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Profile: jani.maselli.wood

Jani Masselli Wood, Assistant Public Defender, joined the Appellate Division of the Public Defender Office in February 2011. Prior to joining the PDO, Ms. Wood was an attorney in private practice for thirteen years specializing in state and federal appeals and post-conviction matters. Before her private practice career, she was staff attorney to the Honorable Charles F. Baird at the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals from 1997 to 1998. From 1996 to 1997, she was a staff attorney with Inmate Legal Services with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Institutional Division. Ms. Wood has been an adjunct professor at the University of Houston Law Center since 1999. She is on the Boards of Directors of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association (TCDLA), the Innocence Project of Texas, and the Harris County Criminal Lawyers’ Association. In October 2011, her article on state writs of habeas corpus was published in TCDLA’s magazine, Voice for the Defense. Ms. Wood has argued numerous cases at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit as well as the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and other state appellate courts. In 2013, Ms. Wood was awarded the HCCLA Lawyer of the Year award and the TCDLA Pro Bono Lawyer of the year award. Ms. Wood has been licensed to practice law since 1994. She received her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center. She received her Master’s degree in English from the State University of New York at Albany and her Bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, graduating magna cum laude. She is Board Certified in Criminal Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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NAPD News

January 23, 2018: In response to US Attorney General Jeff Session's reversal of prior policy on the imposition of fines and fees for criminal defendants, NAPD submitted the following letter on behalf of the public defender community. You can read the letter HERE
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January 17, 2018: The 2018 NAPD Investigators Conference and 2018 Social Workers & Sentencing Advocates Institute (March 26-29, 2018 in Denver, CO) are now at full capacity and closed for registration. A wait list is being developed.
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November 28, 2017: NAPD has uploaded videos of the presentations from the 2017 NAPD Workloads Conference in St. Louis (held November 17-18). Members can access these valuable presentations on MyGideon by logging into their NAPD account.
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April 16, 2017: 60 Minutes' Anderson Cooper features the Orleans Public Defenders and NAPD General Counsel in a substantive segment about public defenders' excessive workloads, pervasive injustice, and the obligation of defenders to resist the "conveyer belt" of mass-incarceration. You can watch the compelling segment HERE
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On March 18, 2017 - the 54th anniversary of the Gideon v. Wainright decision - NAPD published its Foundational Principles, which are recommended to NAPD members and other persons and organizations interested in advancing the cause of equal justice for accused persons.