Mr. Laba grew up in New Jersey and Los Angeles. He was an Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia, where he majored in Political and Social Thought with a minor in Japanese. Mr. Laba spent his third year of college at Waseda University in Tokyo and later graduated from UVA magna cum laude in 1989. Mr. Laba received a Japan Foundation Fellowship for study at Stanford’s Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama, Japan, during which time he became fluent in Japanese. Following that program, Mr. Laba worked as a financial analyst in the Investment Banking Group at Credit Suisse First Boston in New York.
Mr. Laba earned his J.D. from U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall in 1996. During law school he was Notes and Comments Editor of the California Law Review, served as a judicial extern for Ninth Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski, and was a member of the Moot Court Board. At graduation, Mr. Laba was awarded the Steve Finney Jamison Prize for Scholarship and Advocacy. His Comment, If You Can’t Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Drug Business: Thermal Imagers, Emerging Technologies, and the Fourth Amendment, was published in the California Law Review in 1996. Mr. Laba joined our Department in 1996, and has practiced in West County misdemeanors, Central/East County felonies, and West County juvenile court. He is currently assigned to West County felonies.
Mr. Laba has a special interest in juvenile justice issues. He is the Deputy Director of the Pacific Juvenile Defender Center and moderates a statewide listserv for juvenile defenders and juvenile justice advocates. Mr. Laba co-authors the chapter on juvenile delinquency proceedings in California Criminal Law: Procedure and Practice, published annually by the Continuing Education of the Bar. Mr. Laba also co-coordinates an annual conference on the California Youth Authority and has written recently on CYA issues for the San Francisco Daily Journal, the Los Angeles Daily Journal, and Contra Costa Lawyer Magazine.
Mr. Laba is an adjunct faculty member at Golden Gate University School of Law, where he teaches Children and the Law.
Mr. Laba is certified by the State Bar of California as a specialist in Criminal Law. He is a member of the California Public Defenders Association, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and the California Association of Drug Court Professionals.