Since joining the State Public Defender’s Office in 2015, Matt Lantta has earned a reputation among his colleagues for efficiency.
“His organizational skills are the envy of many attorneys, and his constant efforts to become more efficient in the daily logistics of managing an SPD caseload are routinely emulated by other attorneys in the office, or in some cases fully streamlined to become office procedure,” said Jason Sanders, assistant state public defender.
Lantta is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School and has become an expert in operating-while-intoxicated cases.
“Even more experienced attorneys within the office regularly consult with him on OWI cases, especially with suppression issues,” Sanders said.
Lantta also provides annual training in case law for a region of the Public Defender’s Office, and serves on the Rock County OWI Treatment Court, both as a defense attorney of record and as an administrator on the treatment team.
“Overall, his dedication to the mission of the Public Defender’s Office and his drive to become the best attorney he can be are exemplary, and a shining example for the agency and (other) attorneys,” Sanders said.
The biggest difficulty Lantta encounters in his work is resistance to change.
“Everything is done extremely incrementally,” he said. “People are used to doing things a certain way forever, and anytime there’s talk of doing something somewhat different there’s a lot of trepidation involved with that.
“Caseloads are (also) difficult with the public defender’s office. It doesn’t give me as much time as I would want on every single case.”
Despite those difficulties, Lantta enjoys working with clients and “standing up for the little guy …. trying to make sure that my clients feel like their voice is heard and that they’re part of a process.”