A career prosecutor, Fernanda Maria Barreto is currently a Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County assigned to the Pasadena Branch in the Victim Impact Program (VIP). The VIP assignment remains one of the most challenging in the DA’s Office because deputies must have extensive knowledge of sex crimes, family violence, child abuse, elder abuse, stalking, hate crimes, and human trafficking. Fernanda has worked tirelessly for over 15 years to protect particularly vulnerable populations by handling complex felony cases including murder, rape, and domestic violence.
Throughout her legal career, Fernanda has taken great pride in helping victims of crimes become survivors of crime, while also building a reputation as being a fair prosecutor, willing to find equitable resolutions to achieve justice. Given her extensive knowledge, Fernanda has presented several of her cases to specialized councils such as the Inter-Agency Council on Child Abuse and Neglect’s (ICAN) Death Review Team, the Children’s Advocacy Center’s Multidisciplinary Team on child abuse, the Domestic Violence Death Review Team, and the Los Angeles County Elder Abuse Forensic Center. Fernanda was even a presenter at ICAN’s Nexus Conference in 2018.
Fernanda was born and raised in Los Angeles to Mexican and Brazilian parents. As a first-generation American, education was something that her immigrant parents valued greatly. Fernanda attended Pomona College and where she double majored in Politics and Media Studies. Influenced by her family history, Fernanda made it a goal to go to law school and use her degree to better the lives of the community around her. She received her Law Degree from Loyola Law School in 2005, where she was a member of the Thomas More Honor Society and the Hispanic Moot Court.
Outside of the courtroom, Fernanda has dedicated herself to helping others pursue their academic dreams. While in college, she tutored students for Upward Bound at the Claremont Colleges and during law school, volunteered to speak to at-risk youth. Fernanda has spent the last decade sharing her knowledge of the law as a Professor at the California School of Law where she teaches a core first-year Criminal law class and upper-level Evidence and Criminal Procedure.
Fernanda believes that every person deserves equal justice under the law and commits to treating every person in her courtroom with fairness, dignity, and respect. That commitment was recognized by being awarded the Compassionate Partners Award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving in 2008.
Fernanda is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Latina Lawyers Bar Association, and the Mexican American Bar Association. When she is not in the courtroom or classroom, Fernanda spends her free time with her hilarious husband, her two energetic children, and her loving parents.