Katherine Mattes is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled trial and appellate work and supervises student lawyers at both levels. She has expertise on the intersection of criminal justice and mental illness, with an emphasis on mental competency to stand trial and the defense of not guilty by reason of insanity.
Mattes, who joined the Tulane Law School faculty in 2002, has worked as a deputy public defender in San Diego and as Assistant Special Counsel for the Judiciary Commission of Louisiana.
She was lead counsel in State v. Denson, a landmark case that resulted in statewide changes to Louisiana’s treatment of mentally ill criminal defendants who are incompetent to stand trial. She also has testified before state legislative committees; taught and lectured on issues relating to incompetent criminal defendants; and participated in related litigation.
After Hurricane Katrina, Mattes accepted, on behalf of the Tulane Criminal Defense Clinic, the Clinical Legal Education Association Award for Excellence in a Public Interest Project for work identifying, locating and representing Orleans Parish inmates who had been displaced by the evacuation. She also led a film crew into the flooded evidence rooms in the criminal courthouse and the New Orleans Police Department.
She is a member of the ASPIRES Strategic Working Group, which designs and implements new protocols for the preservation of evidence in criminal cases.
Professor Mattes' CV
Fall 2014 - Criminal Litigation Clinic
Spring 2015 - Criminal Advocacy Seminar