Joan Politeo, Deputy Federal Public Attorney, Central District of California

Joan Politeo is a Deputy Federal Public Defender from the Central District of California.  She has been with the Office of the Federal Public Defender since 1990, assigned to the branch offices located in Santa Ana and Riverside, California. Joan has been assigned to the trial unit and has also handled matters before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and has represented non-capital habeas clients before the district court.

As part of her responsibilities since 2012, Joan has served as one of the defender representatives for the Convictions and Sentence Alternatives Program (CASA), an innovative post-guilty plea diversion program.  After successful completion of the CASA program, a participant’s case is either dismissed or a probationary sentence is imposed.  CASA was one of the first collaborative court programs in the federal courts and has been a model to others throughout the nation interested in establishing programs which present alternatives to incarceration.  

Before she joined the Office of the Federal Public Defender, Joan was a staff attorney for the Neighborhood Legal Services Program in Washington D.C. where she represented indigent clients in housing litigation before the courts and administrative agencies.

​Joan was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.