COLLATERAL REVIEW DIVISION
Becky Kling Feldman, Chief Attorney - Baltimore
Ms. Feldman is a 1998 graduate of Loyola University, Maryland where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology, and a 2002 graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law. From 2002 - 2004, she served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Christian M. Kahl in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. Ms. Feldman joined the Collateral Review Division in 2004 as an Assistant Public Defender. During this time as a post-conviction attorney, Ms. Feldman successfully negotiated the release of 5 men serving life sentences in Maryland. In February, 2011, Ms. Feldman became a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®). To pursue her interests in project and business management, Ms. Feldman joined the Department of Defense in November, 2011, where she worked as an International Traffic-in-Arms (ITAR) compliance manager and defense policy writer. In October, 2013, Ms. Feldman returned to the Public Defender's Office to manage the Agency's statewide Unger v. State litigation, and began laying the groundwork for post-conviction litigation regarding the constitutionality of juveniles serving life without parole pursuant to Miller v. Alabama. In January, 2014, Ms. Feldman was promoted to serve as Chief of the Collateral Review Division. In October, 2014, she was awarded the Public Defender's highest honor, the Alan H. Murrell Leader of Justice Award. Ms. Feldman was born and raised in Essex, Maryland. She now resides in Anne Arundel County with her family.
Initia Lettau, Deputy Chief - Glen Burnie
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.
Eli Braun, Assistant Public Defender
Before joining the Collateral Review Division in 2014, Eli clerked for the Honorable Corinne Beckwith of the D.C. Court of Appeals. He grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, and graduated from Brown University and the University of Michigan Law School.
Jennifer Caffrey, Supervising Attorney - Baltimore
Ms. Caffrey has been with Collateral Review Division since January of 2011. She is a graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law and the College of Notre Dame of Maryland. Prior to joining the office, she clerked for several judges on the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.
Brendan Costigan, Assistant Public Defender
Brendan Costigan moved to Baltimore in 2000 to attend the Johns Hopkins University, graduating with honors in 2004 with a major in Political Science. From then until 2009, he held public policy research and advocacy positions in the Office of the Governor of Illinois, the National Summer Learning Association in Baltimore, and the Southern Governors' Association in Washington, D.C. After graduating from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2012, he served as a Legal Writing Fellow at the law school, and joined the Collateral Review Division in the summer of 2014.
Brianna Ford, Asst. Public Defender
Ms. Ford received her B.A., from the Pennsylvania State University in 2007. After working as an investigator at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia for two years, she attended the University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law, where she received her J.D. Ms. Ford was admitted to the bar in 2012. Prior to joining the office, Ms. Ford represented indigent criminal defendants at initial appearances before Maryland Court Commissioners, as well as practiced family law in Prince George's County. Ms. Ford joined our Collateral Review Division in 2014.
Norman Handwerger, Assistant Public Defender - Glen Burnie
Norman Handwerger received his J.D. Degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1987 and began practicing civil rights litigation with the Prisoner Assistance Project of the Legal Aid Bureau. He joined the Collateral Review Division in 1992. Mr. Handwerger served as the Deputy Attorney from 2003 - 2013.
Gabriela Hopkins, Assistant Public Defender - Baltimore
Ms. Hopkins focuses her practice on clients whose convictions place them in deportation proceedings or that may result in other immigration consequences. She graduated with honors from St. John’s College in Maryland and completed graduate work at Harvard University. Ms. Hopkins received her J.D. from the University of Maryland in 2008 and speaks Spanish. She joined our Collateral Review division in 2011.
Judith Jones, Assistant Public Defender - Glen Burnie
Ms. Jones received her J.D. from the Catholic University Columbus School of Law. She holds a Masters degree in Health Administration from Antioch University. Following her graduation from Antioch, she was the project director and research analyst on a number of federal contracts for the Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Juvenile Justice and the Delinquency Prevention Program in the Department of Justice. Ms. Jones joined our Collateral Review Division in 2007.
Margaret Lanier, Supervising Attorney - Baltimore
Ms. Lanier received her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1987. She then served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable A. Owen Hennegan on the Circuit Court for Baltimore County. The next year she was the judicial law clerk for the Honorable Robert Murphy, Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals for Maryland. Ms. Lanier joined the Office of the Public Defender in 1992 and worked in the Appellate Division for twelve years. In 1993, she received the Death Penalty Defense Award and in 1996 she received the Attorney of the Year Award. Ms. Lanier joined the Collateral Review Division in 2004.
Matthew Lynn, Assistant Public Defender - Baltimore
Mr. Lynn received his J.D. degree from the University of Baltimore Law School in 1981. He was admitted to the Maryland Bar and U.S. District Court for Maryland in 1981. Following his graduation, he served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Joseph I. Pines in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City and the Honorable Charles E. Moylan, Jr. on the Court of Special Appeals. Mr. Lynn subsequently engaged in the private practice of law as a litigator until joining the Collateral Review Division in 2001.
Melissa McDonnell, Assistant Public Defender - Baltimore
Ms. McDonnell received her B.A., cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame in 2000. She then attended the University of Maryland School of Law and received her J.D., magna cum laude, in 2009. Following her graduation, she served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Clayton Green on the Maryland Court of Appeals. She joined our Collateral Review Division in 2010.
Alyssa Navarrete, Assistant Public Defender
Alyssa Navarrete is a graduate of Virginia Tech where she earned a Bachelors degree in Communications and Spanish. Thereafter, she attended the University of Maryland, Francis King Carey School of Law and received her J.D., cum laude, in the spring of 2014. During her time at Carey Law, she served as a writing fellow and an Associate Editor on the Maryland Law Review. She was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 2014. Prior to joining the Collateral Review Division in the Spring of 2015, Ms. Navarrete clerked for the Honorable Pamela J. White on the Circuit Court for Baltimore City.
James M. Nichols, Asst. Public Defender
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.
David Russell, Assistant Public Defender- Glen Burnie
Mr. Russell graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law and was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 2004. He served as a law clerk for the Office of the Attorney General from 2004 to 2005. Mr. Russell joined our Collateral Review Division in 2005.
Karla Showalter, Assistant Public Defender - Baltimore
Karla Showalter graduated,from West Virginia University in 1996. She attended law,school at the University of Maryland School of Law and graduated with honors in 2001. Ms. Showalter served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable William O. Carr in Harford County from 2001-2002. She joined the office of the public defender in 2003 and worked in the Baltimore City Juvenile Division from 2003-2011. Ms. Showalter joined the Collateral Review Division in 2011 and is currently the Director of the Parole Revocation Unit.
Scott Whitney, Assistant Public Defender- Baltimore
Mr. Whitney received his J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1980. Following his graduation he clerked for the Honorable Chief Judge Robert C. Murphy. He joined the Office of the Public Defender in 1981 and spent two years in the Juvenile Division. In 1983 he transferred to the Collateral Review Division. Mr. Whitney was the Chief Attorney of the Collateral Review Division from 2003 - 2013.
Sheila Sloan, Office Manager
Phone: 410 767 4261
Rudy Hill, Law Clerk
Phone: 410 767 4195
Brittany Leister, Paralegal
Ms. Leister is a graduate of Stevenson University with a degree in Paralegal Studies. Ms. Leister started her career as a court clerk in the Circuit Court for Carroll County. She then joined the Office of the Public Defender in Westminster, MD as an Intake Specialist. Ms. Leister joined the Collateral Review Division in October, 2014 as a Paralegal.