2014 Conference on Public Defense

Sullivan Hall, Room C5

7.25 CLE credits

The Defender Initiative held its Fourth Annual Conference on Public Defense March 7, 2014 at Seattle University School of Law. Many defenders and assigned counsel wondered what the next steps would be in the implementation of the new Supreme Court certification rule on standards. This Conference answered those questions and included discussion of the study of case weighting of misdemeanor cases.

The conference also addressed the implications of the Saintcalle decision on race bias in jury selection. That panel included Justice Charles Wiggins, who wrote the lead opinion, Professor and former public defender Anna Roberts, the lawyer who argued Saintcalle, Lila Silverstein, and Jeff Robinson, veteran criminal defense attorney.

Another panel discussed how defenders can effectively address their clients' civil legal issues both before and after sentencing. Members of the team that won the Wilbur case in Federal Court against two Washington cities because of systemic failure to provide effective representation discussed implications of that decision. The lunchtime keynote speaker was Seattle University School of Law Professor and former public defender Janet Ainsworth discussing how defenders can prevent wrongful convictions caused by false confessions.

The final panel of the day addressed "New Directions in Policing to Reduce Racial Disparities in Enforcement" and featured Seattle Police Assistant Chief Jim Pugel, Reverend Harriett Walden of Mothers for Police Accountability, and Lisa Daugaard, Interim Deputy Public Defender for King County.

This conference was co-sponsored by the Washington Defender Association.

School of Law Annex classroom