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Central / East County
Title: Supervising Attorney
Jonathan Laba has been with the Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office since 1996. He has worked in a broad variety of assignments, including felonies, juvenile delinquency, and pretrial writs and appeals, and has represented clients in cases ranging from misdemeanors to capital murder. Jonathan currently manages the office’s Misdemeanor Unit as well as the Specialty Courts Unit, which includes felony mental health and drug courts, conservatorships, Clean Slate, and probation, parole, and AB109 (realignment) calendars. Jonathan directs the office’s law clerk and internship programs and chairs the office’s Training Committee.
Jonathan has a special interest in juvenile justice issues. He is the Vice President of the Pacific Juvenile Defender Center, a nonprofit organization that provides support to juvenile trial lawyers, appellate counsel, law school clinical programs, and nonprofit law centers to assure quality representation for children in juvenile delinquency proceedings throughout California. From 2008 to 2011, Jonathan participated in the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network (JIDAN), an initiative that engaged juvenile defenders, policymakers, judges and other key stakeholders in designing strategies to improve juvenile indigent defense policy and practice. Since 2006, Jonathan has co-authored the chapter on juvenile delinquency proceedings in California Criminal Law: Procedure and Practice, published annually by the Continuing Education of the Bar. Jonathan regularly organizes and presents at conferences for juvenile defenders.
Jonathan is an adjunct faculty member at Berkeley Law, where he teaches the Criminal Field Placement Ethics Seminar, and Golden Gate University School of Law, where he teaches Children and the Law. He is a 1996 graduate of Berkeley 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, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the California Association of Drug Court Professionals.
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