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Lisa A Foster

Fines & Fees Justice Center
Washington DC
Lisa Foster is co-founder and co-director of the Fines and Fees Justice Center. Lisa is a retired judge and the former Director of the Office for Access to Justice at the United States Department of Justice. As a California Superior Court Judge in San Diego, where she served for ten years, Lisa presided over criminal, family and civil cases and served as the Presiding Judge of the Court's appellate division. Lisa joined the Justice Department in 2015 where she led the Department's efforts to address fines and fees. Her collaborative work across multiple Department components resulted in two DOJ convenings, millions of dollars in funding, and the development of critical advocacy tools. With Vanita Gupta, then head of the Civil Rights Division, Lisa wrote a ten-page ""Dear Colleague" to every Chief Justice and state court administrator, addressing the legal framework that governs the enforcement of fines and fees and warning that many collection practices may violate the federal Constitution and/or statutes. Lisa and former Assistant Attorney General Karol Mason co-authored an Advisory to juvenile courts throughout the country on the civil rights implications of imposing fines and fees in juvenile justice proceedings.