Jo-Anna Nieves, Esq.
When you are charged with a criminal offense, you need a strong, experienced, and committed advocate. It’s a role that Jo-Anna Nieves has assumed many times, with great success. As a criminal defense attorney who began her post-bar legal career at the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, Ms. Nieves has a rare perspective that she uses to support, advise, and defend the firm’s clients. “I love criminal law. It’s captivating and I’m passionate about it,” she says. She is committed to mounting the best possible defense for what she calls “hard working, family oriented, successful professional people who aren’t career criminals…. Some are falsely accused, others make a bad call like driving home after a couple glasses of wine at a work event.
Kevin Carney has worked as a criminal defense attorney since 2007 when he joined the Public Defender of San Joaquin County. After a decade Kevin left the office having accumulated trial experience and training to qualify him to handle death penalty cases pursuant to California Rules of Court section 4.117.
He comes to our office from the Public Defender of Monterey County where he recently served as Immigration Specialist, advising fellow attorneys on the intersection of criminal and immigration law.
After college, Kevin joined the Peace Corps in 1999 serving in Guatemala for two years, where he learned to speak, write and read Spanish fluently. This experience has fueled a particular interest and sensitivity to how criminal cases can impact a client’s immigration status.
Kevin obtained his law degree from UC Davis in 2006. He is an avid reader, writer and enjoys biking and ocean swimming, including the South End Rowing Club’s Alcatraz Invitational and the Tiburon Mile.
Breanne was sworn to the California State Bar in 2015, accomplishing a goal she’d had since drawing herself as a judge on the cover of Time magazine for a class project. Prior to joining The Nieves Law Firm, Breanne gained her trial experience working at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office and with private counsel across the Bay Area.
Breanne’s experience has rendered her versatile in cases ranging from drugs, thefts, and DUIs, to homicides and sexual battery. She has a history of efficacy through strong motion-work and is just as compelling an orator in the courtroom, captivating jurors with her trial summations. Breanne’s approach to advocacy relies on the client to bring the facts, while she brings the rest to rest.
When she’s not advocating to keep our clients out of custody, Breanne volunteers her services with the Prisoner Reentry Network, where she provides counsel and assistance for inmates across the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
In her free time, Breanne likes going on drives and hikes with her beagle and her Mustang. She is a decorated fantasy football manager and was the MVP of her law school flag football team. Breanne has recently taken up sailing and is a founding member of the Wahine Sail Club.
Tori Hirsch is a Post Bar Provisional Attorney who is passionate about criminal defense.
Tori graduated from the University of Arizona, where she majored in Philosophy and Political Science, in 2013. She then spent two years teaching English Language Arts to some of the world’s smartest, funniest, and kindest seventh graders as a Teach for America corps member at KIPP Bayview Academy. Tori lived in Oakland while teaching in San Francisco, and fell in love with its history and culture.
Tori graduated from LMU Loyola Law School in May 2020. As a student there, Tori developed a passion for criminal defense. Tori’s favorite law school class was Criminal Procedure. She enjoyed internalizing the limits the Constitution places on police action. Outside of the classroom, Tori spent law school assisting public defenders around the country during externships with offices in Los Angeles, DC, and New Orleans. As a participant in Loyola’s Juvenile Justice Clinic, Tori managed her own caseload of young clients accused of delinquency charges. Through the clinic, Tori learned that providing great legal representation necessarily includes building a trusting, empathetic relationship with every client.
In her free time, Tori enjoys cooking, barre classes, interior decorating, and looking for the best local matcha latte.
Grace is a Bay Area native who graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2014 with a B.A in English Creative Writing. Grace attended UC Hastings College of the Law where she graduated in 2019. In law school Grace was a part of Ms. JD, a campus organization offering support and guidance to future female attorneys– a mission that Grace is very passionate about. She was also a member of the Associated Students of UC Hastings helping make decisions on behalf of the student body that will impact Hastings for years to come.
Grace comes from a family where she will be a third- generation attorney so advocating for others is something she has grown up around her entire life. Knowing that everyone deserves a second chance, she is passionate about fighting for her clients. In addition, Grace believes that defense work is a client facing job, and is dedicated to the customer service aspect of the attorney-client relationship.
Most recently Grace held a Post-Bar Law Clerk position at the Santa Clara Public Defender’s Office. In this position she helped attorneys during felony arraignments and wrote many different types of motions for clients.
While becoming a certified attorney is Grace’s primary goal, she knows that her studies of the Criminal Justice System will never stop. In her free time, she enjoys reading, working-out and playing with her chihuahua.
Ebony’s hobbies include traveling, dancing, reading and serving as a coordinator for youth activities at her church. She has a passion for helping youth and young adults, meeting new people, and experiencing life. Her future goal is to create a non-profit organization that is geared towards feeding and clothing the houseless.
Andres O’Sullivan-Comparan grew up in San Diego, California as well as Tijuana, Mexico. Through Andres’ childhood he received a very unique intercultural understanding because of the places he lived in. He had the opportunity to interact with a multitude of people from all different cultures and backgrounds.
In 2020, Andres graduated from Brown University with a degree in History with a specialization in the 20th Century Latin America.
Criminal defense has always been a fundamental part of Andres’ interests and prior experiences. Andres completed a summer internship with the San Diego Public Defender’s office. Throughout his internship, Andres witnessed inadequacies of the criminal justice system first hand. This experience redefined the criminal justice system for Andres and motivated him to do his part in creating a more accessible and dignified path to actively defend all those who are in need.
Andres intends to assist clients to the fullest at The Nieves Law Firm while utilizing this experience to better prepare himself to pursue a career as a criminal defense attorney. During Andres’ free time he likes attending art shows, metalworking, and hanging out at the beach.
Julianna Barreto-Jackson was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona, but she has always felt that her heart was in the Bay Area. The day after she graduated from The Art Institute of Phoenix with a Bachelors of Arts in Fashion Marketing and Management, she drove all of her belongings to Berkeley.
Julianna bounced around the Bay, but ultimately she found a permanent home in Oakland where she fell in love with Oakland’s beautiful diversity and culture. After working in the fashion industry for several years, she didn’t feel satisfied with her current career path. Julianna wanted to be able to be a part of a team that wanted to help those in need.
Julianna decided to switch careers and go back to school to pursue a paralegal certification from Cal State East Bay. During school, she realized that the legal industry was where she needed to be and was excited to start a more rewarding career in the criminal legal field. Julianna is passionate about helping others because she believes every person goes through life, down their own path, and sometimes that path may end them up in a negative situation. She believes that some people may need a lending hand and everyone, no matter their story, deserves a chance. During her free time, Julianna enjoys finding new recipes to cook, hiking and exploring new trails, and spending quality time with her loved ones.
Dakota grew up in the Bay Area and studied Criminal Justice at Cal State East Bay. She graduated in 2020 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice. After her undergraduate studies concluded, Dakota went on to Paralegal Certification classes at California State University East Bay. She wanted to become an advocate for others, especially those who are seeking guidance through the difficult and trying processes of the legal justice system.
Part of her strong core values is that everyone is capable of change and people deserve second chances to rectify their decisions. Community outreach is one such way that Dakota feels she can make a difference. She previously spent time volunteering at Glide Church in San Francisco. Staying connected within her community is how she feels she can continue to join the fight against injustices of all kinds.
Her studies of the Criminal Justice System will continue to grow over the years and propel her passion and knowledge of advocating for others. In her spare time, Dakota enjoys reading books, spending time with her loved ones, and working out. She enjoys taking long walks in nature and taking in all of the scenic beauty The Bay has to offer.
Living in the Midwest her whole life, Nadia Khechfe was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. Nadia attended undergrad on an athletic scholarship to the University of Kansas where she received high athletic achievements in the BIG 12 Conference. She graduated in 2018 majoring in Journalism with a minor in Communications.
The summer after graduation, Nadia volunteered with the People of Peru Project in Iquitos, Peru then attended Duke University’s D.C. Summer Institute on Law and Policy in Washington D.C.
In August of 2018, Nadia started a job at a local law firm in her hometown where she was the Supervisor of their Intake Department. She was instrumental in creating and launching a new intake system to increase customer retention rates and client satisfaction. She also assisted the firm with marketing tasks such as planning events, social media, client relations, and sales. Nadia always knew she wanted to work in the criminal defense field, and after working at the firm, her passion for criminal defense was confirmed and her desire to help people grew. She feels empathy for those fighting what may be the biggest battle of their lives.
During Nadia’s free time she likes relaxing with her bulldog, watching sports, and chatting with her friends who are scattered around the country. Nadia’s long-term goal is to attend law school and practice criminal defense.