Brian Matthews has been a public defender for Santa Clara County for over 20 years and is currently a Supervising/ lead attorney at the Office of the Alternate Defender. He specializes in the defense of homicide and capital cases, and research and writing. He has presented many trainings and served as a faculty member at the Bryan R. Shechmeister Death Penalty College. Mr. Mathews has presented trainings to the Santa Clara County Defense Bar on topics ranging from ethics to litigating motions to identifying and presenting mental state defenses. He also manages the post-bar internship program for the Alternate Defender's Office. Mr. Matthews is a graduate of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Master Advocates Program.
Mr. Matthews has argued before the California Supreme Court and in the California Court of Appeal. Mr. Matthews has achieved excellent results both in litigation and through negotiation with prosecutors in high-stakes matters, including securing the release of the first Sexually Violent Predator to be released through the state treatment program. He has successfully prepared and executed media strategies for high-profile cases and has experience working with the press. Mr. Matthews is a member of the California Public Defender's Association and takes pride in achieving practical results for clients facing serious consequences.
Chris Givens is a Deputy Alternate Defender for Santa Clara County. He has represented clients in misdemeanors through homicides over his 19 year career. He has extensive experience as a supervisor for the homicide and felony teams and as a litigator and policy writer. His current focus is litigating homicide cases, and improving the use of technology and digital forensics in the field of indigent defense.
Chris graduated from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1999. He performed as a stand up comedian in San Francisco for a number of years in the late 90’s. Prior to that he taught High School in Urban schools. He also currently teaches Evidence at Lincoln Law School in San Jose, California.