UCI Law Professor Katie Tinto Appointed to Judicial Council of California’s Advisory Committee on Criminal Jury Instructions


Katie Tinto headshot

IRVINE, Calif. (Sept. 15, 2023) — The University of California, Irvine School of Law (UCI Law) is pleased to announce that UCI Law Professor Katie Tinto has been appointed by the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court Patricia Guerrero to the Judicial Council of California’s Advisory Committee on Criminal Jury Instructions. Prof. Tinto will serve a three-year term on the committee beginning today, September 15, 2023. She succeeds Professor Robert Weisberg, faculty co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center at Stanford Law School.  

A key function of the Judicial Council’s advisory committees is to inform and enhance the council’s statewide policymaking process within designated areas of focus. As a member of the Advisory Committee on Criminal Jury Instructions, Prof. Tinto will regularly review case law and statutes affecting jury instructions and make recommendations for updating, amending, and adding topics to the council’s criminal jury instructions.  

“Advisory bodies provide an exchange of ideas, knowledge sharing, and problem-solving opportunities that not only strengthen the judicial branch but also help carry out the council’s mission to make the court system consistent, impartial, and accessible,” stated Chief Justice of California and Chair of the Judicial Council Patricia Guerrero in the appointment letter.  

“Professor Tinto is a leading voice in conversations around criminal law and criminal justice, and a brilliant professor,” said Dean Austen Parrish. “We are proud that she’s joining the Judicial Council’s Advisory Committee on Criminal Jury Instructions. Her broad and deep expertise make her an invaluable addition to this important committee.” 

Prof. Tinto’s teaching and research interests span the areas of criminal law, criminal justice, the intersection of criminal law and immigration law, and indigent criminal defense. Her interests and experience also include federal compassionate release and clemency, policing reform, and reentry services. Prof. Tinto directs UCI Law's Criminal Justice Clinic, which advocates for the release of prisoners who are elderly and in poor health, or are serving lengthy prison offenses, often due to outdated and unjust sentencing laws. The clinic also assists low-income individuals in state criminal court and helps non-citizens seek post-conviction relief when facing immigration consequences of past criminal offenses. 

Before joining UCI Law in July 2016, Prof. Tinto taught at Cardozo School of Law and NYU School of Law. Prior to entering academia, she worked for over seven years as a public defender in Los Angeles County and prior to law school she was the founder of a family violence prevention program in the East Palo Alto Police Department. Prof. Tinto attended NYU School of Law where she was a Root Tilden Kern Scholar. After graduating, she clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 

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