DAMON PRESTON, PUBLIC ADVOCATE
is a career public defender and leads DPA as Kentucky's Public Advocate. After graduating from Transylvania University and Harvard Law School, Damon began his legal career in the Criminal Appeals Bureau of the Legal Aid Society in New York City. He returned to Kentucky in 1997 and has been with DPA ever since. First a staff attorney in the Richmond trial office, Damon led the Paducah and then Cynthiana offices as Directing Attorney. Starting in 2004, he managed DPA’s Appeals Branch before joining DPA’s Leadership Team as Trial Division Director in 2007. Early in 2011, he was appointed Deputy Public Advocate and remained in that position until his appointment as Public Advocate in 2017. In addition to work through DPA, Damon serves on the board of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is the past chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Kentucky Bar Association. He lives in Georgetown with his wife Amy and daughters Abbie and Marissa.
B. SCOTT WEST, DEPUTY PUBLIC ADVOCATE
B. Scott West is Deputy Public Advocate for the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy in Frankfort, Kentucky; prior to that, Scott was General Counsel for the agency for six years. Scott has also served as the Bluegrass Regional Manager in the Richmond, Kentucky Field Office, the Directing Attorney for Murray, Kentucky Field Office, and a staff attorney in the Hazard, Kentucky Field Office. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky Law School (1988), and Vanderbilt University (1985). He is the editor of the Kentucky Pretrial Release Manual, published in July, 2013 and leads the agency’s efforts in pretrial release advocacy. Currently, he is a member of the Kentucky Bar Association’s (KBA) Ethics Committee, and is Education Chair and Vice-President of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (KACDL). He is a past Chair and current member of the KBA Criminal Law Section. In 2017, he received the KBA Thomas B. Spain CLE Award for presenting the Criminal Law Update in several Kentucky Law Update seminars and in 2015 he received the Bruce K. Davis Bar Service Award for representing the KBA against the United States in the Kentucky Supreme Court. He received KACDL’s Frank E. Haddad, Jr. Award in 2014, DPA’s Gideon Award in 2011, and the Texaco General Counsel’s Litigation Award in 1993. Scott is married to Beverley, a social worker, and father to Hannah, a student at the University of Kentucky and a member of the varsity Mock Trial Team. They live in Richmond.
MELANIE LOWE, GENERAL COUNSEL
Melanie Lowe grew up in Catlettsburg, Kentucky. The daughter, granddaughter, and niece of steelworkers; she was the first of her family to graduate from college upon receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and English from Marshall University. She went on to graduate from the University of Kentucky, College of Law in May of 2000. Shortly after, she began her career as a public defender in the Elizabethtown Trial Office. During her 17 years as a public defender, she proudly represented clients for the Elizabethtown Trial Office, the Kentucky Innocence Project, Adult Post-Conviction, the LaGrange Trial Office and the Shelbyville Trial Office. Melanie was the 2016 Gideon Award Recipient. She resides in Henry County.