federal criminal defense representation and in addition to participating in the Division’s Supreme Court Advocacy Program; and contributing to the Training Division’s website. Kyana’s selection speaks to the excellent work she has done as a trainer and collaborator at the national and local levels. Congrats, Kyana!

The Tacoma FPD office recently hired Maritza Pitot for their receptionist/legal assistant position. Maritza is a native Spanish speaker, trained paralegal and a State of Washington certified medical and social services interpreter. Maritza has interpreted for Volunteer Legal Services and also for Citizenship Day, organized by Washington New Americans-working with attorneys and paralegals to assist individuals pursuing U.S. Citizenship. Welcome Maritza!

CJA Administration 

Organized All-Day CLE CJA Administrator Natalie Harmon and CJA Paralegal Diane Travis organized an all-day CLE, ‘Keeping your Clients Happy,’ for new members of the CJA panel and FPD’s legal externship students. AFD Dennis Carroll and USPO Ben Beetham presented on ‘Maximizing your Client’s Chances to Stay out of Pre-Trial Detention.’ Claudia Valenzuela, an attorney and detention project manager for National Immigrant Justice Center presented on ‘First Line of Defense: Shielding Noncitizen Defendants from Immigration Consequences in a New Enforcement Era.’ CJA attorney Stephan Illa presented on ‘Appointed Counsel and Managing the Attorney-Client Relationship.’ FPD Michael Filipovic and AFD Andy Kennedy presented on ‘Mastering the Batson Challenge-How to be Prepared for the Unexpected.’ AFD Kyana Givens and CJA & Adjunct Professor of Law at Seattle University Bob Goldsmith presented on ‘Creative Use of Technology in Sentencing.’ Thank you for your hard work, Natalie and Diane!

Undergrad Intern Achievements

Eleana Stevens has been an undergrad intern with the FPD since March. She will be attending the University of Washington, School of Law in the fall. She is especially excited to continue work with incarcerated youth and adults through the race and justice clinic as well as the tribal public defense clinic. She has greatly valued her time at the FPD and has particularly enjoyed working with attorneys and staff to advocate for the rights of the indigent.

Figure 1 - Eleana Stevens

Olivia Corti is a current intern at the Seattle office and has been working with the FPD office since January. Olivia graduated from University of Washington in March, 2018 with a degree in History and a minor in Political Science. She has a passion for criminal defense, civil liberties, and youth justice issues. In the fall, Olivia will be attending Columbia University Teacher's College to earn a masters in Social Studies Education. She hopes to teach social studies and civics in New York City public schools while saving funds for law school. Olivia has enjoyed her time as an intern and hopes that she can take the patience, compassion, hard work, and dedication she learned from her duties as an intern, as well as from the entire FPD staff, into her future endeavors. She is grateful for the opportunities and hands on experiences she was able to have as an undergrad intern and hopes to pay it forward in the near future.

Figure 2 - Olivia Corti


Archive Date: 
June, 2018