March 7, 2014 02:12PM
By Lauren Sievert
MERIDEN — The Sundance Channel is in the process of making a reality series about a local woman turned cop, then lawyer in California.
Loredana Nesci had a typical childhood in Meriden, growing up with two brothers, her father and grandparents in a very traditional Italian household.
Nesci said she always knew she wanted to be a lawyer, but when she made the move out to California in the late 1990s, she decided to take an opportunity presented to her and became an officer for the Los Angeles Police Department. She stayed with the department for a year, then returned home to attend Quinnipiac University School of Law. Graduating in 2002,
Nesci worked for a few firms locally, but ultimately returned to California and opened her own law practice. Dubbed the “legal diva,” Nesci said she learned a lot from her work with Meriden lawyer Tom Cadden, who she described as having a no-nonsense style that she admired.
Nesci said having the police experience was important and when she talks to people they “can’t believe I was a cop.”
“The way I talk to people is not ‘lawyer talk,’ ” Nesci said. “I cut to the chase.”
The reality series, called ‘Loredana Esq.” will feature re-enactments of some of her cases and interviews with her father and brother. According to a release from Sundance, the series looks at the question of “what is legal and what is right?” and how Nesci represents “just regular people, some of whom may have made bad choices and find themselves judged and condemned.”
Nesci said one episode will feature a client who got involved with a “bad boy” who was in the businesses of identity theft.
The woman went out shopping with the man, who was using stolen credit cards, which the woman did not know about, and when they exited the store she was arrested along with the man and charged as harshly as he was, Nesci said.
“She didn’t have anything to do with the crime,” Nesci said. “It was clearly a mistake on her part.”
Nesci’s father, John Nesci, flew out to California and will be in three episodes and “doing what fathers do” by giving advice, Loredana Nesci said.
John Nesci said he is very proud of all three of his children being in law enforcement.
John Nesci’s two sons, Sal and Robert Nesci, both work for the Meriden Police Department. John Nesci said he is very impressed with the work his daughter is doing, saying she is strong willed and works nonstop.
“My sons and daughter are great people,” John Nesci said.
“They are very honest, sincere, genuine people that do work the way it should be done.”
John Nesci said it is a family tradition to help people, and his father always taught his children and grandchildren not to turn away from someone they can help.
Lt. Sal Nesci said when he and his siblings were growing up in dowtown Meriden, they were exposed to different cultures and ethnicities, and everyone was welcomed at their home.
“We learned a lot from different people,” Sal Nesci said. “We always felt law enforcement would be a noble profession. We could represent and stand up for the people in our community — those in need of someone to advocate for them.”
Loredana’s brother Robert Nesci also works for the Meriden Police Department and he said he couldn’t believe it when he heard about the show.
Robert Nesci said he flew out for one day for filming, and it was an eye-opening experience with the amount of crew members and everything happening at a fast pace.
“The best part was the food,” Nesci said about being on the set for filming. “They had it fully catered.”
When he told some of his coworkers, many of whom knew his sister, they had the same sense of disbelief. They’ve planned a viewing party for the episodes, Robert Nesci said.
“She was a little girl from Meriden that had a dream,” Robert Nesci said. “She went out there and did it and then some.”
Nena Rodrigue, senior vice president of original programming and production for the Sundance Channel, said the six-episode series looks at the question of “what is legal and what is right?” and how Nesci represents “just regular people, some of whom may have made bad choices and find themselves judged and condemned.”
“This series dives into one defense attorney’s unconventional and potent passion for discovering the truth and doing what she thinks needs to be done.” Rodrique said.