Click on a staff member's name to read their biography.
State Public Defender
James 'Jay' Dixon was born at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY into an army family. He moved throughout his childhood and graduated from high school in Madrid, Spain. After graduating from Bucknell University, he enrolled at Loyola Law School in New Orleans to pursue a law degree. Since graduating, his legal experience has been diverse. Mr. Dixon served as a law clerk at the Louisiana Supreme Court for former Justice Pike Hall. He had a private practice in New Orleans, while serving with the Jefferson Parish Public Defender's Office as contract counsel and later joined the St. John Parish Public Defender Office as a full-time line defender. He then served as the Attorney General for the Republic of Palau, a small island nation in the Pacific Ocean. Upon his return to the United States, Mr. Dixon was the Judicial Administrator for the 12th Circuit Court for the State of Virginia. After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, he and his wife felt compelled to return to Louisiana.He accepted a position as a contract defender for the Lafayette Parish Public Defender Office. He was later selected and accepted the position of District Defender for the Parishes of Calcasieu and Cameron where he has served from January 2011 through November 2013. He is married and has two beautiful children.
Deputy Public Defender - Director of Juvenile Defender Services
Richard Pittman was hired by the Louisiana Public Defender Board on May 28, 2013, to be the Deputy Public Defender - Director of Juvenile Defender Services. He began his career in public defense in Juvenile Court and in criminal courts in 2006, and continued in the practice until his appointment as Deputy Public Defender. From 2006-2013, he represented juveniles accused of delinquency, parents and children in abuse and neglect cases, adults accused of misdemeanors and felonies up to an including capital murder. He had guardian ad litem certification which he maintained from 2006 until 2013. Prior to his public defense practice, Mr. Pittman worked in the field of personal injury litigation.
Mr. Pittman graduated from East Ascension High School in Gonzales, Louisiana, in 1992. Thereafter he attended Louisiana State University and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering in 1996. He then obtained a Masters of Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware in 1999. By then he was working as a consultant for C.F. Picou Associates, a Baton Rouge firm specializing in process control with business worldwide. In 2001, Mr. Pittman decided to go to law school and was admitted to the University of Alabama School of Law in 2002, graduating with honors in 2005. While at the University of Alabama School of Law, he was awarded the Order of Samaritan for public service and volunteerism.
Paralegal, Capital/Juvenile Divisions
Michele Burbank comes to the Louisiana Public Defender Board with a wealth of experience from the legal and medical communities statewide. She joined the staff in January 2013.
Ms. Burbank was chosen by the Lafayette Parish Bar Association to establish the first centralized LPBA administrative office and Law Library in 1987. During this time, she also facilitated the Association 's continuing education opportunities and developed and administered the pro bono program. Thereafter, Ms. Burbank was employed for 17 years at Baton Rouge General Medical Center where she coordinated the continuing medical education, graduate medical education, risk management and service excellence programs. During this time she was involved in designing and establishing several new initiatives for the hospital.
Ms. Burbank holds an Associate Certificate in Office Administration from University of Louisiana-Lafayette, FINRA Series 6 Investment Products and Variable Contracts certification, Louisiana Life, Health and Accident License, and is a commissioned Louisiana State Notary.
Natashia M. Carter joined LPDB in July 2009. Prior to joining LPDB, Ms. Carter was an Accountant with the Department of Economic Development in the Fiscal Division of the Office of the Secretary for over 5 years. In her position with Economic Development Ms. Carter was responsible for all payables, auditing and reimbursing employee travel along with many other duties. Ms. Carter earned her Bachelor of Science in Business/Accounting and is currently pursuing her Master's Degree in Accountancy.
Life-long Baton Rouge resident Latrice R. Clark initially joined the LPDB staff in August 2008 as a temporary employee. She has six years of administrative experience and is state certified in fleet and property management. Ms. Clark oversees the maintenance of the office vehicles, property inventory and office travel procedures. In addition to those duties, Ms. Clark serves as Administrative Assistant to the Juvenile Director, office receptionist and mail manager. She joined the staff permanently in November 2008.
Capital Case Coordinator
Jean M. Faria became the Capital Case Coordinator in March 2013. Previously, she had served as the State Public Defender since June 1, 2008. For 11 years prior to joining LPDB, Ms. Faria had served as the Assistant Federal Defender for the Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana, in Baton Rouge, LA. From 1995-1997 she was the Chief Executive Officer of the Louisiana Indigent Defender Board in New Orleans, LA. Before 1995, Ms. Faria worked as a public defender in the 19th JDC Public Defender Office in Baton Rouge.
Ms. Faria has been active in the public defense reform movement, both locally and nationally, for many years. She is a charter member of the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer and long-standing member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. For more than 10 years she served on the Board of Directors of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, which she chaired for two years. Concurrently, she spent significant time as the Chair of the Defender Policy Group within that organization. Currently, she is a member of the Indigent Defense Advisory Group of the Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID) of the ABA. Ms. Faria regularly lectures at criminal defense trainings and participates in policy research of state public defender systems around the country. In December 2009, she was awarded the Justice Albert Tate Jr. Award.
Ms. Faria received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Massachusetts and received her J.D. from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center.
Julie Gregory joined LPDB in August 2010. Prior to joining LPDB, Ms. Gregory worked at a firm as a paralegal for five years, whose primary focus was insurance defense. In 2001, Ms. Gregory earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology from Louisiana State University and received her paralegal certification from LSU's continuing education program in 2003.
Paralegal, Executive Assistant to the State Public Defender
Anne Gwin graduated from Louisiana State University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts. She was employed at that time with the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and for ten years worked as a project manager and an executive assistant. In 1992, she took an office manager/legal secretary position with prominent Baton Rouge criminal defense attorney John Di Giulio. In 1999, Ms. Gwin received her paralegal certification from LSU's continuing education program. In November 2008, after 17 years of private sector criminal defense work in city, district and federal courts, she joined the staff of the Louisiana Public Defender Board as the paralegal for the Capital & Compliance Divisions. In November 2009, Ms. Gwin moved to the position of Executive Assistant to the State Public Defender.
Special Projects Advisor
Heather H. Hall joined the LPDB staff as Special Projects Advisor in November 2008. For the previous 4 years, Ms. Hall worked as the Director of the Louisiana Justice Coalition, a non-profit, 16-member agency coalition committed to public defense reform in Louisiana. In that capacity, Ms. Hall built consensus of support around the American Bar Association Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System, solicited media attention and support for reform, undertook a diverse public education campaign in all 64 parishes, and initiated community-oriented defense projects in select districts.
Ms. Hall received her Bachelor's Degrees in Religion and History from the University of Rochester (Rochester, NY) in 2002.
Chase May graduated from LSU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in 2007. After graduating, he began his career in Information Technology in 2008 as a Support Technician with Innovative Computers, an IT consulting company serving local businesses in Gonzales and Baton Rouge. Mr. May rejoined the LPDB staff in August 2012 after previously serving for 2 ½ years.
Paralegal, Compliance/Legal Divisions
Beth Perry joined LPDB as Paralegal for the Compliance and Legal Divisions in October 2012. Prior to joining LPDB, Ms. Perry was a Case Administrator for the Clerk of Court for the Middle District of Louisiana for over 16 years. In her position with the Clerk, Ms. Perry was primarily responsible for automated case management for District and Magistrate Judges. In addition, Ms. Perry also performed quality control and management support and provided extensive training for attorneys and staff related to electronic case filing. Ms. Perry received her paralegal certification from LSU's continuing education program in 2001.
CMS Report Analyst
Cristine Roussel joined the LPDB staff as CMS Report Analyst in February 2012. Prior joining LPDB, Ms. Roussel worked in private sector as a business analyst.
Ms. Roussel earned her Bachelor 's Degree in Psychology from LSU, in 2003. From 2003 to 2008 she was a Doctoral student in Cognitive/Experimental Psychology with a concentration in Statistics. She earned her Master 's in Cognitive Psychology in 2005.
Juvenile Justice Compliance Officer
Tiffany Simpson became the Juvenile Justice Compliance Officer on August 5, 2013. Prior to joining LPDB, Dr. Simpson was appointed to serve as the Executive Director of the Children 's Cabinet in the Office of the Governor. As the Executive Director of the Children 's Cabinet, Dr. Simpson ensured the coordination of policy, planning, and budgeting among state services for children and families and also served as a policy advisor to the Governor on child-related issues. Dr. Simpson earned Bachelor 's degrees in Psychology and Sociology with a concentration in Criminology from Louisiana State University and was awarded her Doctorate in Applied Developmental Psychology from the University of New Orleans.
Information Technology & Management Officer
Dr. Erik Stilling took office as the Information and Technology Management Officer on September 24, 2008. Dr. Stilling began his career in the engineering department of WLAE-TV in New Orleans. After earning a doctorate, he taught Mass Communication Technology and Journalism at Nicholls State and served as the first Director of the Office of Distance Education, implementing compressed video and web-based technologies and applications for adult learners. From 2000-2005, Dr. Stilling worked in California at Holy Names University and as Dean at Expressions College for the Digital Arts, both in the Silicon Valley.
Dr. Stilling returned to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to develop a data collection and analysis system as part of the MacArthur Models for Change program in the Jefferson Parish Department of Juvenile Justice. This system was used to determine evidence-based alternatives to formal processing of juveniles facing detention and adjudication. Dr. Stilling earned his Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Loyola University in New Orleans in 1987 and was awarded his Doctorate in Mass Communication from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 1992.
The next LPDB meetings and meetings of its committees are listed below and open to the public.
LPDB ... Read More »
August 31, 2013
In late August, the American Inns of Court announced its 2013 award ... Read More »
April 30, 2012
Yesterday, by a vote of 5-4, the United States Supreme Court dismissed Boyer v. ... Read More »
March 19, 2013
On Monday, March 18th, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the District ... Read More »