La Mer Kyle-Griffiths

Assistant Department Head; Santa Barbara County Public Defender’s Office
TPI Attendance: July, 2005 TPI Attendance: July, 2015
Photo of La Mer Kyle-Griffiths


La Mer Kyle-Griffiths is the recently appointed Assistant Public Defender of the Santa Barbara Public Defender’s Office. Before that she was the Director of Training and Complex Litigation with Still She Rises in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

She has been a lifelong public defender amplifying the voice of the poor in Kentucky, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Washington and now California.

In Seattle, she was responsible for designing, organizing, and facilitating trainings for the over 400 team members of the Department of Public Defense. There she gained an appreciation for the need for defense teams to actively engage with their own implicit bias. She became certified with King County to teach and facilitate on issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Before that she practiced for over 17 years as a public defender in both Kentucky and Boston. In Kentucky, she was part of the Capital Defense Unit and litigated several death penalty cases.

She has sat on many case reviews on death penalty cases and continues to teach nationally and at various state programs on capital litigation, voir dire, and mitigation. She has taught investigators, attorneys, mitigation specialists, and law students across the country in the areas of capital litigation, litigation with a racial and gender lens, investigation, sentencing, trial skills, and forensics. She has litigated juvenile, capital, felony, and misdemeanor cases as well as arguing two cases to the Kentucky Supreme Court. She has been an adjunct professor at the Seattle University College of Law, the Iowa University of Law, Boston College and currently teaches at the Darrow Baldus Death Penalty College, the National Criminal Defense College, Gideon’s Promise, and Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop. She has taught in various organizations in the areas of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as well as leadership and supervision with an inclusive lens.

A graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law she has been a lifelong advocate and is looking forward to her continuing adventure with Tom, her Chucks-wearing, crusading, capital defender husband and three young women who all learned to crow “Acquittal” early!


Recent Teaching History

2019 Trial Practice Institute in Bristol (July Session)
2018 Trial Practice Institute in Macon (July Session)