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David Coleman


David Coleman, a native of West Virginia, earned a B.A. with honors in Political Science & Economics from Yale College in 1967, and a J.D. from...


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Who’s Your Nanny?

AP / John Amis

The Obama administration is under attack for alleged nanny-state behavior—telling kids what to eat and how they should exercise. But where’s the critique of corporate intrusion into the personal lives of employees?

Posted on Feb 19, 2011 READ MORE


Pat-Downs Hit Middle America Where It Counts

AP / Ted S. Warren

What has emerged from the TSA pat-down kerfuffle is recognition that it is psychologically demeaning to be subjected to physical touching of private areas of the body by someone not invited to do so. Now, the psychological treatment of men of color is being brought home to middle American men.

Posted on Nov 24, 2010 READ MORE


A Closer Look at Citizen Whitman

Eric Draper / Meg Whitman for Governor 2010

Looking back at Meg Whitman’s history of fulfilling public obligations as a California citizen, we can measure whether her current commitment to public service matches her record of participation in some public spheres of citizenship in the Golden State.

Posted on Sep 9, 2010 READ MORE
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Why U.S. v. Arizona Matters

Arizona protesters
AP / Ralph Freso

Some metrics drawn from football metaphors might help to convey more clearly the magnitude of Judge Bolton’s ruling. If a lawsuit was scored like a football game, the score might be of this magnitude: United States 48, Arizona 6.   

Posted on Aug 6, 2010 READ MORE

Arts and Culture

Sex, Drugs and Roman Polanski

AP / Franka Bruns

The 34-year-old lens through which we view Roman Polanski’s crime is clouded because society’s viewpoint about his “sex crime” has swung in the opposite direction from that of a drug crime.

Posted on Jul 13, 2010 READ MORE

David Coleman, a native of West Virginia, earned a B.A. with honors in Political Science & Economics from Yale College in 1967, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1971.

In 1974, Mr. Coleman began work as a deputy public defender in Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1999, he was appointed as The Public Defender for the county, thereby becoming the first African American Public Defender in California.  He retired from that position in 2009.  During a 35 year career as a public defender, Mr. Coleman tried scores of felony and misdemeanor cases, argued cases before the 9th Circuit, the California Supreme Court and the First District Court of Appeal. Since 1980, Mr. Coleman’s trial experience includes being lead counsel in eight capital trials.

Mr. Coleman was an adjunct professor at U.C. Berkeley School of Law for over 20 years.  He taught Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Advanced Criminal Procedure. He is currently a Senior Fellow in the Center for Social Justice at the Berkeley School of Law.

Mr. Coleman has authored many articles about criminal justice for print publications and for internet blogs.

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