Trisha Luciano obtained her J.D. from New College of California in San Francisco. While in law school, she clerked at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, San Francisco Public Defender, and Santa Clara County Public Defender’s Office. In collaboration with University of San Francisco, Trisha brought Street Law– a program designed to advance justice by empowering students with legal and civic knowledge, skills, and confidence to bring about positive change for themselves and others – to McClymonds High School in Oakland.
Following law school, Trisha worked at the Mental Health Advocacy Project (MHAP), a program of the Law Foundation of Silicon Valley. There, she represented clients facing civil commitment in administrative and capacity hearings, as well as clients in due process hearings involving allegations of abuse and neglect. She monitored facilities for compliance with statutory protections with respect to the treatment rights of clients. Trisha gained extensive experience working with clients experiencing mental health symptoms, expanded her knowledge of psychiatric diagnoses, psychotropic medication, and laws surrounding seclusion, restraint, and overmedication. Trisha provided certification trainings regarding 72-hour holds under WIC 5150 to mental health providers and assisted Kaiser Santa Clara in developing patients’ rights policies for its inpatient unit in 2011.
Later that year, Trisha accepted a position at the Law Offices of the Public Defender in Riverside County. Over the course of four years, Trisha represented adult and juvenile clients in misdemeanor and felony criminal proceedings. She developed strong trial advocacy skills resulting in numerous dismissals and acquittals in matters involving DUI, domestic violence, child molestation, assault, kidnap, robbery, burglary, and other criminal offenses. She represented clients in a collaborative, drug-rehabilitation court to reduce recidivism among drug offenders, leading efforts to allow those with “strike” prior convictions and on active parole status to participate in the program who were previously ineligible.
In 2015, Trisha focused her practice on defending minors in juvenile delinquency proceedings at the Yolo County Public Defender. She was successful in obtaining dismissals, not-true findings, and sealing the records of many minors. She litigated policy issues affecting incarcerated youth including eliminating the shackling of minors in court and brought a know-your-rights clinic to the local juvenile hall.
Trisha joins NBO with extensive experience litigating criminal cases involving mental health issues and defenses. She represents individuals with mental health issues accused of various criminal offenses. She works with psychiatrists and other mental health and substance abuse treatment providers to zealously advocate on behalf of individuals in the criminal justice system who suffer from mental illness and addiction disorders.
Trisha has served on a variety of committees including Santa Clara County Adult System of Care, Mental Health Coalition, Resilient Yolo Network (Adverse Childhood Experiences), and Youth Gang Reduction and Intervention Program. She is a member of the California Public Defenders Association, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and Pacific Juvenile Defender Center.