Ed O’Brien has been with the San Bernardino County Public Defender’s Office for 17 years. He has done a variety of jobs in different sections. He said his current position as supervisor of the Civil Commitment Unit (CCU) matches his interest in the area of mental health and how the mind works. 
The fact that Ed is a trial attorney, or an attorney, or a holder of a UCLA undergraduate degree and law school degree is something Ed would have never expected when he joined the United States Marines in 1986. His mother raised Ed, who felt that his mother was treated unfairly in her divorce case.
“I had kind of a chip on my shoulder and saw how hard things were for my mother,” O’Brien recalled.
While serving in the Marines, he took a course at Mt. San Antonio College.  “It was a course in Oceanography and it cost $12. I was interested in this and did pretty well,” he said.  O’Brien had never been academically inclined in high school, but he realized he could be successful. He transferred to UCLA and after graduating, he attended UCLA Law School.  “I was able to get in and I was able to afford it,” O’Brien said.
After graduating, O’Brien took a job with the San Bernardino District Attorney’s Office. The Three Strikes Law went against O’Brien’s belief, and he joined the Public Defender in 2000.  “I have litigated in every court in the county,” O’Brien said. “Civil Commitment is my favorite position.”
Away from the office, Ed is interested in baseball and American History, particularly the Colonial era and the Revolutionary War. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the Seinfeld television show.