Office of the Federal Public Defender-Northern District of California


Mission Peak


2013 CJA Seminar

June 8, 2013
8:30 am - 2:30 pm
UC Hasting College of the Law
San Francisco, California



Cari Dangerfield Waters
CJA Supervising Attorney, Northern District of California

Cari Dangerfield Waters has been the CJA Supervising Attorney for the Northern District since May of 2010. Prior to this position, she practiced criminal and civil defense law in Arizona from 1993 to 2006, which included being a assistant Pima County public and legal defender, serving on the Tucson CJA panel, and working in private practice with Walter Nash at the law office of Nash and Dangerfield.

Rory Little
UC Hastings

Professor Little came to UC Hastings in 1994 after a distinguished 12-year career as a practicing litigator, criminal defense and prosecution lawyer, and appellate lawyer. He is today a nationally recognized authority on criminal litigation ethics, federal criminal law, appellate litigation, and constitutional issues. On three occasions he has been awarded the "Best Professor" designation by the UC Hastings third-year class.

Professor Little chairs and serves on various committees in the American Bar Association and Federal Bar Association; annually publishes a Review of the Supreme Court's Term: Criminal Cases for the ABA; and serves as Reporter to the ABA's Task Force to Revise the Criminal Justice Standards, Prosecution and Defense Functions. He also occasionally serves as an expert witness in litigation matters; provides commentary on current legal issues for various print and electronic media; and maintains an Of Counsel position for appellate matters with the international law firm of McDermott, Will & Emery.

After graduating from Yale Law School, Professor Little served as law clerk to U.S. District Judge Louis F. Oberdorfer (Washington DC); Justice Potter Stewart (ret.), working on matters before the First, Third and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeal; and Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Professor Little also clerked for Justices Powell, Stevens, and Chief Justice Burger-a unique one-year experience.

Professor Little then practiced privately at Miller, Cassidy, Larroca & Lewin in Washington D.C. In 1987, he joined the U.S. Department of Justice's Organized Crime & Racketeering Strike Force as a Trial Attorney. In 1989, he became the Appellate Chief for the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of California, and has now argued over 60 federal and state appeals while briefing many more. In 1996 to 1997, Professor Little took a leave of absence from UC Hastings to serve as an Associate Deputy Attorney General in Washington D.C. under Attorney General Janet Reno and Deputy AG Jamie Gorelick.

Professor Little was born and raised in New Jersey and has three children. He used to run marathons and can occasionally be seen in running regalia, still staggering along.

Danielle Gsoell
Technical Client Solution Specialist

Danielle Gsoell is the western region Technical Client Solution Specialist for Veritext Legal Solutions. As such, Ms. Gsoell shares her proficiency in technical legal applications through working knowledge, collaborative product development and educational seminars, supporting both employees and clientele alike.

Her technical background includes expertise in the areas of realtime software, document management solutions, trial presentation tools and mobile applications with proficiency in LiveNote, Summation, TextMap, TrialDirector and more.

Knowledge of these tools allow her to tailor solutions to clients, resolve time- sensitive technical matters and answer technical inquiries.

As a member of the product development team, Ms. Gsoell collaborates with Veritext account executives, product development members, and information technology staff to define and detail the analytical aspects and feasibility of proposed solutions and advancements applicable to industry trends.

In addition, Ms. Gsoell is a credentialed educator with an acute understanding of instructional design making her an integral asset to the Technical Solutions teaching team. She travels throughout the western region clarifying complex subject matter and providing leading- edge informative MCLE's, educational instruction and product demonstrations to legal professionals.

Her current presentation topics include advances in deposition technology, electronic tablet usage for the legal office, and technology- based timesavers.

Ms. Gsoell earned her B.A. in Sociology at the University of Hawaii, Manoa and her M.A. in Education at the University of California, Irvine.

Brendan Hickey
Defender Services

A Harvard Law School graduate and former Federal Public Defender, Brendan Hickey is one of the finest criminal defense attorneys in the San Francisco Bay Area. His aggressive advocacy and dedication to his clients have helped him to obtain excellent results in a broad range of cases before both federal and state courts, including successful jury trials, appeals, and post-conviction proceedings.

Mr. Hickey was raised in the Bay Area and received his undergraduate education at UCLA, where he graduated magna cum laude. He went on to attend Harvard Law School, where he was heavily involved in the Criminal Justice Institute, the Human Rights Program, and the Harvard Boxing Team.

After graduating cum laude from Harvard Law School, Mr. Hickey went on to join the Federal Defenders of San Diego, one of the nation's premiere community defender organizations. As a Federal Defender, Mr. Hickey represented hundreds of criminal defendants in federal court on a wide array of charges, including immigration, drug and fraud offenses, weapons charges, and other federal crimes. He successfully litigated numerous motions on behalf of his clients, repeatedly suppressing key evidence and securing the outright dismissal of federal indictments. He conducted numerous jury trials in federal court, achieving positive results for his clients including acquittal or dismissal after a hung jury. Mr. Hickey's superior courtroom and trial skills have also allowed him to achieve favorable results for many of his clients through plea-bargain negotiations and sentencing litigation.

Upon leaving the Federal Defenders, Mr. Hickey returned home to the Bay Area and established his own legal practice, Defender Services, in the Pier 9 Law Offices. Since founding the firm in 2011, he has represented a wide range of clients in federal and state courts in the Bay Area and around California, including on appeal before the California Courts of Appeal and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal. He is proud to be a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Criminal Justice Act ('CJA') panel for the Northern District of California, and has been asked to serve as an instructor for the Northern District federal defense bar.

Mr. Hickey, who speaks Spanish, is also regarded as expert in the increasingly important field of 'crimmigration' law. Because even minor criminal offenses can result in devastating immigration consequences like deportation, it is essential that any non-citizen charged with a crime seek the advice and assistance of an attorney who understands the complex interaction between criminal and immigration law. Mr. Hickey has successfully prevented numerous deportations by ensuring his clients are only convicted of non-deportable offenses, and re-united families by vacating or modifying old convictions to prevent an impending deportation. Mr. Hickey is regularly consulted by other attorneys regarding the immigration consequences for their own clients, and is one of a handful of attorneys in the U.S. to have obtained a not guilty verdict in an illegal re-entry trial.

Jennifer Granick
Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society

Jennifer Granick is the Director of Civil Liberties at the Stanford Center for Internet and Society. Jennifer returns to Stanford after stints as General Counsel of entertainment company Worldstar Hip Hop and as counsel with the internet boutique firm of Zwillgen PLLC. Before that, she was the Civil Liberties Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Jennifer practices, speaks and writes about computer crime and security, electronic surveillance, consumer privacy, data protection, copyright, trademark and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. From 2001 to 2007, Jennifer was Executive Director of CIS and taught Cyberlaw, Computer Crime Law, Internet intermediary liability, and Internet law and policy. Before teaching at Stanford, Jennifer spent almost a decade practicing criminal defense law in California. She was selected by Information Security magazine in 2003 as one of 20 "Women of Vision" in the computer security field. She earned her law degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law and her undergraduate degree from the New College of the University of South Florida.

Martha Boersch
Martha Boersch, Attorney at Law

Martha Boersch is a trial and appellate lawyer with over twenty years experience in the federal courts of Northern California. Her practice focuses on federal criminal defense and complex civil litigation. With broad experience in all aspects of federal criminal law, Martha is "phenomenally strong across the whole spectrum of white collar work." She has tried more than a dozen federal jury trials and briefed and argued many cases in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Martha served for twelve years as a federal prosecutor and has been a defense lawyer for almost a decade, giving her a "wealth of experience on both sides of the courtroom." A "ferocious" advocate for her clients, she "commands the respect of defense counsel and prosecutors alike."

Martha represents individuals and companies in federal grand jury investigations, pretrial, trial, and appellate proceedings. Her experience in federal criminal law includes mail and wire fraud, antitrust, the FCPA, domestic corruption and bribery, RICO, money laundering, and other federal criminal offenses. Martha's civil practice focuses on state and federal false claims act, fraud, antitrust, and securities cases.

Dennis Riordan
Riordan & Horgan

Over the last two decades, Dennis P. Riordan has repeatedly been evaluated as one of the best appellate litigators in California and the nation. He has argued issues of great breadth and importance in both criminal and civil cases, including several in the United States Supreme Court, and hundreds in state and federal appellate courts around the country.

In 1989, California Lawyer Magazine named Mr. Riordan, labeled by his peers the "best criminal appellate attorney around," as one of the state's "Most Respected Lawyers." Since that time, Mr. Riordan has repeatedly been acknowledged as one of the outstanding litigators in the Bay Area, the state of California, and the entire nation. In the 2002 edition of his book "Persons and Masks of the Law," Judge John Noonan of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals cited Mr. Riordan as the single example of a lawyer who could make a difference on behalf of a defendant in a federal criminal appeal.

In 1996, California Lawyer listed Mr. Riordan among its "Lawyers of the Year" for his work in first overturning George Franklin's murder conviction in the first case based on "repressed memory" testimony. That same year, the San Francisco Daily Journal called Mr. Riordan "one of the top criminal appellate specialists in California."

In 2003, Mr. Riordan won honors from the San Francisco Chronicle as one of the "'Top Ten Lawyers" in the Bay Area, nicknaming him "the Last Hope." In 2005 San FranciscoMagazine described him as one of the nation's top appellate lawyers. The San Diego Union called him "one of the state's top appellate lawyers" following his success in overturning a new trial motion on the corruption convictions of former San Diego councilman Michael Zucchet. In May of 2006, the Sacramento Bee named Mr. Riordan as "one of the nation's best known lawyers of last resort" in an article concerning his entry into the highly publicized prosecution of Hamid Hayat. In a 2007 article, the New York Times described Mr. Riordan as "one of California's top appellate lawyers... known as a brilliant writer of motions, briefs and jury instructions."

Mr. Riordan has been included in "The Best Lawyers in America" for the past ten years.

He is a 1974 graduate of New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden Scholar, an Arthur Garfield Hays Fellow, and a member of the Order of the Coif. He has twice been awarded Fulbright Fellowships for the study of law in Spain, and has served as an adjunct professor at both Stanford and the University of San Francisco Law Schools.

Ed Swanson
Swanson, McNamara & Haller LLP

Edward W. Swanson is an AV-rated trial and appellate lawyer specializing in white collar and general criminal defense as well as commercial litigation cases. He represents individuals and corporations in a broad spectrum of civil and criminal matters. Mr. Swanson practices in state and federal courts in all phases of trial and appellate proceedings. He also defends business and professional clients in federal and state regulatory investigations, including SEC matters. He serves as a civil case special master for the United States District Court for the Northern District of California and discovery referee for the California Superior Court in cases ranging from employment disputes to trade secret matters. As a special master, he has assisted the courts with discovery matters, fee disputes and mediation. He has briefed and argued cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and before the California Courts of Appeal. His case roster includes SEC matters and cases involving all aspects of criminal defense including antitrust, tax fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, cyber crime and sexual offenses. He also prosecutes and defends a variety of civil matters, including copyright and trade secret cases. Mr. Swanson is listed in the Best Lawyers in America and as a Northern California Superlawyer. He is the chair of the Northern District of California Federal Criminal Rules and Practice Committee. From 2004 to 2007, he was a Lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit for the Northern District of California, and he was co-chair of the Lawyer Representatives from 2006 to 2007.

Before founding Swanson, McNamara & Haller LLP with Mary McNamara, Mr. Swanson served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Northern District of California. Mr. Swanson is a former law clerk to the Hon. Thelton Henderson of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Mr. Swanson also worked in South Africa in 1991 and 1992 assisting the African National Congress in designing a land claims court. Mr. Swanson graduated from Stanford Law School in 1991, graduating with distinction and as a member of the Order of the Coif. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Swanson worked as committee staff for the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on Hunger. Mr. Swanson received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University in 1985.

Mr. Swanson has taught and spoken extensively on trial advocacy, deposition techniques and practice and white collar crime topics including at the American Bar Association's national White Collar Crime Conference, the National Institute for Trial Advocacy, Stanford Law School, Hastings College of the Law, the University of San Francisco Law School and at seminars of the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice (CACJ) in Northern California. Mr. Swanson presents an annual update on Ninth Circuit criminal decisions at the Northern District of California Federal Defenders Seminar. Mr. Swanson is a co-author with Mary McNamara and Alexis Haller of the White Collar Crime series of articles which appear periodically in the CACJ's Forum magazine.

Steven Kalar
Federal Public Defender

After graduating from Harvard College in 1988, Steve Kalar served in the Peace Corps in Mali, West Africa. Upon his return stateside he worked for several years in civil rights, as a fair housing advocate. In 1996 Steve received his J.D. from U.C. Hastings, and then clerked for Ninth Circuit Judge Harry Pregerson. After a brief term at Morrison & Foerster, he began as an Assistant Federal Public Defender in the Northern District of California in 1998. Steve has taught at national defense seminars on a variety of subjects, including Apprendi, technology in trial, and challenges to expert testimony. He has also written several articles for the Champion, the magazine of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. In 2003 Steve was made Senior Litigator of the N.D. Cal. Federal Public Defender's Office. In 2012 Steve was selected by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of California. Steve is a frequent contributor to the Ninth Circuit blog (, authors a nationallydistributed "Case o' The Week" memo on notable Ninth Circuit decisions.