DA Senior Staff

Pamela Y. Price, District Attorney

Otis Bruce Jr., Chief Assistant District Attorney

Royl L. Roberts, Chief Assistant District Attorney

Eric D. Lewis, Chief Inspector

Cynthia Chandler, Senior Assistant District Attorney

Simona Farrise Best, Senior Assistant District Attorney

 

LEADERSHIP TEAM

 

LEADERSHIP TEAM BIOGRAPHIES:

Otis Bruce Jr., Chief Assistant District Attorney

Attorney Otis Bruce, Jr. currently serves as the appointed Chief Assistant District Attorney under the Administration of Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price. Most recently, Otis Bruce Jr. retired in 2022 as Assistant District Attorney (No. 2) in the Marin County District Attorney’s Office where he worked to expand the Marin County  Social Justice programs. He was the Social Justice, Equity Programs, Community Liaison and Policy Coordinator as well as the Student Volunteer Internship and Career Development Coordinator and Program Director within the Marin County DA’s Victim/Witness Services Unit. He has over 30 years in government legal related work starting his career in 1988 as a volunteer legal intern with the Marin County Counsel’s Office. In 1990, he pursued his public interest career goal to become a prosecutor starting as a Legal Assistant, Deputy District Attorney, Supervising Deputy District Attorney, Assistant District Attorney and now Chief Assistant District Attorney. 

Over the years, Otis has received local, state and national leadership and public service awards and recognitions for his life-long commitment to social justice, civic leadership and mentorship to our youth and young professionals. Otis currently serves as President of the Marin Athletic Foundation, Incoming President of the Rotary Club of San Rafael, Board Director with California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) Institute for Education and Research, formally CDAA Foundation and Advisor to the California Lawyer’s Association (CLA) Criminal Law Section Executive Committee. He is a Past President (2011) of the Marin County Bar Association and CDAA Board Director (2017-19), Past Regional Director for the National Black Prosecutors Association (2009 -14) and co-founder of the Bay Area Black Prosecutors Association. He helped to establish CDAA’s statewide Diversity Outreach Project.

Otis received his Associate of Arts Degree from Merritt Community College, his Bachelor of Science Degree from San Jose State University and his Juris Doctorate Degree from New College of California School of Law.

 

Royl L. Roberts, Chief Assistant District Attorney

Mr. Roberts is a graduate of The University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, Our Lady of the Lake University with a Master’s in Business Administration, and Golden Gate University School of Law with a Doctor of Jurisprudence and Specialization Certificate in Business Law (with distinction). Mr. Roberts transitioned into the office after serving as General Counsel to the Peralta Community College District. He previously served as Chief of Staff to the Chancellor and Director of Employee Relations and Diversity Programs. Mr. Roberts has received both the Rose Elizabeth Bird Award – Professionalism and Integrity and the Paul S. Jordan Achievement Award- Service and Contribution. Mr. Roberts has also completed Doctoral work at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Eric D. Lewis, Chief Inspector

Mr. Lewis enters the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office with 30 years of professional law enforcements experience in in planning and managing complex investigation, training and instructions and tactical field operations. Most recently, Mr. Lewis served as Captain of Police for the Oakland Police Department for the Bureau of Field Operations Area 5. He also previously worked as Acting OPD Captain as Special Operations Division Commander and Criminal Investigations Division Commander as well as Bureau of Field Operations 1 Watch Commander, Internal Affairs Administrative Commander and Patrol Division Watch Commander. He is a graduate of Chabot College with an Associate of Arts in Education, a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Arts in Leadership from St. Mary’s College. Mr. Lewis also has credentialing from a P.O.S.T. Command College, Senior Management Institute for Police and Northwestern University Executive Management Program.

 

Cynthia Chandler, Senior Assistant District Attorney

Ms. Chandler is an attorney, change manager, and social entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience effecting significant criminal justice reform. Ms. Chandler received a JD from Harvard Law School, a Master’s in Philosophy in Criminology from the University of Cambridge, and a BA in Rhetoric from University of California, Berkeley. Ms. Chandler’s innovations include leading numerous successful bipartisan California state criminal justice reform efforts, including creation of the compassionate release process and statutory structure nationally, and creation of a historic reparations program for sterilization abuse in California women’s prisons, and co-founding Critical Resistance and Justice Now, seminal prison reform organizations. Most recently she founded and directed the Bay Area Legal Incubator, a project of the Alameda County Bar Association. She has served as faculty at Berkeley Law, Northeastern University School of Law, and Golden Gate University School of Law. She is the recipient of the prestigious Auburn Lives of Commitment Award Celebrating Women of Moral Courage, the ABA Pro Bono Publico Award, the California Women Lawyers Fay Stender Award, and the inaugural Ford Foundation Leadership for a Changing World Award.

 

Simona Farrise Best, Senior Assistant District Attorney

Ms. Farrise Best has been an attorney for nearly 30 years since 1994.  She holds a LL.M (Master of Laws) from Berkeley Law, a Juris Doctor from Golden Gate University, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Business from DePaul University.  She is an accomplished Trial Lawyer who has handled complex multi-party injury and mass impact actions including Toxic exposures leading to cancer deaths, injurious pharmaceutical drugs, employee rights actions involving race & gender discrimination and harassment, medical and nursing home neglect and injury actions.  She has been honored and recognized as among the top lawyers in California as a SuperLawyer™ in both Northern and Southern California for many years and nationwide.  She has served as a Board member of many organizations including Equal Rights Advocates, The Impact Fund, Consumer Attorneys of California, and more locally, The Charles Houston Bar Association.