Profile

I am a Criminal Defense Trial Attorney, with more than 50 felony jury trials to verdict, and a court-qualified Expert in Forensic DNA Interpretation.

I am committed to fighting for your rights and working diligently to achieve the best outcome possible in your legal matter. I am honored to practice law in the State of Louisiana, the Parishes of Ascension and East Baton Rouge, and the surrounding areas. I will care for your legal matter as though it were my own. I understand that you worked hard to earn the fees paid to my office – I will give you a diligent and honorable effort in return.

Personal Biography

Born and raised in Louisiana, I spent significant time in Tennessee and Georgia in the 90's but returned home to go to school and have lived here since 1998.

I spent more than twenty years in the restaurant business, culminating in managing a premiere white tablecloth steak house; where, as the sommelier, I was responsible for the 3,000 bottle wine list. I also ran the day-to-day operations of the restaurant, a skill set I am able to put to use in my law practice.

I have five children ages 26 to 2, and one step-son. And am lucky enough to be married to Ms. Mindy Ambeau, previously an emergency room nurse, prior to taking leave to raise our youngest child.

Educational Biography

I have an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Thomas Edison State College, a leading distance learning institution located in New Jersey. I completed my undergraduate studies while deployed to Kuwait/Iraq in 2004.  Prior to deployment, I had studied at Louisiana State University for 3 ½ years. My undergraduate thesis at LSU focused on the ethics of Immanuel Kant and a formal logic analysis of his formulations of the moral law from his famous book ‘Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals'.

Upon return from Iraq, I graduated from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University in the spring of 2008, where I was a two-time finalist in the Ira S. Flory Moot Court competition and a member of the 2007-2008 Moot Court Board.

Always working to improve myself and be the best advocate I can be for my clients, I graduated from the University of Florida, in the spring of 2020, with a Masters's Degree in Forensic DNA and Serology. 

Military Biography

I joined the U.S. Military in October of 2001, 40 days after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. I believed it was my duty to defend my country and serve in the US military. I was assigned to the 22nd LSO Trial Defense Service, a criminal defense arm of the JAG Corps, in December of 2003 to function as a 27D, paralegal, in an environment that would offer the opportunity to learn about the practice of law.

In May of 2004, I volunteered to be deployed to Iraq. I was sent to Kuwait where I was the NCOIC of the Kuwait Trial Defense Service office. The attorney for whom I worked was assigned to one of the Abu Ghraib soldiers and we functioned as her defense team for the duration of my deployment. We spent significant time traveling to Iraq in support of other US Army soldiers as legal defense. We had 5 General Courts-Martial, and about 400 Article 15 proceedings, non-judicial punishment in the UCMJ. I was released from deployment in January of 2005 and returned home.

I remained a member of the 22nd LSO, Trial Defense Service, Team 15, in New Orleans, LA until my retirement from the US Army in Oct of 2017.

Honors & Service

  • Member - National Forensic College, DNA Leadership Group, 2020 to present.
  • Member - American Association for Laboratory Accreditation, 2018 to present.
  • Chair - LACDL Annual Forensic Science CLE 2017 – 2018
  • Special advisor - Code of Criminal Procedure Revision Committee, 2013.
  • Co-chair - LACDL DWI CLE 2013
  • Member - Louisiana Bar Association - Criminal Justice Committee, 2011 to present.

Continuing Education

Feb. 2021                                     American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) – 73rd Annual Meeting

  • Workshop: Interpreting and Communicating DNA Evidence in a Probabilistic Genotyping Universe (4 hours).
  • Workshop: When “who” Doesn't Matter as Much as “how” – DNA Testimony given Activity Level Propositions (4 hours)
  • Workshop: STR Wars: The Rise of Sequencing (8 hours)

Nov. 2020                                    NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY (NIST) – [email protected]

  • Virtual Conference by NIST.
  • Attended two days of presentations on Statistical Methods in Forensic Science, Firearms and Tool Marks, Forensic Genetics, and Trace evidence.
  • Attended workshop on DNA, including PCR-Based DNA Profiling Standard Use (SRM 2391d), Using Human DNA Quantitation Standard (SRM 2372a), Using STRbase 2.0, DNA Interpretation Software, SNP Marker Use, and Mitochondrial DNA Sequencing.

Sept. 2020                                   INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON HUMAN IDENTIFICATION (ISHI)

  • Virtual Conference by Promega Corp. Attended Workshop on Validation Principles, Practices, Parameters; Implementation of Rapid DNA; and Probabilistic Genotyping.

July 2019                                     Elements of DNA Profile Interpretation and Probabilistic Genotyping

  • National Institute of Justice – Online Presentation by: Dr. Tamyra Moretti, Dr. Peter Gill, and Lynn Garcia - Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, 4 hours

                                                     DNA Data Analysis and Interpretation for Forensic Analysts

  • National Institute of Justice – Online training: Forensic DNA and Biology, 1 hour

                                                     DNA Extraction and Quantitation for Forensic Analysts

  • National Institute of Justice – Online training: Forensic DNA and Biology, 1 hour

May 2016                                    NATIONAL FORENSIC COLLEGE, CARDOZO LAW SCHOOL

  • Completed 40-hour course in forensic science; fingerprints, DNA, computer/cell phone, and confessions; with the Innocence Project, at Cardozo Law School in New York, NY

Instruction by Jarrett Ambeau

Dec 2021                                     CLE – Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (LACDL)

  • “Intro to DNA”, 1-hour presentation focusing on the fundamentals of forensic DNA science and mixture interpretation – Including updates on the state of forensic DNA science and analysis

Dec 2021                                     CLE – Public Defender's Association of Louisiana (PDAL)

  • “Intro to DNA”, 1-hour presentation focusing on the fundamentals of forensic DNA science and mixture interpretation – Including updates on the state of forensic DNA science and analysis

Dec 2019                                     CLE – Solstice CLE, Lafayette, LA

  • “Advanced DNA – Genotyping Software”, 1-hour presentation focusing on the use of computer programs to analyze the data produced in the lab; TrueAllele, STRMix, etc.

Nov 2019                                     CLE – Second Annual John F. Lavern CLE, Lake Charles, LA

  • “Intro to DNA”, 1-hour presentation focusing on the fundamentals of forensic DNA science and mixture interpretation
  • “Challenges to DNA Evidence”, 1-hour presentation focusing on science/evidence based challenges to DNA evidence

Oct 2018                                      CLE – Public Defender Association of Louisiana (PDAL)

  • “Forensics 101”, 1-hour presentation focusing on forensic DNA science and mixture interpretation

Aug 2018                                     CHAIR/PRESENTOR, LACDL FORENSIC SCIENCE CLE

  • Chaired Forensic Science CLE
  • “DNA Intro”, 1-hour presentation on the fundamentals of forensic DNA science and mixture interpretation

June 2018                                    CLE – 23RD JDC BAR ASSOCIATION

  • DNA Mixture Analysis and Interpretation

Aug 2017                                     CHAIR/PRESENTOR, LACDL FORENSIC SCIENCE CLE

  • Chaired Forensic Science CLE
 

Expert Services

2021       STATE v. EZRA COUTEE – 36th JDC, State of Louisiana

  • Hired as an expert in Forensic DNA Interpretation - expert analysis of DNA evidence in this case.

               STATE v. JAMES TABB – 5th JDC, State of Louisiana

  • Hired as an expert in Forensic DNA Interpretation - expert analysis of DNA evidence in this case.

               STATE v. DYLAN LAUGHLIN – 14th JDC, State of Louisiana

  • Hired as an expert in Forensic DNA Interpretation - expert analysis of DNA evidence in this case.

               STATE OF NEW MEXICO v. LEON GARCIA

  • Consultation and expert analysis of DNA data in this case, including education and instruction to the counsel of record in meeting the challenge of the DNA at trial.

               STATE v. KEVIN HOLLINGER, 14th JDC, State of Louisiana

  • Amicus curiae for the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys filed in the Louisiana Court of Appeal for the 5th Circuit.

2019       STATE v. JOSE GARCIA, 34th JDC, State of Louisiana

  • Hired as an expert in Forensic DNA Interpretation - expert analysis of DNA evidence in this case.

2019       STATE v. MICHAEL D. HAWK, 20th JDC, State of Louisiana

  • Qualified as an expert in Forensic DNA Interpretation: Expert in this Aggravated Rape case, with extensive preparation for cross examination of State's expert, regarding evidence gathered and tested at Louisiana State Police Crime Lab and presented at jury trial.

Relevant Casework: Forensic Science Co-Counsel

2021       STATE v. KENNETH GLEASON, 19th JDC, State of Louisiana

  • Co-counsel: Co-counsel for DNA analysis in this 1st Degree Murder trial, including complex mixture and probalistic genotyping, assisting in hiring defense expert, and conducting direct and cross examination during jury trial.

               STATE v. DULCE MARIA FUNEZ, 20th JDC, State of Louisiana

  • Co-counsel: Co-counsel in this 1st Degree Murder trial, to conduct direct and cross examination of the DNA experts, including complex mixture and probalistic genotyping and assisting in hiring defense expert.
  • Co-Counsel: Conducted cross-examination of all the forensic science experts in the case – ballistics and crime scene experts.

2018       U.S. v. GEARALD WAYNE HEARD, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana

  • DAUBERT HEARING: Hired as Co-counsel in this Felon in Possession of Firearm trial, with extensive preparation and filing of a Daubert challenge to a Low Copy Number DNA (LCN DNA) sample, and the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab's adherence to its own procedures and protocols.

Consultation Services

2018       U.S. v. RAYMOND D FORD, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama

  • CONSULTATION: Reviewed DNA analysis in this matter and assisted lea counsel in collecting additional discovery and analysis of that information.

2017       U.S. v. GEARALD WAYNE HEARD, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana

  • CONSULTATION: Reviewed DNA analysis in this matter and assisted counsel in preparation for examination of State's expert. Eventually hired to conduct examination of State's expert at trial.

               STATE v. HARDY ALLEN, #, 19th JDC, Gonzales, Louisiana

  • CONSULTATION: Reviewed DNA analysis in this matter and assisted counsel in preparation for examination of State's expert and presentation of challenge to DNA evidence.

               STATE v. KENON JOHNSON, #, 19th JDC, Gonzales, Louisiana

  • CONSULTATION: Reviewed DNA analysis in this matter and assisted counsel in preparation for examination of State's expert and presentation of challenge to DNA evidence.

               STATE v. OLLIE COLEMAN, #, 23rd JDC, Gonzales, Louisiana

  • CONSULTATION: Reviewed DNA analysis in this matter and assisted counsel in preparation for examination of State's expert and presentation of challenge to DNA evidence.

Relevant Casework: Counsel

2017       STATE v. FABIAN BROWN, #30957, 23rd JDC, Gonzales, Louisiana

  • PRE-TRIAL MOTIONS: Lead counsel in this Armed Robbery case, with extensive preparation for evidentiary challenges and cross examination of State's expert, regarding evidence gathered and tested at Louisiana State Police Crime Lab.

               STATE v. TOMMY FRANCISE, #1276-16, 18th JDC, Plaquemine, Louisiana

  • PRE-TRIAL MOTIONS: Lead counsel in this 2nd Degree Murder Case, with extensive preparation for evidentiary challenges and cross examination of State's expert, regarding evidence gathered and tested at Louisiana State Police Crime Lab, and presented at pre-trial hearings.

2016       U.S. v. DAMION HAMILTON, 6:16-cr-00002, U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana

  • JURY TRIAL: Lead counsel in this Felon in Possession of Firearm jury trial, with extensive preparation and cross examination of the Government's expert, regarding a trace DNA sample on the surface of a pistol, alleged to be in possession of the accused, including issues of tertiary transfer of DNA material from a non-contact party and reliability of a partial profile of a Low Copy Number DNA (LCN DNA) sample.

               STATE v.  COREY SCOTT, #05-14-0805, 19th JDC, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • JURY TRIAL: Lead counsel in this 2nd Degree Murder jury trial, with extensive preparation and cross examination of the State's expert, regarding pattern matching evidence in shell casings and bullet projective fragments.

               STATE v.  DEJOHN SCOTT, #35151, 23rd JDC, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

  • PRE-TRAIL MOTIONS: Lead counsel in this Felon in Possession of Firearm case, with extensive preparation regarding a trace DNA sample on the surface of a pistol, including issues of allelic drop out, contamination, and reliability of a partial profile of a Low Copy Number DNA (LCN DNA) sample.

 

Credentials

Employment

2009 – 2010: Dugas, LeBlanc & Mire, Donaldsonville, LA.

2009 – present: Contract Felony Public Defender, 23rd Judicial District Indigent Defense Board, Div “A”

2010 – present: Owner, The Ambeau Law Firm.

Military Service

2001 – 2016: U.S. Army, 27D Paralegal Specialist, Trial Defense Service, JAG Corps.

2004 – 2005: Deployment to Kuwait/Iraq.

Professional Experience

The Ambeau Law Firm, Llc - May 2009 to Present

  • Principal of this Criminal Defense, Family Law, and Personal Injury representation/litigation law firm
  • More than 10 felony jury trials in private representation, including presenting/handling extensive forensic science evidence

Contract Public Defender, 23rd JDC - May 2009 to Dec 2018 

  • More than 30 felony jury trials in public defense representation
  • More than 20 cases in which I presented/challenged extensive forensic science evidence, including 10 in which there was extensive forensic DNA evidence

United States Army, JAG Corps - Oct 2001 to Oct 2016 

  • 27D Paralegal in the Trial Defense Service (criminal defense of soldiers) of the JAG Corps
  • Including deployment to Iraq from May 2004 to Jan 2005 in support of Trail Defense Service mission.

Education

  • Master of Science in Pharmacy, Forensic DNA and SerologyUniversity of Florida- Graduate School
  • Juris DoctoratePaul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University- Graduate School2008
  • Bachelor of Civil LawsPaul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University- Undergraduate School2008
  • Bachelor in Science, PhilosophyThomas Edison State University- Undergraduate School2005

Associations

Memberships

  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • LSBA – Right to Counsel Committee
  • Criminal Justice Committee
  • American Bar Association
  • Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers    

Practice Areas