News Release

Los Angeles, CA Attorney Nanzella ‘Nan’ Whitfield Sworn in as Secretary of Nation’s Criminal Defense Bar

Washington, DC (Aug. 5, 2019) – Nanzella ‘Nan’ Whitfield was sworn in as Secretary of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) at the Association’s annual meeting in Philadelphia, PA, on August 3.

Currently, serving in the capacity of the Deputy in Charge at the Inglewood branch, Nan has been a trial lawyer with the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office since 1988.  She has been the lead trial counsel in over 150 jury trials, ranging from petty theft to capital murder, and has engaged in approximately 40 first degree murder jury trials, including 5 in which the potential penalty was death. In September, she will be relocating to Boston, Massachusetts, to accept the position of a Managing Director, Northern Region, with the Public Defender Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS).

In addition to serving on the NACDL Board of Directors, Nan is also Vice Chair of the Public Defense Committee and a member of the Sousveillance Task Force. Nan is a frequent lecturer at criminal defense conferences and has attended and participated in numerous training and educational seminars across the country. In fact, she has presented at multiple NACDL Continuing Legal Education programs.

She has received numerous awards and distinctions throughout her career, including being named the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year in 2011. In 2008, she was named one of the Top 75 Female Litigators of the State of California.

She received her J.D. from Northern Illinois University College of Law and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  

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Madeline Sklar, NACDL Public Affairs and Communications Assistant, (202) 465-7647 or

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's many thousands of direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.