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Katherine Maris Mattes

Senior Professor of the Practice and Director of the Criminal Justice Clinic
BA, 1987, with honors, University of California, Los Angeles; JD, 1991, cum laude, University of San Diego

E-mail: kmattes@tulane.edu
Telephone: 504.865.5155
Office: Weinmann Hall, 130-P

Katherine Mattes is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled trial and appellate work and supervises student lawyers at both levels. She has expertise on the intersection of criminal justice and mental illness, with an emphasis on mental competency to stand trial and the defense of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Mattes, who joined the Tulane Law School faculty in 2002, has worked as a deputy public defender in San Diego and as Assistant Special Counsel for the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana.

She was lead counsel in State v. Denson, a landmark case that resulted in statewide changes to Louisiana’s treatment of mentally ill criminal defendants who are incompetent to stand trial. She also has testified before state legislative committees; taught and lectured on issues relating to incompetent criminal defendants; and participated in related litigation.

After Hurricane Katrina, Mattes accepted, on behalf of the Tulane Criminal Defense Clinic, the Clinical Legal Education Association Award for Excellence in a Public Interest Project for work identifying, locating and representing Orleans Parish inmates who had been displaced by the evacuation. She also led a film crew into the flooded evidence rooms in the criminal courthouse and the New Orleans Police Department.
She is a member of the ASPIRES Strategic Working Group, which designs and implements new protocols for the preservation of evidence in criminal cases. 

Professor Mattes' CV


Fall 2016 - Criminal Law Clinic; Criminal Advocacy Seminar
Spring 2017 - Criminal Law Clinic


View news comments

East County Magazine, "Two actions with big impacts on juvenile offenders," 01/27/16
McClatchy.com, "Supreme Court offers 2nd chance to juvenile offenders serving life without parole," 01/25/16
Reuters.com, "U.S. justices expand ban on mandatory life sentences for juvenile killers," 01/25/16
International Business Times, "Juveniles Serving Life Sentences: Can US Supreme Court Retroactively Apply Decisions?," 10/16/15
BuzzFeed, "One Man’s Effort To Escape New Orleans’ Cycle of Poverty and Incarceration," 08/26/15
Raw Story, "Louisiana man charged with hate crime in abortion clinic vandalism case," 08/13/15
Times-Picayune, "Tough sentencing laws keep Louisiana's prisons full" Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Houma Today, "Doctors to decide alleged killer's sanity," Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Times-Picayune, Guest Column (with Stephen Singer): "Look more closely at supersize jail plan," Monday, November 8, 2010
WWL-TV, "DA office says new plan wouldn't put burden on city attorneys office," Thursday, January 21, 2010
The Advocate, "Panel balks at trial law change: Bill would make law match ruling on incompetent defendants," Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The Times Picayune, "Bed shortage strands inmates," March 13, 2007
the New York Times, "In New Orleans, Rust in the Wheels of Justice," November 21, 2006

For media inquiries, email lawcommunications@tulane.edu

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