Healthy New Jersey

Office of the Public Defender


Jennifer N. Sellitti - Public Defender
Jennifer N. Sellitti
Public Defender
Robyn A. Veasey - First Assistant Public Defender
Robyn A. Veasey
First Assistant Public Defender

Robyn A. Veasey is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law-Newark with an undergraduate degree from Gettysburg College. She clerked in Hudson County Superior Court before beginning her career in the Public Defender’s office in 2004. Ms. Veasey was initially assigned to represent parents in the family regulation system known as “child welfare” in Essex County. In 2011 she became the Deputy Public Defender supervising the Central Trial Region for the Office of Parental Representation (OPR). At that time Ms. Veasey became the OPR appointee to the Children-in-Court Improvement Committee as part of the Administrative Office of the Courts, Family Division. In 2012 Ms. Veasey became the Managing Attorney for the Appellate Section of OPR and remained there until her appointment to Assistant Public Defender in 2021 and First Assistant Public Defender in 2024.

Traci Telemaque - Assistant Public Defender
Traci Telemaque
Assistant Public Defender

Prior to joining the OPD, Traci Telemaque enjoyed a career in women’s health care with the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services in Long Beach, California. In 1998, she relocated to New Jersey to pursue her legal career. In 2001 Ms. Telemaque received her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law in Newark. She clerked for the late Honorable David Waks in Passaic County and the Honorable William R. DeLorenzo, Jr., Bergen County.

Ms. Telemaque joined the Office of Law Guardian (OLG) in 2003 as a staff attorney. Until 2011 she represented minors in child abuse and neglect litigation in Hudson County. In 2011, she was promoted to Managing Attorney of the Essex County OLG. In 2015, she was promoted to Managing Attorney of the OLG Northern Region (Bergen and Hudson counties). She is a member of the OLG Training, Youth in Transition and Ethics Committees, and is a trainer for the Hudson County CASA program. In 2017 she became an Assistant Public Defender position and assumed statewide supervision over the Office of Law Guardian.

Joseph J. Russo - Assistant Public Defender
Joseph J. Russo
Assistant Public Defender

Assistant Public Defender Joseph J. Russo formerly served as the First Assistant Public Defender,  Deputy Public Defender (managing attorney) of the OPD state-wide Appellate Section and Deputy Public Defender of the Hudson Trial Region. He worked for many years in the Warren and Somerset Trial Regions, which included serving as the Deputy Public Defender. Joe is the only public defender in OPD history to serve as a managing attorney of the Appellate Section and criminal trial regions. He was recently appointed as the Director of the newly created Parole Revocation Defense Unit (PRDU). Joe has long been an advocate for reform of the parole system in his role as the chairperson of the OPD Parole Project. He also serves as the chairperson of the OPD Lifer Group, which represents Comer/Miller juvenile resentencing clients.

Joe has argued important cases before the Supreme Court and Appellate Division. He argued State v. Andujar, a historical case in which the Supreme Court called for a Judicial Conference on Jury Selection to address the pernicious problem of implicit bias. He argued State v. Carter, where the police were racially profiling motorists for having “Garden State” blocked on license plates. In State v. S.S., Joe successfully argued a seminal invocation case before the Supreme Court, where the Court changed the standard of review in video-taped confession cases. He argued State v. Comer on behalf of amicus curiae OPD in which the Supreme Court held that juveniles sentenced to a mandatory thirty years in prison for murder are entitled to “look back” hearings. Joe successfully argued State v. Thomas before the Appellate Division which extended the holding of Comer to juveniles sentenced to lengthy prison terms. He argued the most significant parole case in New Jersey history, Acoli v. N.J.S.P.B., on behalf of amicus curiae OPD.

In State v. J.L.G., Joe litigated the first Frye Hearing in history involving the Child Sexual Abuse Accommodation Syndrome (CSAAS), where a unanimous Supreme Court upheld the trial court finding that CSAAS is not scientifically reliable. Joe successfully argued the first case before the Appellate Division, State v. R.G., which outlined standards for forcibly medicating incompetent defendants to restore competency. And in State in the Interest of Z.S., he argued the first major case interpreting the 2016 juvenile waiver statute.

Joe was named the 2017 Criminal Lawyer of the Year by the Hudson County Bar Association. Joe was appointed as Chairperson of a Working Group of the Criminal Sentencing and Disposition Commission entitled Issues Related to the Right to Counsel in Parole Hearings. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey and is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association Working Group on Jury Selection. Joe was a long-standing member of the Supreme Court Model Criminal Jury Charge Committee and now serves on the Supreme Court Criminal Practice Committee. Joe clerked for the Honorable Rufus King III in the District of Columbia Superior Court.

Fletcher Duddy - Assistant Public Defender
Fletcher Duddy
Assistant Public Defender

As an Assistant in Public Defender Sellitti’s Administration, Fletcher oversees the agency’s Civil Litigation, Megan’s Law, Intensive Supervision Program, Expungement, and Recovery Court practice units, and serves as an administrator in various capacities, such as processing and responding to civil subpoenas served on the agency.  Prior to his appointment as Assistant Public Defender, Fletcher served for almost a decade as the Deputy of the agency’s Special Litigation Unit, where he prosecuted civil rights actions on behalf of the agency, including those related to the remote incarceration of county jail detainees and conditions of confinement in county jails.  As a Deputy, Fletcher also served as the Chief Counsel to the agency’s statewide Megan’s Law practice, which entailed representing individuals at every level of the state’s court system, including the Supreme Court of New Jersey; coordinating and delivering statewide training programs; and working on several legislative initiatives in New Jersey.

Fletcher is a graduate of Rutgers School of Law, Camden, and has an undergraduate degree in History from Rowan University.  He began his legal career by clerking for the Honorable Louise DiRenzo Donaldson, R.J.S.C., in the Criminal Division of Camden County Superior Court.  Prior to becoming an attorney, Fletcher served in U.S. Coast Guard and worked in the maritime shipping industry, working as a project manager in the response and mitigation of marine oil spills.  He lives with his wife and four children in West Deptford, New Jersey.

Division Director of Mental Health Advocacy
Carl J. Herman
Division Director of Mental Health Advocacy

Carl Herman is the Director of the Division of Mental Health Advocacy, Office of the Public Defender, where he supervises a staff of 39 staff attorneys and 31 case investigators, as well as clerical and administrative staff.  Carl also serves as an Assistant Public Defender and supervises seven regional criminal defense offices.  Prior to assuming the position of Division Director, Carl was in private law practice in West Orange, New Jersey, where he specialized in criminal defense.  Over the course of his 40-year career defending criminal defendants Carl tried over 150 jury trials, including eight state death penalty cases and five federal death penalty cases.  He was a member of the federal Criminal Justice Act Panel for over 25 years and was appointed as a death penalty expert attorney in 11 federal districts.  He has argued appeals in the Second, Third and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeal. 

Carl is a graduate of Brown University, and he obtained his law degree from the George Washington University National Law Center.  He served a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Raymond W.  Young (Hudson County) and served as Assistant Deputy Public Advocate in the Division of Mental Health Advocacy in the 1970’s, where he represented hundreds of clients in civil commitment and Krol hearings.

Assistant Public Defender
Prescott Loveland
Assistant Public Defender

Assistant Public Defender Prescott Loveland will help supervise and support several trial regions in addition to OPD’s forthcoming holistic/collaborative defense pilots, forensic and immigration units, and trial training.

Prescott joined OPD after almost nine years with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS). At PDS, Prescott defended adults and juveniles accused of the most serious offenses in D.C. Superior Court. Prescott was a supervisor of the Trial Division, and he served as a Felony One attorney representing clients accused of homicide and other first-degree felonies. His trial and litigation experience includes complex forensic and mental health issues and defending children prosecuted as adults. Prescott was a member of the PDS Hiring Committee and the Forensic Practice Group, and he was involved in cross division strategic planning. Prescott teaches trial advocacy, and he trains on team-based defense, client-centered representation, and sentencing mitigation.

Prescott is trained in law and social work. He has a JD and MSW from Fordham University. In 2015, he was named Fordham Law’s Public Service Valedictorian and he received the law school’s top award for trial advocacy. At Fordham, Prescott co-founded the Fordham Law Defenders, he was a Stein Scholar for Public Interest Law, and he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Brendan Moore Trial Advocacy Program.

Before becoming a career public defender, Prescott worked as a defense investigator, as co-facilitator of an empowerment program for unhoused New Yorkers, and as a strategy consultant for nonprofit organizations.

Prescott was born and raised in New Jersey, and he is a proud father of twins.

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