David Coleman, a native of West Virginia, earned a B.A. with honors in Political Science & Economics from Yale College in 1967, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1971.
In 1974, Mr. Coleman began work as a deputy public defender in Contra Costa County in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1999, he was appointed as The Public Defender for the county, thereby becoming the first African American Public Defender in California. He retired from that position in 2009. During a 35 year career as a public defender, Mr. Coleman tried scores of felony and misdemeanor cases, argued cases before the 9th Circuit, the California Supreme Court and the First District Court of Appeal. Since 1980, Mr. Coleman’s trial experience includes being lead counsel in eight capital trials.
Mr. Coleman was an adjunct professor at U.C. Berkeley School of Law for over 20 years. He taught Criminal Procedure, Evidence, and Advanced Criminal Procedure. He is currently a Senior Fellow in the Center for Social Justice at the Berkeley School of Law.
Mr. Coleman has authored many articles about criminal justice for print publications and for internet blogs.