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    Know and Protect Your Rights in a Criminal Defense Matter




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      Know and Protect Your Rights in a Criminal Defense Matter







          Jo-Anna Nieves

          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. Jo-Anna began her post-bar legal career at the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, which gives Jo-Anna a rare perspective that she uses to support, advise, and defend you.

          “I love criminal law. It’s captivating and I’m passionate about it,”

                                                                                                   – Jo-Anna Nieves

          Jo-Anna is committed to mounting the best possible defense for what she calls “hard working, family-oriented, successful professionals 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.”

          Jo-Anna was 20 years old when she graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in both Multinational Business and Finance. She went on to earn her J.D. from Florida State University in May 2009, where she was also a member of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc. Jo-Anna started her legal career by interning with the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, where she gained experience in the arraignment of misdemeanor and domestic violence offenses, the prosecution of adult sexual assault crimes, and felony preliminary hearings. After Jo-Anna passed the California Bar, she continued her career at the Sacramento County DA’s Office. She gained experience in the misdemeanor trial unit, negotiating plea offers, arguing suppression motions, and prepping cases for trial. She also built a rapport with members of the legal community, and further developed her trial advocacy skills.

          Two years later, she accepted a position as a trial attorney at a creditor’s rights law practice in Los Angeles, where she effectively litigated over 400 cases by reaching favorable resolutions for her clients by way of settlement prior to trial and maintaining a success rate of 95% for over 100 cases that went to trial.

          In 2012, Jo-Anna started The Nieves Law Firm, APC, to help restore the reputation of those caught in California’s criminal justice system. Since opening her own office, she has successfully represented defendants charged with assault and battery, DUI, contempt, drug offenses, sexual assault and other sex crimes, robbery and other theft crimes, fraud, and domestic violence and other violent crimes. She also has an impressive track record in civil litigation matters such as civil harassment, domestic violence, workplace violence and elder abuse restraining orders.

          Jo-Anna has served as a mock trial coach for El Centro Legal de la Raza’s Youth Law Academy and their Advisory Board for several years and is a member of the Earl Warren Inns of Court. Jo-Anna also taught at Stanford Law School in 2018 and 2019 – educating future lawyers about Trial Advocacy. She is admitted to practice before all courts of the State of California and Florida and is admitted for federal practice in the United States District Courts for the Northern, Eastern and Central Districts of California.

          Kate Dyer

          Kathleen (Kate) Dyer is an experienced criminal defense attorney who is dedicated to helping her community through her legal work. Having practiced law for so many years, there isn’t much that catches Kate by surprise in the courtroom. In fact, her previous work experience as a prosecutor with a 95% conviction rate provides her with valuable insight into the strategies prosecutors use when trying cases, and she uses that knowledge to her advantage when representing clients at The Nieves Law Firm.

          Kate earned her bachelor’s degree in Nursing before pursuing her law degree at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Her passion for helping others through a career in the legal field is evidenced by the fact that in law school, Kate worked full-time during the day and attended law school in the evenings. Since that was too easy, she also got married and had a baby halfway through! Her dedication to helping others never wavered, even when she took a few years off of practicing as an attorney to teach a course on criminal justice at a college in Oregon. While she loved teaching, Kate missed the excitement of the courtroom and returned to private practice in 2016.

          Kate has practiced as an attorney in multiple states throughout the US. After moving to Tennessee in 2003, she founded her own practice in a small town outside of Nashville. Within two years, Kate had the largest law firm north of Nashville with a focus on criminal defense. She tried a number of high-profile cases throughout her esteemed legal career, including representing two individuals on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list. However, Kate still considers her finest moment in the legal field the day she made a detective cry during cross-examination.

          When she is not advocating for clients or assisting attorneys with case preparation, she spends her free time participating in a variety of mentally-focused activities. She is an avid poker player, genealogist, and a fan of disaster movies.

          Gurjit Pandher

          Gurjit Pandher is a no-nonsense criminal defense attorney at The Nieves Law Firm with over 20 years of legal experience. With that type of experience, there isn’t much that surprises Gurjit in the courtroom when defending clients. Gurjit understands the criminal defense field and has served in multiple roles in the criminal justice system, including working as a prosecutor and serving as a Pro Tempore Judge after being hand-selected by four Presiding District Court Judges. His trial experience (Over 340 cases tried by jury) has been foundational in helping him hone his legal skills through pre-trial preparation, negotiations, legal writing, research, and oral advocacy. Gurjit’s experience in both the criminal and civil arenas have helped him cultivate the skills he uses daily to secure positive outcomes for clients.

          Born in London, England, Gurjit lived in India for a short time before moving to the United States. He graduated with a Bachelors in Political Science before attaining his law degree. His interest in the legal field expands beyond his work as an attorney – Gurjit has served as a mock trial judge for law school students and was a former Bar Association president. 

          Outside of work, Gurjit is an avid sports fan, history buff, podcast enthusiast, and world traveler. One of Gurjit’s most proud accomplishments is climbing Mount Rainier (14,411 feet elevation) as part of a breast cancer fundraising effort. If you’re in the office, don’t be surprised if you hear a Seinfeld quote from Gurjit as he’s our in-office Seinfeld expert.

          Kevin Carney

          Kevin Carney is a defense lawyer that is dedicated to using his legal knowledge to serve his community. Born and raised in Stockton, California, Kevin considers it an honor to help protect the constitutional rights of his neighbors, friends, and fellow California natives. Prior to starting his legal career, Kevin joined the Peace Corps in Guatemala for two years, where he learned to speak, write and read Spanish fluently. This experience has fueled his interest and sensitivity to how criminal cases can impact a client’s immigration status. At the Nieves Law Firm, Kevin focuses on representing clients facing serious criminal charges.

          Some of Kevin’s exemplary legal work is best portrayed by the results he received for clients facing serious criminal penalties. He has successfully secured a “Not Guilty” verdict for a client facing murder charges in Stockton, California, and has received acquittals for two clients facing potential prison sentences of over 50 years for an alleged Robbery and an alleged Carjacking, both in San Joaquin County. Kevin has also received several acquittals for clients facing criminal charges related to domestic violence, DUIs, and burglary in a number of counties throughout the Bay Area.

          Kevin has been working as a criminal defense attorney for over 14 years, graduating from UC Davis College of Law in 2006. He started out his legal career working as a Public Defender in San Joaquin County. His experiences there helped him get a better understanding of San Joaquin’s criminal justice system, and he accumulated a myriad of trial experience and training, which qualifies him to handle death penalty cases pursuant to California Rules of Court section 4.117.

          When Kevin is not helping clients with their legal needs, he enjoys reading, writing and biking. He is a big fan of ocean swimming, and has swam in events such as the South End Rowing Club’s Alcatraz Invitational and the Tiburon Mile.

          Victoria Hirsch

          Los Angeles native and attorney Victoria (Tori) Hirsch is eager to fight for you in the legal arena, and she thoroughly enjoys fighting for the rights of every single person she represents. At the Nieves Law Firm, Tori primarily represents clients facing criminal charges, those who find themselves caught up in the juvenile justice system, and those who need assistance with post-conviction relief matters. Her focus on juvenile work stems from her previous experience working as an English Language Arts teacher at KIPP Bayview Academy where she taught what she considers “some of the world’s smartest, funniest, and kindest seventh graders.” Now, she spends her professional career dedicated to keeping Californians out of the criminal justice system.

          One of the most memorable cases in Tori’s career took place while she was in law school. She and other representatives from her school’s Juvenile Justice Clinic helped a young client facing serious charges avoid incarceration with the Department of Juvenile Justice.  Success in that case required taking a detailed social history from the client and leveraging facts about the client’s life to advocate for him in front of the judge and with the District Attorney. Throughout the case, Tori learned that providing great legal representation includes building a trusting, empathetic relationship with every client she defends. Tori’s background is what makes her zealous and eager to fight for justice, and she is hungry to take on any and all Juvenile and Post-Conviction Relief cases.

          Tori earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona before attaining her law degree from Loyola Law School. As a student there, Tori developed her love for criminal defense through courses like Criminal Procedure, where she internalized the limits the Constitution places on police action. Outside of the classroom, Tori spent her time assisting public defenders around the county during externships with offices in Los Angeles, Washington 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.

          When Tori isn’t defending clients from police action, she enjoys cooking, exercising through barre classes, interior decorating, and looking for the best local matcha latte (she claims nothing beats Blue Bottle Coffee). Tori lived in Oakland while teaching in San Francisco and fell in love with Oakland’s rich history and culture. Even though Tori is from L.A., she now considers The Bay her home.

          Stephani Prieto

          Stephani Prieto is a criminal defense attorney at The Nieves Law Firm with unwavering passion for social justice and client-focused legal representation. Having lived in the Bay Area for much of her life, Stephani shares a strong connection with the local community and fellow Bay Area residents. Stephani believes that everyone should be afforded quality representation to prevent the perpetuation of systemic injustice.

          Stephani graduated from U.C. Davis with a B.A. in Political Science before attaining her law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law with a certificate in Public Interest. Stephani first developed her love of criminal defense as an undergraduate intern at the Yolo County Public Defender’s office. During law school, Stephani externed at various public defender offices in Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Jackson Mississippi, and Washington DC.

          Outside of the office Stephani enjoys working-out, spending time with family, and exploring the Bay Area.

          Lauren Bradley

          Lauren Bradley is a criminal defense attorney that has been committed to helping people throughout her entire life. As someone who knows how unjust the criminal justice system can be without proper legal representation, she is dedicated to defending those who have been accused of crimes. Lauren is passionate about criminal law and is a fierce defender of her clients’ rights. As a Bay Area native, she considers it a privilege to protect the rights of her fellow community members who are going through the trials and tribulations of criminal allegations.

          Lauren was raised in Sonoma County and moved to San Francisco where she lived for about 10 years before coming over the bridge to Oakland. While growing up, Lauren remembers the constant news of officer-involved shootings in the Bay Area. While she always knew she wanted to pursue a career helping people, this fueled Lauren’s passion for a career in the criminal defense field.

          Lauren received her law degree from University of San Francisco School of Law, where she worked in the criminal law clinic, and her bachelor’s degree in Communications and Political Science from San Francisco State University. Prior to joining The Nieves Law Farm, Lauren clerked at the Unified Family Court and then interned at the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office where she worked on a number of felony cases as well as in the public policy unit advocating for release of police misconduct records. As a member of the Alameda County Bar Association, she looks forward to using her experience to provide zealous legal representation to all of her clients.

          When Lauren is not helping her clients with criminal matters, she enjoys doing a variety of activities. She loves going to restaurants and gets brunch at Brenda’s on most weekends. Lauren is a fan of all types of music, and she always has a good time attending concerts at the Fox Theater. Lauren also likes to spend her spare time hiking and going to the beach.

          Ebony Caraballo

          Ebony Caraballo is the Office Manager at The Nieves Law Firm. She was born and raised in Florida and, after graduating from Florida State University, moved across the country to California where she became an intern at The Nieves Law Firm. She gained experience in criminal defense and quickly became skilled at law office management, client relations, and case management systems.

          In 2017, Ebony came back to The Nieves Law Firm as a paralegal where she felt she could affirmatively take a stand against mass incarceration and demand police accountability. Ebony exhibited hard work, dedication, and loyalty to The Nieves Law Firm, which landed her a new position in 2019 as The Nieves Law Firm’s office manager. To learn more about management, Ebony attended Western Governors University where she received her Masters in Management and Leadership in 2020. 

          Ebony thoroughly enjoys her position as our office manager. From interviewing potential new employees, onboarding them, training them in their new position, and teaching them The Nieves Law Firm way, she is our office’s go-to for any and all questions. Ebony is always finding new ways to create better systems and training guides to help our office grow and reach our goals. 

          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.

          Maria Flores

          Maria Flores is a daughter of immigrants and a first-generation college graduate. She graduated from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in both Criminal Justice and Psychology. As a child, she watched her parents struggle through the legal system on their own and decided to pursue a career where she can lend support to individuals caught in similar situations.

          At the beginning of college, she volunteered to perform workshops in adult jail facilities and juvenile facilities about the importance of sustaining strong family connections during incarceration. While interacting with the participants, she quickly realized the false representation and the dehumanization of “criminals” in the media.

          In the past, she served as a JusticeCorps member, where she assisted self-represented litigants maneuver through the court system. It was here where she learned about the legal process in family law matters such as divorce, child custody, and paternity. In her most recent internship, she was an investigative intern for the San Diego Federal Defenders Inc., where she assisted investigators and attorneys with trial preparation. She met with clients detained in federal detentions and couldn’t help but feel compassion towards their situation.

          Maria’s goal is to help people involved with the justice system by easing some of their struggles and empowering them through knowledge. She passionately believes that everyone deserves a second chance, and that cruel punishment does not deter crime.

          In her leisure, she enjoys learning about other people’s cultures, trying new recipes, and playing tennis.

          Andres O’Sullivan-Comparan

          Andrés O’Sullivan-Comparan is a legal assistant at the Nieves Law Firm, assisting attorneys and clients throughout case preparation and trial proceedings. Originally from California, Andrés grew up in San Diego and neighboring Tijuana, Mexico. Throughout Andrés’ childhood, he was blessed with a very unique intercultural understanding from his opportunity to interact with a multitude of people from all different cultures and backgrounds. Criminal defense has always been a fundamental part of Andrés’ interests and prior experiences, which sparked his interest in a career in the legal field.

          In 2020, Andrés graduated from Brown University with a degree in History with a specialization in 20th Century Latin America. He also completed a summer internship with the San Diego Public Defender’s office while pursuing his undergraduate degree. Throughout his internship, Andrés witnessed the inadequacies of the criminal justice system firsthand. This experience redefined the criminal justice system for Andrés and motivated him to do his part in creating a more accessible and dignified path to actively defend those who are in need.

          Andrés assists clients to the fullest of his ability at The Nieves Law Firm, understanding that he can utilize his experiences to better prepare himself to pursue a career as a criminal defense attorney. Andrés has a strong gift in legal writing, analyzing, and critical thinking. He is relentless in his pursuit to assist clients and staff while also maintaining a positive attitude. Andrés thrives under pressure and his work ethic is admired by many. Andrés plans to start law school in 2022. 

          When Andrés is not furthering his legal knowledge base, he spends his free time attending art shows, metalworking, and hanging out at the beach.

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