Serving all of California. Based in Los Angeles and San Diego.
The former Deputy Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California and now the Kaplan & Feldman Executive Director of the CJLP at Loyola Law School, Kennedy believes that the reasons for a juvenile defendant’s involvement in a gang should be used as mitigating evidence on their behalf, rather than a justification for harsher liability and more punitive sentences. Kennedy told his graduates, IFGEC-trained gang experts can “contextualize gang membership to show it for what it is often — a mitigating factor at sentencing. There are so many applications for your lived experience that can be used by lawyers in court who are open to a different narrative.”
"Until now", said Marisa Harris, a Supervising Attorney at Loyola Law’s Juvenile Innocence and Fair Sentencing Clinic, “the only narrative available has been villainizing people of color, young kids, as criminal masterminds — not as lost kids finding an identity, looking for a support system.”
"Adam Mortera is an extremely effective expert witness and consultant. He has a nuanced understanding of the way that prior trauma impacts people, their lives and even whole communities. He is able to hit the ground running as an expert when it comes to explaining how and why certain crimes occur and developing mitigation in complex criminal cases."
“I have had the pleasure of consulting with Adam Mortera on cases in both the adult criminal justice system and juvenile justice system. Adam is personable, professional, and serves as a great mentor to young people. He is able to connect with justice-involved youth because of his lived experience, trauma-informed approach, and willingness to listen. He has a unique ability to inspire and cultivate resilience in youth, and serves as a fantastic resource to professionals who are working with justice-involved youth and young adults.”
"Mr. Mortera is utterly professional, highly self motivated, and easy to communicate with. His role as a defense gang expert acts as a critical and necessary counter to district attorneys’ use of police “gang experts,” which has resulted in countless erroneous convictions and played a major role in the proliferation of mass incarceration in America."