Kara Lewis Named LaGrange Post Conviction Branch Supervisor
Kara Lewis has been appointed as the new Directing Attorney in the DPA La Grange Post-Conviction Office. Kara started her career with the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s office in 2001, where she remained until 2003. After time in private practice and with the Jefferson County Attorney’s office, she returned to public defense with DPA in 2012. Since then, she was worked in the Bullitt County and Shelbyville trial offices before joining the La Grange Post-Conviction Office this past September.
During her career with DPA, Kara has had a number of remarkable victories, demonstrating both excellent advocacy and superior negotiating skills. When asked her most memorable case, she described a case she inherited after private counsel had unwittingly pled the client to a charge that required sex offender registration registerable offense. She was able to get the plea withdrawn and eventually took the case to trial, getting an acquittal on the registrable offense and a low enough sentence on the remaining charges that the client served out almost immediately.
We are very pleased and proud to add Kara to the Post-Trial Division leadership team.
Lauren Bieger Named Columbia Trial Office Directing Attorney
DPA is pleased to announce the appointment of Lauren Bieger as Directing Attorney for the Columbia Trial Office. Lauren took the sage advice of a relative, who just happened to be a Circuit Judge, and applied to be a staff attorney for DPA in 2013. Lauren places an emphasis in her practice on client engagement and motion writing. She has gone to trial on many serious felony cases in her five years with DPA including murder, robbery, assault, and sexual offenses. Her outstanding motion practice has led to suppression of evidence and additional records requests that have assisted clients in better outcomes.
Lauren completed her Juris Doctorate at the Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University in 2012. She earned her Bachelor's Degree from Georgetown College in the study of Political Science in 2009. Lauren resides in Glasgow with her husband Chris and son Patton.
Roy Durham Named Appeals Branch Supervisor
Roy Durham has been named a in DPA’s Appeals Branch. Roy started his career in the Appeals Branch in 2005. During his time in Appeals, Roy has been responsible for a number of important published decisions, including: Commonwealth v. Mitchell, 516 S.W.3d 803 (Ky. 2017)(Commonwealth required to specify the legal duty owed to the victim in order to pursue an “assault by omission” theory); Scroggins v. Commonwealth, 446 S.W.3d 234 (Ky. App. 2014)(Commonwealth violated the Interstate Agreement on Detainers (IAD), thus mandating dismissal with prejudice (a.k.a., the appellate unicorn); Johnson v. Commonwealth, 450 S.W.3d 696 (Ky. 2014)(vacating conviction due to Batson claim, based on finding that prosecutor’s explanation was not “race neutral”); Leger v. Commonwealth, 400 S.W.3d 745 (Ky. 2013)(Miranda warning ineffective when after the warning the police officer told the defendant that the conversation would “just be between us”); Paulley v. Commonwealth, 323 S.W.3d 715 (Ky. 2010)(reversing case due to trial court's refusal to strike prospective juror for cause despite juror's expressed uncertainty as to whether she could maintain impartiality).
In addition to his excellent work as an appellate advocate, Roy has developed a reputation as one of the most helpful people we know. Roy is always available to help attorneys with their cases through brainstorming or in any other way that might be needed. Because of his strengths as an attorney and as a coworker, in 2016 Roy was given the Larry Marshall/Founders Day award, given annually in the Post-Trial Division for the employee who best embodies the helpfulness and good humor of Larry Marshall, one of the giants of DPA.