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Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles
6505 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90048
Join Laurie Levenson, professor at Loyola Law and founder of its Innocence Project, and YALA’s annual panel of criminal law experts for a close look at notable exonerations. The evening will unpack wrongful convictions based on false confessions, overreaching prosecutors, police misconduct, and bad eyewitness identification, and feature attorneys Caleb Mason and Joshua Ritter and LAPD special assault detective Esther Mya Pe Reyes.
This event will be hosted by Emet, YALA’s legal professionals network, and all tickets include dinner.
Tickets are $10 for one and $15 for two (through August 16) and are available at yala.org/innocenceproject.
About the panelists
Laurie Levenson (Moderator)
Professor of Law
David W. Burcham Chair in Ethical Advocacy
While in law school, Laurie Levenson was Chief Articles Editor of the UCLA Law Review. After graduation, she served as Law Clerk to the Honorable James Hunter III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In 1981, she was appointed Assistant United States Attorney, Criminal Section, in Los Angeles, where she was a trial and appellate lawyer for eight years and attained the position of Senior Trial Attorney and Assistant Division Chief. Levenson was a member of the adjunct faculty of Southwestern University Law School from 1982-89. She joined the Loyola faculty in 1989 and served as Loyola’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 1996-99. She has been a visiting professor at UCLA School of Law and a D&L Straus distinguished visiting professor at Pepperdine University School of Law. Professor Levenson currently leads the following programs at Loyola Law School: Capital Habeas Litigation Clinic, The Fidler Institute annual symposium, and the Project for the Innocent.
Partner, Brown White & Osborn, LLP
Assistant United States Attorney, Southern District of California (2007-2009)
Associate Professor of Law, Southwestern Law School (2009-2012)
Caleb Mason is a trial lawyer. He does both civil and criminal litigation and has handled hundreds of criminal cases as a prosecutor and defense attorney, from investigation through trial and appeal. He taught Criminal Procedure and Evidence at Southwestern Law School and has published a dozen scholarly articles on criminal procedure and constitutional law, including “Jay-Z’s 99 Problems, Verse 2: A Close Reading With Fourth Amendment Guidance for Cops and Perps,” which young lawyers may have read while studying for the bar. Additionally, he is a regular media commentator on criminal justice topics.
Esther Mya Pe Reyes
Detective II, Supervisor, Los Angeles Police Department
Special Assault Section
Detective Reyes has been with the LAPD for 22 years. She was the president of her academy class and graduated with a sharp shooter medal in marksmanship. She was awarded the Police Medal, the second highest medal in the LAPD, when she saved her partner’s life in an exchange of gunfire with robbery suspects. Detective Reyes was the first woman in the LAPD to sell assault weapons in an undercover capacity and became a gang and narcotics expert through her work in an elite gang unit. She has been involved in numerous task forces and large-scale investigations with the FBI and the ATF and in numerous complex and high-profile investigations that involve celebrities or have received national or international news coverage. These investigations include the murder of a TSA Agent at LAX Airport, the capture and conviction of the Westside rapist, and the Christopher Dorner investigation. She is a state certified Peace Office Standards and Training instructor in Sexual Assault Investigations.
Detective Reyes has also appeared in several television shows such as the The X Files, To Protect and To Serve, and LAPD: Life on the Beat.
Associate at Werksman Jackson Hathaway & Quinn LLP
Former Deputy District Attorney, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office (2009-2015)
Criminal attorney and Los Angeles native Joshua Ritter worked as a prosecutor with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office from 2009 to 2015 and was named 2015 Outstanding Prosecutor of the Year by the Association of Deputy District Attorneys for Los Angeles County.
During his career as a prosecutor, Joshua handled numerous complex cases and high-profile trials, including a 1987 cold-case murder. He recently left the District Attorney’s office after having taken more than 40 cases to jury trial and with a career felony conviction rate over 90%. Now he is devoting his career to the defense of those in need of a ferocious and determined advocate.
Joshua received his Bachelor of Arts (with Academic Honors) from UCLA in 2001 and his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in 2007.