Executive Board


Ji Seon Song

Stanford Law School

Ms. Song has dedicated her career to changing the criminal and juvenile legal systems. In her past work as a public defender, she sought to tell her clients’ stories and reflect their humanity. Her practice and policy focus has been on improving the plight of young people in custody and on creating better ways to keep youth connected to their communities. She gives training and lectures nationwide on issues related to policing, racial justice, and trial practice. She is currently a Thomas C. Grey Fellow and Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School where she writes in the areas of criminal and juvenile law. She previously worked as a senior policy advocate at the National Juvenile Defender Center and a Prettyman fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center. She also served as a clerk for the Hon. Deborah A. Batts in the Southern District of New York. Ms. Song received her J.D. from Columbia Law School and an LLM in Trial Advocacy from Georgetown. She holds a B.A. in East Asian studies with a Minor in Music from Columbia College, Columbia University. Ms. Song was a founding member of the Asian American Criminal Trial Lawyers Association and the Bay Area Public Defenders for Racial Justice. She has been on the Advisory Board and Executive Board of PJDC since 2013. Her involvement with PJDC began as the California liaison for the MacArthur Models for Change Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network. Ms. Song is a Bay Area native and a classically trained singer.


Jonathan Laba

Vice President
Contra Costa County Office of the Public Defender

Mr. Laba has been with the Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office since 1996. In addition to supervising the agency’s Richmond Branch, he directs the Office’s law clerk and internship programs and chairs the Office’s Training Committee. Outside of his public defender work, Mr. Laba focuses his advocacy efforts on juvenile justice issues. He has served as a member of PJDC’s Executive Board for over twelve years, and is currently the organization’s Vice President. From 2008 to 2011, Mr. Laba participated in the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Juvenile Indigent Defense Action Network, an initiative that engaged juvenile defenders, policymakers, judges and other key stakeholders in designing strategies to improve juvenile indigent defense policy and practice. Since 2006, he has co-authored the chapter on juvenile delinquency proceedings in California Criminal Law: Procedure and Practice which is published annually by the Continuing Education of the Bar. Mr. Laba has been an adjunct faculty member at Berkeley Law since 2011, where he teaches the Criminal Field Placement Ethics Seminar. He taught Children and the Law at Golden Gate University School of Law from 2007 through 2012. Mr. Laba is a 1989 graduate of the University of Virginia. Following graduation, he spent a year at the Stanford Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama. He received his J.D. from U.C. Berkeley School of Law in 1996.


Richard Braucher

First District Appellate Project, Oakland

Since 1998, Mr. Braucher has been a staff attorney at the First District Appellate Project in Oakland, where he represents indigent clients in juvenile and adult matters on appeal. He also trains panel attorneys who are new to appellate practice. In addition to serving on the PJDC Board, he has been an active member of the organization’s Amicus Committee since its inception in 2006, moderating the committee’s monthly teleconferences and writing amicus briefs and training materials. He was appellate counsel in In re Elias V. (2015) 237 Cal.App.4th 568, a seminal juvenile confession case where the Court of Appeal held that the Reid Techniques commonly used by law enforcement rendered Elias’ confession involuntary. Mr. Braucher has also been a leader in devising juvenile trainings for appellate attorneys handling delinquency appeals and is an expert in Eighth Amendment sentencing issues for youth in adult court.


Kasie Lee

Chief Financial Officer
The Law Offices of Kasie W. Lee, Oakland

Ms. Lee is an attorney with the Law Offices of Kasie W. Lee, focusing primarily on criminal defense and juvenile delinquency. She serves on the Criminal Conflicts Panel and Delinquency Appointments Panel of the Bar Association of San Francisco. Prior to starting her own practice, Ms. Lee was a trial attorney at the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, where she handled complex and serious felonies. She has trained attorneys on the topic of social media and its role in criminal defense for the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, California Public Defenders Association, National Public Center and other organizations. Ms. Lee is the President of the Board of the Asian American Criminal Trial Lawyers Association. She has served on PJDC’s Board, and as its Chief Financial Officer since 2016.

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Elizabeth Calvin

Board Member
Human Rights Watch

Since 1995, Ms. Calvin has fought for the rights of children caught up in the juvenile justice and foster care systems, as well those denied their education rights. As a senior advocate at Human Rights Watch, she focuses on the rights of children in California, with a specific emphasis on children and youth in foster care and the criminal justice systems. Her work includes research and writing on human rights violations against children, policy and legal advocacy, and building partnerships with community groups. She is an author of three Human Rights Watch reports on juveniles serving life without parole, and works closely with a national campaign to end the use of extreme prison sentences for youth. In 2012, her leadership of a coalition-based effort resulted in the reform of California’s use of life without parole sentences for youth. She has also written on foster care and homelessness, and works closely with youth, faith groups, family members of youth sentenced to life in prison, crime victims, incarcerated individuals, advocates, and activists for youth rights.


Greg Feldman

Board Member
San Francisco Public Defender’s Office

Mr. Feldman has been a criminal defense attorney since 1989.  His service on PJDC’s Board is a natural fit given his 16 years with the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office working primarily in the Juvenile Division. He is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, and University of San Francisco School of Law.


Corene Kendrick

Board Member
Prison Law Office

Ms. Kendrick is a Staff Attorney at the Prison Law Office, a nonprofit organization based in Berkeley, California, where she works on class action litigation and the monitoring and enforcement of settlement agreements brought on behalf of incarcerated persons against states and counties. She is the Office’s lead attorney and monitor on Parsons v. Ryan, a case challenging the medical, mental health, dental care and conditions in isolation units at Arizona state prisons; she was previously lead attorney for Armstrong v. Brown, a case brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on behalf of people with disabilities. Before joining the Prison Law Office in 2011, Ms. Kendrick was a Staff Attorney at the Youth Law Center in San Francisco, where she engaged in policy advocacy, impact litigation, and public education on behalf of children in foster care and juvenile justice systems in numerous jurisdictions across the country. Ms. Kendrick also was a Skadden Fellow at Children’s Rights in New York from 2003 to 2005 during which time she worked on class action lawsuits to reform state foster care systems in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Nebraska. Prior to law school, Ms. Kendrick worked in Washington, D.C. as a Congressional lobbyist for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She earned a J.D. from Stanford Law School (2003), a Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs (1996), and a B.A. with honors from George Washington University (1994).


Rourke Stacy-Padilla

Board Member
Law Offices of the the Los Angeles County Public Defender

Ms. Stacy-Padilla’s youth justice advocacy sprung out of her work with the Law Offices of the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since 2001, Ms. Stacy-Padilla has been a Deputy Public Defender and has spent over of half her career addressing youth justice issues as a trial attorney, appellate specialist, trainer, and policy advocate.  She has argued juvenile law matters in the California Court of Appeal, and has argued three juvenile cases in the California Supreme Court.

Legislators, policy advocates, and other juvenile justice stakeholders call upon Ms. Stacy-Padilla regularly to assist in their matters. In addition to testifying numerous times at the California State Capitol, she has also been involved in co-drafting legislation regarding juvenile law issues including SB 395 (Juvenile Miranda Bill) and Proposition 57 (Juvenile Justice Portion), SB 1391 (eliminating transfer for 14 and 15-year-olds) and SB 1437 (felony murder accomplice liability reform) among others, and consults on youth policy issues on both a state and national level. Her trial, appellate, and policy experience has enabled her to train judges, prosecutors, forensic mental health professionals, law enforcement, medical professionals, and defense counsel on issues relating to youth and juvenile delinquency court. She was also co-editor of Collateral Consequences of Juvenile Delinquency CourtA Handbook for Juvenile Law Professionals, (2011) published by the Pacific Juvenile Defender.

In addition to her duties as Trainer for the Juvenile Division of the Office of the Los Angeles County Public Defender, Ms. Stacy-Padilla is an adjunct professor of law at Southwestern Law School where she teaches about youth in the justice system. She has received awards for her work by the Pacific Juvenile Defender Center, Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Association, and the Criminal Justice Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association.


Patricia Lee

President Emerita
San Francisco Public Defender’s Office

Ms. Lee has been a Deputy Public Defender in San Francisco since 1978 and has been practicing in the Juvenile Courts since 1981. She is currently the Managing Attorney for the Juvenile Division of the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. She has undertaken a leadership role with PJDC since 2000, when she began to serve as one of the organization’s first Co-Directors. Ms. Lee led PJDC for nearly twenty years. She is on the Board of the National Juvenile Defender Center, the Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee of the Judicial Council, Center for Families Children and the Courts. She is a core member of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice, an interdisciplinary agency that bridges research, policy and practice for “at-risk” youth. She is also an appointed Committee member for the National Academy of Science on a Prioritized Plan to Implement a Developmental Approach in Juvenile Justice Reform.


Christopher Gardner

Board Member Emeritus
San Bernardino County Public Defender

On March 31, 2018, Mr. Gardner was appointed the Public Defender for the County of San Bernardino. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Public Defender and directed the internal operations of the entire agency. Mr. Gardner began working for the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office in 1997 shortly after his graduation from McGeorge School of Law. Later that year, he entered private practice at a firm that provided primary-level conflict representation to children and parents in the San Bernardino County delinquency and dependency courts. He became a partner at the firm in 2001. Mr. Gardner was appointed to PJDC’s Advisory Board in 2005. In 2006, Mr. Gardner returned to the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office as Chief Deputy of the Office’s Human Services Division. He changed the Division’s culture by directing attorneys to not only represent their individual clients, but to become immersed in the system as participants and collaborators whenever possible.

System-wide improvements implemented by Mr. Gardner and his team have included collaborating with the Probation and Behavioral Health Departments to obtain a Mentally Ill Offender Crime Reduction Grant for assisting mentally ill clients in Juvenile Hall with the transition out of custody; and working with Probation to develop San Bernardino County’s award-winning GATEWAY program.  Mr. Gardner’s staff have also worked with San Bernardino County Department of Behavioral Health to assist with the development of its Transitional Age Youth Centers. Mr. Gardner sought grant funding to design and implement Alternative Approaches to Rehabilitation within the Community, an award-winning program that utilizes the services of social service practitioners to meet juvenile clients’ needs and to assist them with successful completion of their treatment plans.

PJDC Staff


Eileen Manning-Villar

PJDC Grants and Projects Director

Ms. Manning-Villar started down the path of youth advocacy a decade ago when she began representing youth in the delinquency system on appeal. In addition to serving as Pacific Juvenile Defender Center’s grants and projects director, she practices appellate law with an emphasis on juvenile delinquency appeals, taking appointed cases from the First District Appellate Project, Sixth District Appellate Project, and California Appellate Project – Los Angeles. She is a Member of the Board of the California Appellate Defense Counsel. Prior to returning to the legal profession full time, Ms. Manning-Villar was active in public education in her community, serving one term as a trustee on her local school district board and co-chairing the school district’s first successful parcel tax campaign. She is a graduate of Mills College and Hastings College of the Law.


Sue Burrell

PJDC Policy Director

For more than four decades, Ms. Burrell has fought to level the playing field for young people in the justice system and has worked for practices that allow them to move forward in their lives. As PJDC’s Policy and Training Director, she helps lawyers to assist youth through providing appellate case support, speaking and creating training materials, writing on juvenile law issues, and serving as a consultant on legal and policy matters. Ms. Burrell began her career as a public defender in Los Angeles, working on behalf of youth in the trial and appellate courts, and serving as an appellate/training attorney.  Shifting to policy work, she then spent 28 years at the San Francisco-based Youth Law Center, focusing on reducing the use of incarceration; stemming transfer to adult court; challenging institutional abuses; and assuring access to education, health and mental health care services. She played a leadership role in bringing to light abuses in California state institutional system, and in opposing legislative measures that vilified young people in the system. With colleagues, she wrote national standards for juvenile detention facilities and trained people all over the United States on juvenile institutional care.

At Youth Law Center, Ms. Burrell also reconnected with her juvenile defender roots, and for the past decade she has worked to improve the quality of legal representation for youth in juvenile court proceedings. She co-authored the first national study on quality of representation, led the California team in a multi-year MacArthur Foundation initiative to improve juvenile defense, and helped to write national standards for juvenile defenders. She has written dozens of articles and law reviews on juvenile law topics and co-edited PJDC’s manual on collateral consequences of court involvement. She has argued in the California Supreme Court, has written or co-authored many amicus curiae briefs, and has played a significant role in the enactment of more than a dozen laws affecting youth in the justice system. Ms. Burrell was a member of the Governor’s Juvenile Justice Workgroup in 2004-05, and is an appointed member of the Board of State and Community Corrections Juvenile Justice Standing Committee. Her work has been recognized in California and nationally. She was the 2010 Defender of the Year for the Pacific Juvenile Defender Center, and in 2011, was awarded the American Bar Association’s Livingston Hall Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice Advocacy.


Arthur Bowie

J-TAP Training Attorney

Mr. Bowie is the J-TAP Training Attorney for PJDC. In this capacity, he oversees the building of juvenile defense communities in the rural regions of the state through training and outreach. He is also in private practice in Sacramento, California after  retiring from the Office of the Public Defender for Sacramento County. He managed the Juvenile Division of the Public Defender’s Office for over 10 years, and was the Supervising Assistant Public Defender for that Office’s Research and Training Division for 4 years. During his tenure managing the Juvenile Division, Mr. Bowie litigated numerous delinquency cases at the jurisdictional (trial court) level, in the California Courts of Appeal, and the California Supreme Court. His division’s work in the area of juvenile adjudicative competency led to the first published appellate opinion recognizing developmental immaturity as a non-statutory basis to find a child not competent to stand trial, and holding that a child did not have to have a mental disorder or be developmentally disabled to be found not competent to stand trial. Mr. Bowie has been a member of the PJDC Board of Directors of the Pacific Juvenile Defender Center since 2010. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Independent Juvenile Defense Office and the California Public Defenders Association’s (CPDA) Legislative Committee, working on criminal and juvenile justice public policy. He has been a lecturer and presenter for continuing legal education for CPDA, the National Juvenile Defender Center, and the MacArthur Foundation Models for Change (Washington, DC), among other state and national organizations.