2019 Fidler Institute on Criminal Justice

Symposium Pulls Back Curtain on Mueller Probe & Other Front-Page Criminal Justice Stories

Fidler Institute

L.A. County Public Defender Ricardo Garcia. U.S. Attorney Nicola Hanna. L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey. Federal Public Defender Hilary Potashner. Robert S. Mueller confidante Steven Zipperstein. On April 12, 2019 Loyola Law School, Los Angeles students spent the day with them and a dozen other judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and scholars during Loyola’s 13th-annual Fidler Institute on Criminal Justice.

The symposium explored the Russia investigation, sentencing and related reform initiatives, the art and science of jury selection, how courts address issues of mental health, and the unique challenges of investigating the dark web. The day was capped by a judges’ reception and the presentation of the Fidler Awards. For Loyola students interested in careers in criminal justice, it truly was a noteworthy event.

“You are here,” said Professor Laurie Levenson, “for the one and only and fabulous Fidler Institute on Criminal Justice and I am thrilled to see every one of you. This is a unique institue where we bring everyone who is part of the criminal justice system together under one gorgeous Frank Gehry roof to talk about hot issues in criminal justice."

The Fidler Institute on Criminal Justice is named in honor of Loyola Law School alumnus Judge Larry P. Fidler ’74, L.A. County Superior Court, where Loyola counts more alumni on the bench than any other law school.

The day unfolded as follows:

9-9:45 a.m.

The introductory remarks, a veritable State of Criminal Justice Report, was provided by Hon. Ricardo Garcia, Public Defender, L.A. County Public Defender’s Office; Hon. Nicola Hanna, U.S. Attorney, Central District of California; Hon. Jackie Lacey, District Attorney, L.A. County; and Hon. Hilary Potashner, Federal Public Defender, Central District of California.

9:45-10:45 a.m.

Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System. Speakers included Ron Kaye, Partner, Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt, LLP; Hon. Karla Kerlin, L.A. County Superior Court; Hon. Jackie Lacey, District Attorney, L.A. County; Dr. Kristen Ochoa, Medical Director, Office of Diversion and Reentry; and Hon. Hilary Potashner, Federal Public Defender, Central District of California.

11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

New Reforms in Criminal Justice: (SB 10), (SB 1421), (SB 1437) and Federal First Step Act. Panelists included Ashley Aull, Assistant U.S. Attorney, United States Attorney’s Office; John Colello, Assistant Head Deputy, Hardcore Gang Division, L.A. County District Attorney’s Office; Sean Kennedy, Kaplan & Feldman Executive Director, Loyola’s Center for Juvenile Law & Policy; Brianna Mircheff, Deputy Federal Public Defender, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Central District of California; Hon. Sam Ohta, Assistant Supervising Judge, L.A. County Superior Court; Shannon Presby, Head Deputy District Attorney, District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division; Jennifer Snyder, Head Deputy, L.A. County District Attorney’s Office; and Nick Stewart-Oaten, Deputy Public Defender, L.A. County Public Defender’s Office.  

Lunchtime Keynote 1:05 p.m.

The lunchtime keynote address, “Everything You Wanted to Know about the Mueller Investigation but were Afraid to Ask,” delivered by Steven Zipperstein, former special counsel to Robert S. Mueller III.

2-3 p.m.

Jury Selection and Jury Consultants. Richard Gabriel, President, Decision Analysis Inc., discussed finds from his 35 years of experience in the field, including assisting counsel on such high-profile cases as O.J. Simpson, Phil Spector and Casey Anthony.

3-4 p.m.

The Dark Web and Federal Investigations. Speakers included Puneet V. Kakkar, Assistant U. S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office; and Scott Paetty, Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office.

4 p.m.

Fidler Awards followed with a Judges’ Reception

The day concluded with the brief presentation of the 13th-annual Fidler Awards: Judge of the Year – Hon. Ronald S. Coen, L.A. County Superior Court; Prosecutor of the Year – Hon. Jackie Lacey, L.A. County District Attorney; Defense Lawyer of the Year – Michael D. Nasatir, Partner, Andrues/Podberesky; and Special Service Award – Gregory Sivard, Records Manager, L.A. County Jail and was immediately followed by the Judges’ Reception.