Lives in the Law: Kathy Nester

Location: Eidman Courtroom

11:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. in the Eidman Courtroom. Lunch served at 12:45.

Lives in the Law with Kathy Nester, Executive Director, Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc.

Kathy Nester’s talk, which is free and open to the public, is entitled “Federal Public Defense on the Border.” Nester will address the impact of the current immigration crisis on her office’s work as well as her very interesting career path.

Kathy Nester is executive director of the Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. (FDSD), which is based in San Diego. FDSD’s attorneys are appointed to represent indigent persons accused of criminal offenses in the federal trial courts in the Southern District of California. Its staff consists of over 60 trial attorneys and 70 support personnel and includes a distinguished appellate department.

From 2011 to 2018, Nester served as the Federal Public Defender for the District of Utah. Before that she was an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Mississippi. Prior to working as a federal public defender, Nester was a trial lawyer in private practice in the Jackson, Mississippi area for thirteen years, representing plaintiffs in personal injury and civil rights cases and federal and state criminal defendants.

Nester has handled over fifty jury trials including capital murder, complex fraud and wrongful death cases and was awarded Mississippi Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2001. She has appeared numerous times before the Fifth and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeals and, in 2014, she appeared before the United States Supreme Court as co-counsel in USA v. Kevin Loughrin. Nester has served on many national committees, including the Sentencing Guidelines Committee, the National Clemency Project Steering Committee, and the U.S. Supreme Court Committee on Evidence Rules. She was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2010 and as a fellow of the International Society of Barristers in 2015.

Nester earned both her undergraduate and J.D. degrees from the University of Texas.

The “Lives in the Law” speaker series focuses on the work and lives of lawyers who strive to improve the lives of others through litigation, advocacy and public service.

Hosted by the Career Services Office and the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law. Co-sponsored by the Budd Innocence Center, American Journal of Criminal Law, Chicano/Hispanic Law Students Association, Public Defense Group, Public Interest Law Association, and the Women’s Law Caucus.

Event series: Lives in the Law Speaker Series