Daniel-Paul Alva | LEAP | Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

About Daniel-Paul Alva

Former Assistant District Attorney
Philadelphia, PA

"Far too many scarce resources are being spent on prisons and not nearly enough on communities."

Daniel-Paul Alva
After Daniel-Paul Alva graduated from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville in 1972, he landed a job as an Assistant DA in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. There he was assigned to the DA’s fledgling Narcotics Unit, and for over a year he followed the weary path of drug prosecution cases from investigation through trial. It was that close-up view of the “steady stream of poor, neglected defendants” that opened Daniel-Paul’s eyes to the injustice of prohibition. “That experience convinced me that treatment rather than incarceration was needed. Reflecting on the last 35 ½ years have only strengthened my beliefs.”

Between 1988 and 2002, Daniel-Paul served as Chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section. He has also served on the Bar Association’s Commission on Judicial Selection and Retention for ten years. In 2003, he was elected to the Board on Governors of the Bar Association and served as Chair in 2006. Also in 2003, Daniel-Paul was appointed by his Honor, Mayor John Street as a member of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Committee representing all Philadelphia attorneys, a position he held until 2007. This committee oversees the Philadelphia Criminal Justice System’s courts, prisons, judges, and attorneys. Daniel-Paul is also currently Co-Chair of the Bar’s Municipal Court Committee.

Daniel-Paul founded his own firm in 1987, now known as Alva & Associates, which handles local, state, federal, and national criminal trials. He belongs to the Pennsylvania Associations of Criminal Defense Lawyers, maintains an active practice and has tried more than 5,000 cases, most in Pennsylvania, but also in eleven other states.

In addition to his legal practice, Daniel-Paul has a distinguished career as an adjunct professor at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law teaching in the renowned School of Trial Advocacy. He has created, chaired or been a panel member on eight continuing legal education courses in Philadelphia including cross examination and mitigation in homicide cases, defending narcotics cases, and the ethnics of criminal cases. Daniel-Paul has appeared as a legal expert on TV’s "It’s Your Call" on CN-8 with Lynn Doyle.

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