Board of Directors
Hannah seigel proff, JD
FoundeR & President
Hannah Seigel Proff works at the Colorado Juvenile Defender Center (CJDC) as their policy director. Prior to joining CJDC, Ms. Proff was as a Senior Deputy in the Denver office of the Colorado State Public Defender. During her seven years as a public defender, Ms. Proff specialized in the representation of juveniles who have been charged with violent crimes. Ms. Proff has taught legal skills training within the Colorado State Public Defender system, the Colorado State Bar Association, and at the 2nd Annual Excellence in Juvenile Defense Conference. Ms. Proff is the co-founder of Learn Your Rights in Colorado (LYRIC) a non-profit that teaches Colorado high school students about their constitutional rights. Ms. Proff volunteers for the Colorado Women’s Bar Association Legal Services Committee and also donates her time at a mentor for Colorado Youth at Risk. Ms. Proff received her Juris Doctorate degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law. Upon graduation from law school, Ms. Proff was awarded the Pursuit of Justice Award, an award given to the graduating student who has demonstrated a commitment to public service. Ms. Proff was chosen to receive this award by a committee comprised of law school deans, professors, and student leadership, and the award was presented to her by Bryan Stevenson of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Her undergraduate degree was in English literature and women’s studies from the University of Denver. Ms. Proff was recently awarded the 2014 University of Denver AHSS Alumni Community Engagement Award for her commitment to community service and was named the 2016 Graduate Champion by American Public Television for her commitment to advancing education.
Michael Juba, JD
Michael Juba graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder School of Law in 2007. Mr. Juba started his career at the Denver Trial Office of the Colorado State Public Defender and worked extensively with children in juvenile criminal court and children charged with crimes as adults in district court. Mr. Juba started his own criminal defense firm, Hardy & Juba LLC in 2012. As a part of his current practice, Mr. Juba has a contract with the Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel representing kids in Denver juvenile court, and specializes in representing kids charged as adults in transfer hearings and reverse transfer hearings. He gave several statewide trainings during his time at the Public Defender’s Office, and now Mr. Juba presents legal trainings through the Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel on various topics, including effective advocacy in juvenile court, the application of the 4th Amendment to juvenile cases, and how to effectively represent juveniles in adult court. Michael is also published as a contributing author to the Juvenile Defense Manual released in 2013.
Ezra aldern, lsw, msw
Ezra Aldern graduated from Colorado State University in 2007 with a degree in Sociology and Criminal Justice. After graduating, Mr. Aldern worked with expelled and high-risk middle and high school students at Connections Learning Center and with the Office of Dropout Prevention in Jefferson County for six years. In 2014, Mr. Aldern graduated from University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work. During a graduate school internship with the Colorado Juvenile Defender Coalition, he had an opportunity to continue advocating for high needs populations through working on two juvenile life without parole cases. Mr. Aldern is currently a full-time forensic social work contractor with the Alternate Defense Counsel, working on direct file, life without parole, and death penalty cases. His background in education, mental health and trauma, supports comprehensive client representation and an opportunity for clients to share their story to the courts. In 2014, Mr. Aldern started Dance In The Rain Consulting LLC based upon his favorite quote by Vivian Green, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”
Renae Bruning, MA
Renae Bruning serves as the Director of College Access for the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) providing leadership for 13 DSF College Advisors serving Denver Public School students. She also serves on the DSF program management team offering strategic direction for the organization. Previously, she was a DSF College Advisor for six years at John F. Kennedy High School, her alma mater, and received recognition from Stanford University for her outstanding achievements in that position.
Ms. Bruning obtained her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Colorado-Boulder in sociology and educational practices and policies, respectively, finishing graduate school with highest distinctions. Her graduate research focused on issues related to college access and success of underrepresented students, and parent engagement. Ms. Bruning is a 2000 graduate of John F. Kennedy High School in Denver Public Schools, prior to graduation was named to the inaugural class of the Daniels Fund, a full, four-year scholarship based on character, leadership, maturity, academic promise and community service.
Ms. Bruning began her career in the University of Colorado at Boulder's Office of Admissions playing a lead role in the effort to increase the enrollment of underrepresented students. In 2006 she completed the competitive Color of Justice, Inc. Urban Leadership Institute and in 2012 completed the year-long Denver Leadership Initiative. She uses the skills she gained to be an effective advocate for social justice, donating much of her time to local community organizations.
stacie nelson colling, JD
Stacie Nelson Colling has been the Juvenile Defense Coordinator for Colorado's Office of the Alternate Defense Counsel (OADC) since 2014, coordinating approximately 90 OADC juvenile defenders across the state. She strives to ensure that each OADC juvenile client receives the excellent defense that he or she deserves through training, education, resource coordination, and technical assistance. After graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 2004, Ms. Colling moved to Colorado to work for the State Public Defender's Office, where she represented juveniles and adults for several years. In 2011, she formed her own firm, Nelson Colling Law, LLC, and through contracts with the OADC she continued to represent indigent juvenile clients, in both juvenile and adult court, including several juveniles who were sentenced to life without parole. Ms. Colling is a co-author of There is No Meaningful Opportunity in Meaningless Data; Why it is Unconstitutional to use Life Expectancy Tables in Post-Graham Sentences, which appeared in the UC Davis Journal of Juvenile Law & Policy in the summer of 2014. In 2015, Governor Hickenlooper appointed Ms. Colling to Colorado's Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Council, and in 2016 she was elected Western Region Chair of the national Coalition for Juvenile Justice.
Priscilla gartner, JD
For nearly 20 years, Priscilla has demonstrated an unwavering professional commitment to assisting indigent children and families within the community. As the Denver Juvenile Court Supervisor, she developed the first specialized juvenile defense unit within any trial office of the Colorado State Public Defender. She is currently responsible for managing, evaluating, and mentoring all attorneys assigned to the Juvenile and Sobriety Court Divisions of the Denver Trial Office. Through her advocacy and collaboration, Priscilla has played an instrumental role in developing and sustaining innovative courts designed to empower individuals in need and increase community safety. In 2010, she served as one of the initial team members responsible for creating the Denver County Sobriety Court, a specialized misdemeanor treatment court, and she presently serves as a steering committee member for all of the Denver juvenile treatment courts. In her own practice, Priscilla specializes in the representation of juveniles facing prosecution as adults and juveniles participating in the Denver Youth Development Court. She has successfully argued before the Colorado Supreme Court and the Colorado Court of Appeals in the published opinions of Golob v. People, 180 P. 3d 1006 (Colo. 2008), People Ex Rel. H., 74 P. 3d 494 (Colo. App. 2003), and People v. Jowell, 199 P. 3d 38 (Colo. App. 2008). Priscilla is passionate about the law and dedicated to strengthening the community through education and mentoring. In 1995, she received the Lowrey Kelley Memorial Award and later served as a mentor for 2 attorneys who were recipients of this award in 2011 and 2012. She has served as an instructor for the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, the Denver Bar Association, and the National Association of Drug Court Professionals.
Jessica Jones, JD
2015 LYRIC Volunteer of the Year Award
Jes Jones graduated from Northeastern University School of Law in 2007. Prior to starting her own criminal practice, Ms. Jones was a public defender for 5 years, and more recently a civil rights attorney at Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP. Starting in law school, Ms. Jones has prioritized human dignity and civil rights. While in law school, she work for the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, GA, the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado; and the Legal Aid Society in Queens, NYC. Ms. Jones has a strong background in social justice and community organizing. She taught countless Know Your Rights trainings, planned and spontaneous, to young activists in preparation for the 2008 Democratic National Convention held here in Denver, CO. Then, in 2009, Ms. Jones was a co-recipient of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Gideon Award for her involvement in organizing and defending over 100 political protesters arrested during the 2008 DNC-many of them who were youth. Again, during the Occupy Denver movement in 2012, Ms. Jones organized pro bono attorneys to represent demonstrators who were criminally charged as a result of exercising their First Amendment rights. She currently sits on the board of the Colorado Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and in 2014 she was named one of Colorado Super Lawyers Rising Stars.
TALly zuckerman, JD
Tally Zuckerman is a partner at Zuckerman Law, LLC. Prior to forming the firm, Ms. Zuckerman was a civil litigator at the firm Treece Alfrey Musat P.C. before joining the Denver Trial Office of the Colorado State Public Defender. Ms. Zuckerman spent several years as a Deputy State Public Defender practicing solely in the area of indigent criminal defense. While at the Public Defender’s Office, Ms. Zuckerman represented thousands of clients in county court, juvenile court, drug court and district court. She has handled cases ranging from misdemeanor domestic violence assault and DUI to sexual assault and homicide. Ms. Zuckerman also has extensive experience in juvenile law as well as handling cases in Colorado’s drug courts. During 2012, Ms. Zuckerman served as the representative of the Public Defender’s Office on the Domestic Violence Offender Management Board (“DVOMB”), the Board which creates and promulgates the standards of domestic violence treatment for so-called “domestic violence offenders” across the state of Colorado. In 2010, Ms. Zuckerman was awarded the “Attorney of the Year” award by the Denver Trial Office.