Tribal Justice Project | UC Davis School of Law

Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall

400 Mrak Hall Drive

Davis, CA 95616

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Maha jweied, esq.

Lead trainer

Jweied Consulting 

Maha Jweied directs a consultancy providing expertise to non-profit and multilateral organizations on access-to-justice leveraging insight gained after nearly twelve years in the U.S. Government’s Executive Branch.  Her clients include the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, where she supports initiatives on issues such as corporate social responsibility and access to justice, Kids in Need of Defense, where she supports new access to justice initiatives for unaccompanied minors in Europe, and the Open Government Partnership, where she works on open government and justice.  She serves on the Legal Services Corporation’s Opioid Task Force, the Board of Directors of the International Legal Foundation, the Board of Directors of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and the Advisory Board of New Perimeter, a global pro bono program of the law firm of DLA Piper.  ​

Until January 2018, she served as the Acting Director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office for Access to Justice, the primary office in the Executive Branch focused on supporting indigent defense and civil legal aid for low-income and vulnerable communities, including tribal communities.  In that role, she also served as the Executive Director of the White House Legal Aid Interagency Roundtable, an interagency effort that works to raise federal agencies’ awareness of how civil legal aid can help advance a wide range of federal objectives including employment, family stability, housing, consumer protection, and public safety.  Ms. Jweied also represented the U.S. Government as its indigent defense and legal aid expert in bilateral settings and multilateral meetings and negotiations at the United Nations, the Organization of American States, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Open Government Partnership, and the International Legal Aid Group.

Before joining DOJ, she was a senior attorney-advisor at the US Commission on Civil Rights, a litigation associate at Arent Fox LLP, and spent time at Mizan Law Group for Human Rights, a legal aid office in Amman, Jordan. She served as a law clerk to Judge Shahabuddeen of the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Ms. Jweied received her J.D. from Columbia Law School, LL.M. from the London School of Economics, and B.A. from The George Washington University.

Elly Hoopes, esq.

lead prosecution trainer

Associate General Counsel, Yurok Tribe of Northern California

Elly Hoopes is currently Associate General Counsel for the Yurok Tribe. In that capacity, she acts as prosecutor and legal liaison to the Yurok Tribe's Health and Human Services department, Tribal Court Prosecutor – prosecuting civil and child welfare violationsTLOA and VAWA Implementation, the State Court Representative: ICWA Representative in State Court, Homicide prosecution support, MOU drafter with County Law enforcement, Cannabis Task Force Prosecutor, MOU drafter for cannabis management and enforcement, Tribal Action Plan Committee Attorney Development Opioid Response Prosecutor, and support staff attorney for the joint jurisdiction Yurok family wellness and Del Norte and Humboldt County Superior juvenile dependency courts. These are the first dependency treatment courts in the country.

Previously, she was an adjunct professor at University of Denver, Sturm College of Law teaching Native American Appellate Advocacy, and was a Senior Deputy Public Defender. She sat as the defense representative on the Colorado 18th Judicial District Veteran’s Treatment Court. As a Public Defender, Elly has represented thousands of juveniles and defendants in Colorado going to jury trials on everything from DUIs to Homicides. She was the Juvenile Supervising Attorney in Douglas County specializing in Direct File defense.

Elly grew up traveling all over the world with her family, her father being a U.S. Foreign Service Officer. Born in Washington D.C., she moved to Calcutta, India, at a year, and lived in New Delhi; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Beirut, Lebanon, before returning to Washington D.C. at 12. She attended Vassar College, receiving an AB in English Literature in 1986. Elly went on to receive her Juris Doctorate and LL.M. in Taxation from the University of Denver. While a student at University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, Elly, was the Treasurer for DU NALSAand the Vice-President of the Moot Court Board. She represented University of Denver, Sturm College of Law in the National NALSACompetition that same year, and received Second Place for Best Brief and Second Place for Best Oralist. 

Prior to attending law school, Elly was an environmental educator, and humanitarian advocate working with local programs in Nepal and Mongolia, as well as, designing and leading rigorous travel trips to both regions and to Tibet. Her passion for the outdoors and the beauty of this planet, and the need to lift up the indigenous and indigent rights is what inspires Elly. When she is not in court you can find her hiking and camping with her English Mastiffs.

Daniel Olmos, esq.

lead Defense trainer

Partner, Nolan Barton Olmos LLP

Daniel Olmos represents individuals in complex criminal cases in state and federal courts throughout the country. He is a highly-regarded trial lawyer who has tried cases involving a broad range of charges including economic espionage, trade secret theft, financial fraud, murder, attempted murder, and sexual assault. In addition, Daniel has argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the California Courts of Appeal, and he has represented individuals at parole hearings and in other post-conviction proceedings.

Daniel joined the Nolan Barton Olmos  in 2007 after beginning his legal career at the Contra Costa County Public Defender’s Office. Over the next several years, Daniel developed a reputation as a 

skilled litigator and dedicated advocate. Among other accomplishments, Daniel successfully defended at trial individuals in multiple jurisdictions accused of federal crimes under the Economic Espionage Act, one of the only lawyers in the nation to achieve acquittals in such cases. Daniel was named a Northern California “Rising Star” in 2010 by Super Lawyers.

In 2010, Daniel accepted an appointment in the Administration of President Barack Obama as Senior Counsel in the Access to Justice Initiative at the U.S. Department of Justice. At DOJ, Daniel’s work focused on improving access to quality legal representation in criminal cases and high-stakes civil proceedings, as well as on improving tribal court systems. In 2012, he received the Attorney General’s Annual Award for Distinguished Service, the Department’s second-highest civilian honor. In June 2012, Daniel accepted a position as Senior Policy Advisor at the White House Domestic Policy Council, where he helped develop Administration policy in the areas of criminal justice, civil rights, and immigration.

Daniel returned to Nolan Barton Olmos from government service in early 2013. Since then, he has continued to represent individuals accused of crimes throughout California and the United States, and has won acquittals in jury trials in both state and federal courts. Daniel has also achieved dismissals in jurisdictions across the nation in notable cases involving wire fraud, bribery, and conspiracy.  

Daniel has delivered lectures throughout the country on a wide range of topics, including the Economic Espionage Act, criminal justice reform, and immigration. In June 2014, he was awarded the Commitment to Change Award by the National Immigration Justice Center, on whose Leadership Board he serves. Daniel is currently a lawyer representative to the Judicial Conference of the Ninth Circuit, and he also serves on the Ninth Circuit’s Fairness Committee.

Daniel graduated from Harvard University and Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley. Following law school, he clerked for District Judge Claudia Wilken of the Northern District of California and Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Judge Ron whitener

Lead judge trainer

Chief Judge, Tulalip Tribal Court

Ron J. Whitener is Chief Judge of the Tulalip Tribal Court, a Justice on the Northwest Intertribal Court of Appeals, the Chehalis Tribal Court of Appeals and the Upper Skagit Tribal Court of Appeals. From 2009 to 2013, Judge Whitener served as the Chief Judge for the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation. Judge Whitener is a member of the Squaxin Island Tribe, located in South Puget Sound, where he grew up and continues to participate in treaty fishing and as the Squaxin Island Commissioner of Business Affairs. Judge Whitener worked for Squaxin Island in their Natural Resources Department prior to going to law school. He graduated from the University of Washington Law School in 1994 and returned to Squaxin as a tribal attorney representing the tribal government in treaty rights defense, tribal governance, tribal court development, gaming and other enterprises. In 2000, he joined the Northwest Justice Project’s

Native American Unit in Seattle where he represented Native American clients in federal, state and tribal courts. In 2002, he joined the University of Washington Law School as an Assistant Professor where, with funding and support of the Tulalip Tribes, he formed the Tribal Court Public Defense Clinic serving as public defender for several Western Washington tribes. Judge Whitener taught various courses in the fields of Indian law, mental health law and criminal law and was named Order of the Coif and Order of Barristers for his work in law and his experience as a courtroom advocate. He received funding from the MacArthur Foundation to implement culturally-informed projects in tribal juvenile justice in the areas of indigent juvenile defense and mental health issues. In 2009, he was named the Association of American Law School’s “Shanara Gilbert Emerging Clinician of the Year” and in 2011 he was named a “White House Champion of Change” by President Barack Obama for his advocacy for Native American clients. In May of 2014, Judge Whitener left the University of Washington to join the Tulalip Tribal Court.

Nathan voegeli

Lead Subject matter trainer

Attorney and Tribal Liason, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Nathan Voegeli is a staff attorney and the tribal liaison for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. He practices natural resource and Native American law and advises Department management on regulatory programs, tribal issues, public trust resources, and environmental review. His work regularly includes consultations with tribes and training Department staff about tribal issues. Previously, he was General Counsel for the Yurok Tribe. There, he litigated natural resource issues in federal court, served as Tribal prosecutor for civil offenses, managed the Tribe’s development of forestry carbon offset projects, and helped the Tribe reacquire over 25,000 acres of forest land.

Nathan holds a Masters in International Policy Studies from the Monterey Institute of International Studies 

and a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He grew up on the flat prairies of Kansas, spent his undergraduate days in Fairbanks, Alaska, and now calls Sacramento, California, home.

Matt carr

Assistant subject matter trainer

Senior Circuit Prosecutor, California District Attorneys Association Circuit Prosecutor Project

Matt Carr has worked as a Circuit Prosecutor for nearly ten years, and for a time covered 16 of California's 58 counties, an area the size of Maine, prosecuting most types of environmental law violations, such as hazardous waste, clean air, poaching, and water pollution cases, in addition to working in other specialized areas such as workplace safety laws.  Opponents have ranged from individuals to trusts to large corporations.  Matt now serves as the Senior Circuit Prosecutor at the Circuit Prosecutor Project, which currently constitutes three attorneys, a paralegal, and a legal assistant.  Matt has a B.A. and a B.S. in Natural Resources Management and Political Science from the University of Minnesota, summa cum laude, and obtained law degree with an environmental law and public service certificate from King Hall at the University of California, Davis, in 2006.  He is licensed to practice law in California and Hawai’i. In addition to practicing law, Matt lectures on various environmental topics to diverse crowds, ranging from regulators to attorneys to police officers and game wardens.  He has authored numerous publications, including one printed in the Environmental Law Institute's Environmental Reporter and another which was distributed to well over a thousand law enforcement professionals in California.  An avid outdoors enthusiast born and raised in Hawai'i and now calling Sacramento, California home, Matt finds himself happy enjoying the great outdoors and working alongside other environmental professionals to protect California’s outstanding natural resources and the health of its residents and visitors.