March 2024 Panel Bulletin

Read on for important information about FDAP’s in-person annual seminar, personnel updates, upcoming trainings, and panel victories.

FDAP In-Person Annual Seminar

Register today for FDAP’s Annual Seminar on April 26, 2024. We will be live and in person at beautiful Preservation Park in Oakland. Come join us and receive 5 hours of general and specialization MCLE credit, lunch with your colleagues, and an opportunity to connect and learn with staff attorneys and other panel attorneys from around the state.

This year’s seminar will have criminal and dependency breakout sessions:

  • Recent Legal Developments in Criminal, Juvenile, and Civil Commitment Law;
  • Turning Murder Into Manslaughter: The Six Pillars of the Manslaughter Defense and Other Rousing Stories;
  • Current Issues in Sentencing and Resentencing Appeals;
  • A Guide to Dependency Practice in the First District;
  • Emerging and Recurring Issues in Dependency Appeals; and
  • Mootness: It Will Never Be Moot for This Family.

As a group, we will hear from Brad O’Connell and his distinguished panel on Oral Argument – Showing Up and Standing Up For Our Clients. Also, Richard Braucher and Danica Rodarmel will discuss Summoning the Genie: How Legislative Action Can Benefit Our Clients.

Please note the training will not be recorded or live-streamed. Register here.

FDAP Personnel Updates

Please join us in welcoming Kaiya Pirolo to the FDAP staff.  Kaiya joined FDAP after representing appellants as a panel attorney in the First, Third, and Fifth District Courts of Appeal for six years. Prior to that, she worked as a deputy public defender in Pierce County, Washington and as an associate attorney at a criminal defense firm in San Francisco. Kaiya graduated from UC Law SF in 2011, has a masters degree in European Studies from NYU, and enjoys gardening in her spare time.

Upcoming Training

California Appellate Defense Counsel
Annual Conference and Seminar
March 22-23, 2024

Registration is now open for CADC’s Annual Conference and Seminar March 22-23, 2024 which will be held virtually again this year. The two-day conference will be filled with informative and inspiring presentations, including the Project Directors Roundtable, a report from CADC’s lobbyist and criminal and dependency break-out sessions, providing a total of up to 9 hours of MCLE credit. For more information and to register, please visit CADC’s website.

Panel Victories

Below are a few noteworthy First District victories from this past month. These victories and many more can be found on the Panel Victories page of FDAP’s Website.

A167029 – [Unpublished Opinion | Panel Attorney Robert Angres] The Court of Appeal held that the trial court erred by holding appellant’s resentencing hearing in his absence, in violation of both his constitutional and statutory right. While defense counsel waived appellant’s presence due to “COVID restrictions,” the Court noted there was no evidence that appellant understood the right he was waiving or the consequences of doing so. The Court further found that the error was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt because had appellant been present at his resentencing he might have “offered mitigating factors that arose after his original sentencing; he [might] have expressed remorse; [or] he [might] have made a plea for leniency.”

A167640 – [Unpublished Opinion | Panel Attorney Robert Hernandez] The Court of Appeal held that the trial court erred by imposing a restitution fine in excess of the statutory minimum under PC 1202.4(b)(1). The Court reasoned that the record did not contain substantial evidence to support appellant had the ability to pay the fine where appellant was homeless when he entered custody, had been receiving CalFresh benefits, and would be trying to raise a family when he was released from prison.  Additionally, the Court found that substantial evidence did not support that the fine was warranted based on the seriousness of the crime where appellant was charged with a misdemeanor, and there was no evidence that appellant derived “any economic gain . . . as a result of the crime,” that “any other person suffered losses as a result of the crime,” and where there were no victims involved.

A165060 – [Unpublished Opinion | Panel Attorney Kyle Gee] The Court of Appeal held that the trial court erred in imposing fines and fees – including a $10,000 restitution fine – outside of appellant’s presence and in violation of his both his constitutional and statutory rights.