Meet our Team

Susan Leff

Susan Leff is the Assistant Public Defender for Nevada County.  Susan is the first lawyer in her family.  She dedicated her career to helping others through advocating for indigent defendants, prosecuting rogue police officers, teaching law students and training other lawyers. Susan is a New York transplant who comes to us from San Francisco.  Most recently, she was an Adjunct Law Professor at Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco, where she taught Criminal Litigation, Trial Advocacy, the Criminal Litigation Clinic and was previously the Acting Director of Externships. She has been a deputy public defender in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Napa and San Francisco counties. While at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office, she began a police practice project and trained new lawyers in the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendment, all while carrying a full felony caseload, including homicides.  She received an award in recognition of her contributions in the area of police practice. 

In 2004, she worked at the San Francisco Office of Citizen Complaints (now the Department of Police Accountability), where she exclusively investigated and administratively prosecuted police officers. After leaving that job, she opened her own law practice specializing in police misconduct issues.  She conducts numerous trainings on identifying and handling police misconduct for attorneys and other criminal defense professionals throughout California.  She received the National Defense Investigator’s Association 2011 Profiles in Courage Award in recognition of her dedication and professionalism in training criminal defense professionals and her willingness to speak truth in the face of adversity.  

In addition, since 2012, Susan has served as co-coordinator of and a presenter at the annual California Public Defenders’ Association (CPDA) Basic Trial Skills Program. Currently she is on the Board of Directors for CPDA and is working on legislative policing issues.

Bruce Kapsack

Originally from New York, Bruce Kapsack was graduated from Plymouth State College in 1984 and received his law degree from American University Washington College of Law in 1987.  He immediately went to work for the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division in the South Bronx. Bruce moved to California to get married and start a family, he has 3 children, and was hired for the police oversight Office of Citizen Complaints in San Francisco.  Mr. Kapsack then opened his own office specializing in DUI Defense, he has written two books on the subject, which he ran for over 20 years.  Wanting to return to public service Bruce moved to Redding California as the Chief Assistant Public Defender then to Nevada City as the Assistant for the Collaborative Courts.  He is now the designated Deputy Public Defender in the Truckee Courthouse.

Tamara Zuromskis

Tamara Zuromskis has been an attorney with the Nevada County Public Defender’s Office for the past eleven years. She has worked in all of the Nevada County courts and is currently assigned to adult felonies, mental health court, and DUI court. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Law.

Previously she worked as an Assistant Public Defender in Placer County and a Death Penalty Clerk in Contra Costa County. During law school, she interned at the San Francisco County Public Defender’s Office and the American Civil Liberties Union and volunteered at a food stamp legal aid clinic.

As an attorney she has volunteered as a judge pro tem in small claims court, a high school mock trial competition coach, a Lion’s Club High School Speech Competition judge, and a volunteer attorney at a legal advice clinic at the public library. She also serves as a department safety officer and completed the Nevada County Community Leadership Institute in 2014.

Micah Pierce

Micah Pierce lives in Nevada City. He received his law degree from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, in 2007. While in law school, he worked for the Sacramento County Public Defender's Office and the California State Public Defender's Office. He believes that criminal defense is a calling.

Thomas Angell

Thomas Angell (also juveniles) graduated from the University of California Hastings College of Law in 2011. Prior to graduating, he interned at the Marin County Public Defender's Office and the Nevada County Public Defender's Office. He is a 2016 graduate of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyer's College in Dubois Wyoming and continues to remain involved with the College's graduate program. He has spent his entire career as a deputy public defender.

Hayley E Dewey

Hayley E Dewey joined the Nevada County Public Defender's Office in 2016. Originally from East Tennessee, she earned her law degree from Florida State University and studied English literature, economics, and social work as an undergraduate.

She began her career in public defense in Leon County, Florida, where she wrote and argued appellate briefs before the First District Court of Appeals and later clerked for the Honorable Judge Terry Lewis and the Honorable Judge Mark Walker. Upon becoming licensed in California, she practiced private criminal defense before joining the Office of the Public Defender in Nevada County. 

Matthew Kellegrew

Matthew Kellegrew is a 2013 graduate of Golden Gate University School of Law. As a law student he interned with the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office as well as Justice Now, a prison abolitionist policy center in Oakland, California. He was the 2014 Legal Fellow at the Bill Of Rights Defense Committee. He has previously worked as a criminal defense attorney at Cohen and Dickstein in San Francisco and as a tenant’s-side housing attorney at Biletsky Rosenberger in Los Angeles. He is an active member of the National Lawyers Guild

Administrative Team

On our administrative team we have Adria Villegas as our Legal Office Supervisor. Wendy Shingle is a Senior Legal Secretary for the office, she has been with Nevada County since 2020. Karin Prancitas is a  Senior legal secretary for the office. She has worked for Nevada County since 2006. Emily Montierth is our Legal Office Assistant.