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Initia Letta
Chief Attorney

James M. Nichols
Deputy Chief

Office of the Public Defender
Post Conviction Defenders Division 
217 E. Redwood Street, Suite 1020 
Baltimore, MD 21202

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Initia Lettau, Chief  Attorney
Initia Lettau joined the Post Conviction Defenders Division in September 2005 as a post conviction public defender. In January 2014, she was promoted to Deputy Chief Attorney, and in January 2017 became Chief Attorney. 

In 2015, Ms. Lettau started the Free Mind Book Project, which is dedicated to replenishing inmate libraries with books. She collects books donated by the public and delivers them to DOC and detention center libraries. In the first year alone, more than 1,000 books were donated to inmate libraries throughout the state.

Ms. Lettau is a native of Baltimore, Maryland. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina -Coastal Carolina College, where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marine Science. Ms. Lettau worked as an environmental chemist for 10 years prior to entering law school. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law and a Rose Zetzer fellow. Following law school, she was a judicial law clerk for The Honorable William O. Carr in the Circuit Court for Harford County.

Ms. Lettau received her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2004. She clerked for the Honorable William O. Carr in the Circuit Court for Harford County. Ms. Lettau joined our Collateral Review Division in 2005.

James M. Nichols, Deputy Chief
James M. Nichols is a 2003 graduate of the University of Delaware, where he received a Bachelors of Arts in Philosophy and Political Science, and a 2008 graduate of the University of Baltimore School of law. While attending law school, Mr. Nichols worked for Kramon & Graham as a summer associate and as a law clerk for Warnken, LLC. After graduation, Mr. Nichols became a lawyer with Warnken, LLC, where he handled post convictions and appellate matters for the Firm. Mr. Nichols appeared before the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, as well as both of Maryland's appellate courts and many of Maryland's Circuit Courts. Mr. Nichols was also lead counsel in Ace America Ins. Co., v. Williams, 418 Md. 400 (2011); Matthews v. State, 424 Md. 503 (2011); and Moore v. United States, 709 F.3d 287 (4th Cir. 2013). In 2013, Mr. Nichols joined the Office of the Public Defender.


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