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.




December 15, 2018: Registration is now open for NAPD's Spring Events:
  • Executive Leadership Insitute (Frankfort, KY)
  • Train the Trainer (Frankfort, KY)
  • "We the Defenders" Investigators Conference (Biloxi, MS)
  • "We the Defenders" Social Workers/Sentencing AdvocatesConference (Biloxi, MS)
  • Team Mitigation Institute (Atlanta, GA)
Click on Events Tab for more info and to register.

October 30, 2018: NAPD releases a video about its achievements over the 5 years since forming in November in 2013. This films was coordinated by NAPD Steering Committee Member and San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi and debuted at the Racial Justice Training and 5 Year Celebration in Baltimore, Maryland. You can watch the video HERE

July 1, 2018: General Registration opens for the “WE THE DEFENDERS” TRAINING CONFERENCE,  November 26-29, 2018, Indianapolis, IN

You can watch a video about the event HERE 

Due to overwhelming demand, NAPD will again offer this comprehensive Investigator and Social Worker/Sentencing Advocate training experience! The program will include one track for Investigators and a separate track for Social Worker/Sentencing Advocates.  Hear from nationally recognized experts who will share their knowledge on a wide range of topics relevant to the work you do each and every day.  Network with other criminal defense practitioners from around the country and find your tribe. 

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