Promoting Justice for All Utah Kids
Promoting Justice for All Utah Kids
Before becoming the Executive Director of Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys, LLC, in 2010, Pam Vickrey was a trial attorney with the firm's predecessor, Pappas and Associates, LLC, for ten years. In addition to running an office of nine trial attorneys, two social workers and two appellate attorneys, Pam currently serves as the chair to the Utah Sentencing Commission, chair of the Juvenile Subcommittee for the Utah Sentencing Commission, member of the Indigent Defense Commission, and the juvenile defense representative on the Juvenile Justice Implementation Committee under Utah's Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. Pam served as the past chairwoman of the Utah State Advisory Group and still services as a member. she has been instrumental in numerous sweeping juvenile justice reforms in Utah. As the first, and one of only five Certified JTIP Trainer in Utah, Pam coordinates and provides specialized training to juvenile defense attorneys in the state and around the country.
Bill Russell, born and raised in Murray, Utah, graduated from the University of Utah College of Law in 1980 and practiced in trial and appellate litigation based in Salt Lake, representing clients in 27 Utah counties, three states, and the federal trial and appeals courts. In 1992 his practice shifted to a focus on juvenile defense and in 1994 he became a full-time juvenile defender in a small firm. From 1998 to 2006 he sat as Juvenile Court Commissioner in Utah’s Third District, until he resumed private practice, once again in juvenile defense. In 2013 he was named to his current position as Deputy Director of Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys, LLC. In 2015 he received that firm’s Attorney of the Year Award for Excellence in Juvenile Representation, and in 2016 he was awarded the Youth Advocate of the Year Award by the Utah Board of Juvenile Justice. Bill loves juvenile defense because it affords him the daily opportunity to engage in challenging trial court litigation, to interact and collaborate with adept and passionate allied professionals, and to help children and families in some of their most difficult challenges.
Bob has been an attorney since 1993, after completing law school at the University of Utah. He has spent more than 20 years defending the rights of juveniles in Utah’s juvenile courts. He has defended every kind of charge imaginable, including numerous Serious Youth Offender cases. Before he was a juvenile defender, Bob worked as a business attorney, a newspaper reporter and editor, and as a camp counselor in high school. He defends juveniles because they hold a uniquely vulnerable place in our justice system, and also because they offer hope for our future. As attorney Bryan Stevenson points out, “[e]ach of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done.”
Tasha Williams received her J.D. from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2008. After law school, Tasha worked for a private criminal defense lawyer, during which time she appeared in federal, state, and justice courts. In 2010, Tasha joined UJDA. Tasha loves representing young people, in part because her clients have been great examples to her of how we can all improve our lives. Tasha is a certified trainer for the Juvenile Training Immersion Program through the National Juvenile Defender Center. In 2016, Tasha was awarded Youth Advocate of the Year by the Utah Board of Juvenile Justice. In 2019, Tasha was appointed to the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.
Liza Bacon received a degree in Economics with an emphasis in Childhood Development and Environmental Studies from Westminster College. She went on to earn a paralegal certificate from University of California, Berkley, and worked as a paralegal at a personal injury law firm in San Francisco for 5 years. She returned to Utah to attend law school at the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. Liza knew that she wanted to practice criminal law and tailored her legal education to maximize opportunities in this area including working for the Salt Lake County District Attorney and then West Valley City Prosecutor. Throughout her adult life, Liza has remained involved in childhood development and childcare. As an attorney with Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys, Liza is able to combine her passion for challenging court litigation with her dedication to investing in children. Liza feels strongly that investing in our youth can shape a society’s long-term prosperity, and in this area, works hard to achieve racial justice amongst this most vulnerable population.
Ramzi Hamady received his J.D. from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2017. During law school Ramzi externed with the Utah Court of Appeals, interned with the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center, and served as a Teacher’s Assistant for the Legal Writing Program. He also interned with Utah Legal Services – Native American Law Program, interned with the ACLU of Utah, and served as the Executive Vice President of the Social Justice Student Initiative. Ramzi began his legal career practicing in family and immigration law. He joined the UJDA team as a juvenile defender in 2019. Ramzi believes deeply in the work that UJDA does to defend our youth in a time where juveniles are increasingly referred from the classroom to the courtroom. Ramzi is also active in his community. He currently serves as the President-Elect for the Utah Minority Bar Association and volunteers every summer for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Camp where he creates and conducts a seminar on various justice issues for more than 250 youth. Ramzi finds joy in his Lebanese heritage, spending time with family, cooking, and making music.
Erin Flowers received a degree in both Psychology and Spanish from Pepperdine University. Erin knew that she loved working with youth from a young age, so while at Pepperdine University she ran a mentorship/tutoring program at a local juvenile detention facility. It was this experience that introduced her to the juvenile justice system, and showed her how much court involvement can impact a child’s life. Erin went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Columbia University. When not attending school herself, she spent a few years working with youth in various educational settings, one of which was City Year Boston, a program near and dear to her heart. She felt called to practice law, and eventually went on to earn her J.D. from Santa Clara University. While at Santa Clara, she focused on criminal law, interning at the Northern California Innocence Project. Erin recently moved to Salt Lake City in 2019, and was thrilled to land her dream job as a juvenile defense attorney with UJDA.
* JTIP Certified
Monica Maio is the managing appellate attorney at Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys, where she has worked for ten years. Prior to her employment with UJDA, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Utah with a double major in Political Science and Women's Studies. After graduating from college, she attended law school at the University of Utah, where she served as the Articles Editor on the Journal of Law and Family Studies. She was also a teaching assistant in Criminal Law and Legal Writing. She was awarded the Reva Beck Bosone Scholarship for her commitment to women's issues in the law. Upon graduation, she served as a law clerk for Judge Gregory K. Orme at the Utah Court of Appeals, Justice Michael J. Wilkins at the Utah Supreme Court, and Judge James Z. Davis at the Utah Court of Appeals. After beginning her employment with UJDA, she was presented with the Excellence in Juvenile Advocacy in 2015. She currently serves as a member of the Utah Supreme Court's Standing Committee on Appellate Representation.
Marina Peña graduated from the University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2018. Knowing she wanted a career working with children, Marina tailored her legal education around juvenile law and public policy. After graduating from law school, Marina served as the Juvenile Justice Fellow at Voices for Utah Children, where she was instrumental in helping develop and write a report examining the state of juvenile indigent defense in Utah. At UJDA, Marina has continued her involvement in policy work, assisting with policy research and legislation drafting. As a juvenile defense attorney, Marina strives to ensure the rights of all Utah children are protected and that their voices are heard.
Sariah Donnahoo is a licensed clinical social worker and has worked as a forensic clinical social worker for UJDA since 2014. Sariah served as UJDA’s first and only social worker for five years. UJDA continues to house the only juvenile defense-based forensic social workers in the State of Utah. Sariah consults with public defenders providing services to indigent youth in juvenile court. Among those services provided are temporary crisis services for youth in detention facilities, consultation and preparation of expert testimony, and assessment and review of juvenile history as it pertains to youth transfer, competency to stand trial and/or recommendations for services. Sariah earned a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Utah with a concentration in Forensic Social Work and has bachelor degrees in Behavioral Science, Sociology with a certificate in Criminology/Corrections, and Human Development and Family Studies.
Tora Graham received a degree in both Psychology and Sociology from the University of Utah. Knowing she wanted to continue her education, Tora eventually obtained her Master’s Degree in Social Work with an emphasis in Forensics from the University of Utah. Tora was introduced to the juvenile justice system during while a student and eventually ended up worked for Juvenile Justice Services for four years before coming to UJDA as a practicum intern. In 2019, Tora was hired on at UJDA and has since provided unique support and insight for court involved youth for both Summit and Salt Lake County. Tora is currently collecting data of client outcomes in order to determine the impact forensic clinical social workers have on cases.