Board of directors, oregon justice resource center

Affiliations are provided for identification purposes only.

President/Treasurer/Secretary
William Penn
Assistant Director, OLF/LSP, Oregon State Bar

Sho Dozono
Retired Business Owner and Civic Leader

Kasia Rutledge
Attorney, Kasia Rutledge Law

The OJRC is currently transitioning its Board of Directors from a programmatic/activist board to a development focused board. We are actively recruiting new members and if you are interested in serving as a board member, please contact Amie Wexler at awexler@ojrc.info.

 

advisory committee, oregon innocence project

Affiliations are provided for identification purposes only.

Dennis Balske
Attorney, Law Office of Dennis Balske

Lane Borg
Executive Director, Office of Public Defense Services

John Comery
Retired Federal Agent

Jeff Ellis
Director, Oregon Capital Resource Center

Cynthia Hamilton
Investigator, Federal Public Defender's Office

Ryan O'Connor
Partner, O'Connor Weber LLP

Janis Puracal
Executive Director, Forensic Justice Project

William Teesdale
Attorney/Investigator, Federal Public Defender's Office

 

ADVISORY COMMITTEE, women's Justice project

Affiliations are provided for identification purposes only.

Alexandra Appleton
PSU student, reentry and homeless advocate, formerly incarcerated

Rev. Dr. Emily Brault
Chaplain

Freda Ceaser
Director of Employment Services, Employment Access Center, Central City Concern

Carma Corcoran, PhD  
Chippewa-Cree, Lewis & Clark Law School Indian Law Program Coordinator

Ailene Farkac
MSW candidate, Navigator at Mercy Corps NW Reentry Transition Center, formerly incarcerated

Isis Harris
IBEW Inside Wireman Apprentice, Vice President of the Gus Miller Chapter of EWMC, entrepreneur, formerly incarcerated

Amy Nash-Kille, PhD
Manager of Research and Evaluation at KinderCare Education

Kerry Naughton
Executive Director, Oregon Abuse Advocates & Survivors in Service (OAASIS)

Honorable Darleen Ortega
Judge, Oregon Court of Appeals

Erica Rothman
Title IX Co-Coordinator, Portland Community College

Jackie Whitt, THW, PSS, PWS
Client and volunteer at Mercy Corps NW Reentry Transition Center, residential electrician, and formerly incarcerated 

 

STAFF

ADMINISTRATION

Executive Director
Bobbin Singh
bsingh@ojrc.info

Bobbin Singh is the founding Executive Director of Oregon Justice Resource Center. He was born and raised in Atlanta, GA., and deeply inspired by the great figures of the civil rights movement in the South, often joking that as an Atlantan the first names he learned as a child were Dr. Martin Luther King, Andrew Young, Hosea Williams, and John Lewis.

Bobbin moved to Portland in 2003, studying for his Bachelor's at Portland State University and his JD at Lewis & Clark Law School. After graduating from Lewis & Clark in 2011, he started Oregon Justice Resource Center. Bobbin believes that mass incarceration, including over incarceration, mass conviction, and wrongful convictions, is in fact the greatest civil rights crisis of our time and we must all take ownership of it. He argues that for individual rights to have any meaning, we must protect them for everyone, without exception.

Bobbin manages OJRC, oversees staff, volunteers and all programs, and serves as our principal spokesperson. Working with our Board of Directors, he sets policy and direction for OJRC. He served on the Board of Directors for the ACLU of Oregon from 2011-2017 (holding a number of leadership positions, including serving on the Executive Committee) and is currently a member of the Oregon Council on Civil Rights.

JD, Lewis & Clark Law School
BS, Portland State University

Associate Director
Amie Wexler

awexler@ojrc.info

Amie Wexler graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School in 1999. She has been an ardent advocate for access to justice and worked across the nonprofit sector while in law school and in her years since graduating. Most recently, Amie worked at Portland State University's Student Legal Services, providing legal access for students who would not otherwise have had representation. Amie is passionate about criminal justice reform, civil rights, and death penalty abolition and brings her fundraising, lobbying, and legal experience to OJRC to grow our capacity. 

JD, Lewis & Clark Law School

Director of Communication
Alice Lundell

alundell@ojrc.info

Alice Lundell is an experienced journalist and marketing and communications professional. She is an enthusiast for the power of first person narrative and believes organizations must work harder than ever to connect with an audience in the digital age. She takes delight in the new abundance of ways to reach people who care.

Alice received her BA (Hons) Classics from the University of Leeds, England. After graduation, she spent a decade working for the BBC and ITV as a journalist and broadcaster in her native United Kingdom before immigrating to the United States. In her years as a reporter, she broke numerous exclusive stories, always remembering that: "Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed, everything else is public relations."

Alice has been channeling her commitment to social justice and poverty alleviation into helping nonprofits better communicate their message since her arrival in Oregon.

Office Administrator/Paralegal
Elora Cosper

PROJECTS


CIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT
Project Director and Attorney
Juan C. Chavez

jchavez@ojrc.info

Juan has practiced law in Oregon since 2013. His practice focuses on ending mass incarceration. He was on the Advisory Committee for the Oregon Justice Resource Center’s Women’s Justice Project, and is the Communications Coordinator for the Portland Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. He attended the Willamette University College of Law, where he worked at the International Human Rights Clinic and the Marion County Public Defenders office. He loves to pet dogs he meets on the street.

 

IMMIGRANT RIGHTS PROJECT
Co-Director & Attorney
Erin McKee

emckee@ojrc.info

Erin McKee is a co-founder of the Oregon Justice Resource Center and an immigration attorney who believes we’re all in this together. She began her public interest law career assisting refugees and low-income immigrants to obtain family-based and humanitarian immigration benefits. In private practice, she represented individuals fleeing persecution, families seeking to reunite, and immigrants accused of crimes, among others. She has represented clients in criminal proceedings before state courts as well as before immigration courts, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Department of State.

As a young intern at a feminist human rights NGO in India, she asked her mentor if she could stay and continue the work. She was politely told to go home and fix her own country. In furtherance of that mission, she eventually went to law school. Erin is driven by the belief that the justice system should be accountable to all of us, and that we should be accountable to each other, regardless of borders.

JD, Lewis and Clark Law School
MS Conflict Resolution, Portland State University
BA, summa cum laude, University of Iowa


Co-Director & Attorney
Joseph Justin "J.J." Rollin

jjrollin@ojrc.info

Joseph Justin "J.J." Rollin has dedicated his career to helping non-citizens and their families before the Immigration Courts and USCIS.  His work is focused on “crimmigration” issues, including working with criminal defense counsel to minimize the immigration consequences of pending criminal charges.   

J.J. is the co-author of several books on how to defend immigrants with criminal convictions, or facing criminal charges, against deportation, including N. Tooby & J. Rollin, Criminal Defense of Immigrants (4th Ed. 2007); N. Tooby & J. Rollin, Aggravated Felonies (2d Ed. 2006); and N. Tooby, J. Rollin & J. Foster, Tooby’s Crimes of Moral Turpitude (2008).  He also worked with the Washington Defender’s Immigration Project to help draft the first comprehensive analysis and chart of immigration consequences of crimes for Washington State. 

Prior to entering private practice, J.J. was an Attorney Advisor for the Executive Office of Immigration Review (Immigration Courts), where he assisted more than fifteen Immigration Judges in all aspects of the law related to asylum and removal.

J.J. has practiced immigration law since 2001. He is a member of the Oregon State Bar, the Washington State Bar, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the National Lawyers Guild National Immigration Project, and the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.

JD, University of Washington
BA Japanese and BA Japanese Studies, University of Washington
Japan in Today's World Program, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan

 

OREGON INNOCENCE PROJECT
Legal Director

Steve Wax
swax@oregoninnocence.info

Steve Wax served as Oregon's Federal Public Defender from 1983 to 2014, and was one of the longest-serving public defenders in the country. He was a key part of the Brooklyn, NY, District Attorney's prosecution of David Berkowitz, AKA "The Son of Sam". Steve and his federal defender team successfully represented six men formerly held as "enemy combatants" in Guantanamo. 

Steve has taught at Lewis & Clark Law School, serves as an ethics prosecutor for the Oregon State Bar, and lectures throughout the country. He has been honored for his work by, among other groups, the NACDL (2004 President's Commendation), the American Jewish Committee (Oregon Chapter 2007 Judge Learned Hand Award), the ACLU (Oregon 2007 Civil Rights Award and Oregon 2010 Hon. James M Burns Professionalism Award) and the American Constitution Society (Oregon Chapter 2014 Justice Hans Linde Civil Liberties Award).

Steve was invited to present the 2009 Ava Helen and Linus Pauling Memorial Peace Lecture at Oregon State University. He is a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. Kafka Comes to America, his book about his work representing Portland attorney Brandon Mayfield and the men in Guantanamo, has won four national awards, including the prestigious ABA Silver Gavel.

JD, Harvard Law School, cum laude
AB, Colgate University, cum laude

Staff Attorney
Brittney Plesser

bplesser@oregoninnocence.info

Brittney Plesser earned two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Women’s Studies and Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Brittney’s background in feminist theory drew her to law school to better understand institutions and government power. She earned her Juris Doctor from Lewis & Clark Law School, cum laude, in 2015. Brittney discovered her passion for assisting people who are incarcerated while working for the ACLU of Oregon in 2013. She was tasked with assessing uses of force in an Oregon jail and has never looked back. She then assisted in a capital murder case to study Oregon’s capital sentencing trends as compared with crime severity. She has been doing innocence work since 2014, when she began conducting research on national trends in the innocence movement in advance of Oregon Innocence Project’s launch. From there, she went to work at the California Innocence Project in San Diego, a project that is responsible for dozens of exonerations throughout southern California. She took what she learned at the California Innocence Project and returned to Portland to work with the newly established Oregon Innocence Project. Brittney now works as an attorney at Oregon Innocence Project. In addition to supervising law students and litigating innocence cases with a focus on forensic and social sciences, Brittney is a member of OIP’s steering committee, which makes case and policy determinations for the project.

JD, Lewis & Clark Law School, cum laude, 2015
BA, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2010

PRO BONO STAFF

Amy Alpern
Attorney
aalpern@oregoninnocence.info

Caren Rovics
Attorney
crovics@oregoninnocence.info

John Comery
Researcher
jcomery@oregoninnocence.info

WOMEN'S JUSTICE PROJECT
Project Director and Attorney
Julia Yoshimoto

jyoshimoto@ojrc.info

Julia Yoshimoto was born and raised in Hawai‘i. She spent time studying and working abroad before returning to Hawai‘i and working in social services. She received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa and worked primarily with low-income women in the areas of behavioral health and drug addiction. Through this work, she became acutely aware of the need for accessible, quality, and compassionate legal services for marginalized individuals.

Julia moved to Oregon to attend law school. She has met talented and compassionate women who have been instrumental in helping her in her legal career, to work through challenges of being a woman of color in Oregon, and to realize her vision of increasing access to legal services and raising public awareness around issues impacting women.

JD, Lewis & Clark Law School, cum laude
MSW, University of Hawai‘i-Mānoa
BA, Carleton College, cum laude