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Public Defender

Oct 2, 2015

Lawmakers considering bill to protect public defenders

Lawmakers are considering a proposal that would subject anyone who beats up or threatens a public defender to the same penalties as someone who does the same to a judge.

Jun 25, 2013

Smetana committed to improving the system

Dana Smetana has built a reputation as an assistant public defender who does not just see opportunities to improve the criminal justice system.

Jun 21, 2012

Vishny keeps active pace with mix of work, teaching

Deja Vishny, Wisconsin State Public Defenders Office Law degree received from: University of Wisconsin Law School, 1980 Deja Vishny does not shy away from hard work. In her first year as a Racine public defender in 1980, Vishny tried about a dozen cases. “It was a small office, only seven attorneys,” she said. “But it […]

Jun 21, 2012

Oliveto stays on the defense in decades-long career

Rose Oliveto requires no frills in working to improve the legal community and justice system. The organization she helps run, Southwestern Wisconsin Women Lawyers, is “not a group you’ll find in any book,” she said, but a basic networking and support group for female attorneys in a five-county area. They eschew splashy galas in favor of person-to-person connections.

Oct 26, 2011

State budget cuts clog criminal justice system

Prosecutors are forced to ignore misdemeanor violations to pursue more serious crimes. Judges are delaying trials to cope with layoffs and strained staffing levels. And in some cases, those charged with violent crimes, even murder, are set free because caseloads are too heavy to ensure they receive a speedy trial.

Jun 7, 2011

Man denied public defender in clinic plot

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Marshfield man accused of plotting an attack on abortion providers in Madison will not qualify for a public defender. Ralph W. Lang faces state and federal charges after he told investigators he planned to kill abortion providers at Planned Parenthood last month. The 63-year-old is charged in state court with […]

Apr 4, 2011

THE DARK SIDE: Thompson a solid pick for new public defender

Congratulations to Kelli Thompson on being named the state’s new public defender.

Apr 1, 2011

Thompson named state’s public defender

Kelli Thompson has been named as the next Wisconsin State Public Defender. The agency’s board chose Thompson, a 12-year SPD veteran, to succeed Nick Chiarkas, who retired earlier this year after 22 years as head of the agency. Thompson has served as the Deputy State Public Defender for the past seven years and as the […]

Nov 8, 2010

Fee hikes an option for SPD

One of the longstanding barriers to giving private bar attorneys a raise for taking State Public Defender appointments has been cost.


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