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About the Public Defender's Office

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About the Public Defender's Office
Published on: 1/17/2012 7:02 PM

The Public Defender's Office

Keri Klein is the Public Defender for Nevada County.  She has served in that position since February of 2016.  Prior to that, she was the Assistant Public Defender for Nevada County.  She joined the office in 2007, after spending several years as a deputy public defender in Yolo County.  Before entering the field of indigent defense, Keri had a private criminal defense practice in San Francisco.  She graduated with her law degree and litigation certificate from Golden Gate University School of Law in 1995.  She received her bachelor of arts degree from UC Irvine's School of Social Ecology in Law and Society in 1992.  Outside of her employment, Keri is involved with the legislation committee for California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and is active in her daughter's Girl Scout Troop.  She gives continuing education seminars on plea negotiations and ethics related topics and has been a faculty member for the California Public Defenders’ Association Trial Skills Institute since 2005.  In addition, Keri is an active member of several legal organizations including the California Public Defenders’ Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Pacific Juvenile Defenders, and The National Juvenile Defenders.  She is a graduate of the Nevada County Community Leadership Institute and has received her credential from the California State Association of Counties (CSAC).
Keri is working towards modernizing the Public Defender’s Office through the use of technology, performance guidelines and the implementation of best practices.  She is proud of her staff and how they have embraced the idea of recidivism reduction through a holistic approach of representation.  This approach combines aggressive advocacy in court with the acknowledgement that most poor people who are arrested and charged with crimes have other challenges with which they struggle, from housing, to addiction, to mental illness, to lack of employment, to under employment and lack of sufficient education.  Keri and her staff support the idea that if they can start to address the underlying issues which drive people into the criminal justice system, they can obtain better case and life outcomes for their clients and their community. 
I grew to like to defend men and women charged with crime... I was dealing with life, with its hopes and fears, its aspirations and despairs.  With me it was going to the foundation of motive and conduct and adjustments for human beings, instead of blindly talking of hatred and vengeance, and that subtle, indefinable quality that men call 'justice' and of which nothing really is known. 
~ Clarence Darrow
William Dittman is the Assistant Public Defender for Nevada County.  He  has served in that position since February of 2017.  Bill joined the office after three years with the El Dorado County Public Defender’s Office.  Prior to that, he was a Deputy Public Defender in the Riverside County Public Defender’s Office from 2006 to 2013.  Bill was recognized as the Outstanding Felony Attorney for the downtown Riverside division of the office in 2007.  He was promoted to the Capital Unit of the Riverside County Public Defender’s Office in 2010 where he worked with lawyers handling capital cases from 2010 to 2013.  He received his law degree from Santa Clara University in 1989 and his bachelor of arts degree from UCLA in 1984. 
David Humphreys is our Truckee lawyer.  He has been with the Nevada County Public Defender's Office for over 25 years.  He has been an attorney for over 40 years, the vast majority of those years have been spent in indigent defense.  In 1973, David graduated Magnum Cum Laude from the College of the Pacific, University of the Pacific with a degree in History.  He received his JD from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, in 1976.  He began his career working for George E. Couper, Inc., in Sacramento.  In 1981, he joined the Placer County Public Defender's Office.  He became the Chief Deputy Public Defender in 1984.  He became the Placer County Public Defender in 1986.  He held that job until 1990.  In 1991, he joined the Nevada County Public Defender's Office.  In addition to his time with the Public Defender's Office, David is proud to have worked at KVMR-FM as a volunteer deejay from 1998 through 2008. 
Felony Team
Jody Schutz has been with the Nevada County Public Defender's Office since 2001.  A native New Yorker, she received her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law, and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree, with honors, in Sociology, from Oberlin College.  She is a graduate of the Nevada County Community Leadership Institute.  Her prior work experience includes working on death penalty cases in Louisiana, including visits at Angola State Penitentiary, and working for the Conflict Public Defender in Anchorage, Alaska.  Jody has been recognized by NAMI and the Adult Drug Court Team for her work and commitment to addressing the needs of people with mental illnesses and substance abuse challenges.  She has been a volunteer attorney at Veteran's Stand Down and does monthly legal outreach at Hospitality House.
 
Tamara Zuromskis has been an attorney with the Nevada County Public Defender’s Office for the past eleven years.  She has worked in all of the Nevada County courts and is currently assigned to adult felonies, mental health court, and DUI court.  She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.  Previously she worked as an Assistant Public Defender in Placer County and a Death Penalty Clerk in Contra Costa County.  During law school, she interned at the San Francisco County Public Defender’s Office and the American Civil Liberties Union and volunteered at a food stamp legal aid clinic.  As an attorney she has volunteered as a judge pro tem in small claims court, a high school mock trial competition coach, a Lion’s Club High School Speech Competition judge, and a volunteer attorney at a legal advice clinic at the public library.  She also serves as a department safety officer and completed the Nevada County Community Leadership Institute in 2014.
Micah Pierce lives in Nevada City.  He received his law degree from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, in 2007.  While in law school, he worked for the Sacramento County Public Defender's Office and the California State Public Defender's Office.  He believes that criminal defense is a calling. 
Misdemeanor Team
Thomas Angell (also juveniles)  graduated from the University of California Hastings College of Law in 2011.  Prior to graduating, he interned at the Marin County Public Defender's Office and the Nevada County Public Defender's Office.  He is a 2016 graduate of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer's College in Dubois Wyoming and continues to remain involved with the College's graduate program.  He has spent his entire career as a deputy public defender.
Hayley E. Dewey joined the Nevada County Public Defender’s Office in 2016. Originally from East Tennessee, she earned her law degree from Florida State University and studied English literature, economics, and social work as an undergraduate.  She began her career in public defense in Leon County, Florida, where she wrote and argued appellate briefs before the First District Court of Appeals and later clerked for the Honorable Judge Terry Lewis and the Honorable Judge Mark Walker.  Upon becoming licensed in California, she practiced private criminal defense before joining the Office of the Public Defender in Nevada County. 
Sara Coppin graduated from U.C. Santa Cruz in 1996 and from U.C. Hastings College of Law in 2006.  She represents misdemeanor clients with the office on a part-time basis.  She also practices locally as an immigration lawyer and as court appointed counsel for criminal appellants in the Third, Fifth and Sixth California Appellate Districts.  
 Administrative Team
Karen Mosca is our Administrative Assistant.  She has worked for Nevada County since 2000.
Wendy Shingle is the legal secretary for the felony team.  She has worked for Nevada County since 2006. 
Karin Prancitas is the legal secretary for the misdemeanor team.  She has worked for Nevada County since 2006.
Zelma Lewis is the legal secretary for the juvenile team.  She has worked for Nevada County since 2006.
 
 
Keri Klein
Public Defender
Public Defender

109 North Pine Street
Nevada City, Ca 95959
Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Phone: 530.265.1400
publicdefender@co.nevada.ca.us
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