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State Public Defender's Office

Jun 11, 2015

For Watson, listening to clients is key

After working for the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s office for more than 20 years, DeeDee Watson hears the same two questions time and time again: How is she able to defend her indigent criminal clients, and how can she do it for so long?

Jun 11, 2015

McMahon fights for her clients by getting personal

Maura McMahon wants to know every client’s story. Throughout the past 12 years in the State Public Defender’s Waukesha office, she has advocated for women, children and the mentally ill, but the often-troubling details of those cases have done little to dim her bright outlook.

Jun 26, 2014

Justices to decide if right to confront applies to preliminary hearings

A consolidated case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court could affect how preliminary hearings are conducted in state.

Jan 9, 2014

Assembly committee passes heroin prosecution bill (UPDATE)

An Assembly bill that gives individuals who call 911 to report a heroin overdose immunity from prosecution for certain crimes unanimously passed out of committee Thursday.

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.

May 20, 2013

Appealing to both sides

It’s a rare breed of lawyer that can successfully handle cases at trial and on appeal, but not specialize in either.

Jun 29, 2012

Who’s Doing What: Daniels, wife named 2012 Parents of the Year; Thompson elected chair of State Bar BOG

John Daniels Jr., of Quarles & Brady LLP, Milwaukee, and his wife, Irma, were named 2012 Parents of the Year by COA Youth and Family Centers.

Aug 30, 2011

Holtz appreciates chance to help others

Every few months, Katie Holtz gets a phone update from a teen she represented during a rough time in his life.

Jun 14, 2011

Wisconsin is 15th highest spender in nation on indigent defense

Wisconsin spent nearly $90 million in 2008 on defense attorneys for poor people, according to a new study from the American Bar Association.

Feb 17, 2011

Public Defenders Office dealing with collective bargaining fallout

The Wisconsin State Public Defenders Office doesn’t expect a mass exodus of attorneys and staff if legislation passes that would effectively eliminate collective bargaining rights for government employees. But SPD Chair Daniel M. Berkos acknowledged that some losses are likely as a result of the proposed changes that seek to increase employee contributions to pensions […]

Feb 16, 2011

Program a source of pride for Dorman

The criminal justice system isn’t perfect, but attorney Robin E. Dorman is trying to get it a little closer.

Sep 7, 2010

SPD expects budget shortfall

As someone who depends on appointments from the State Public Defender's Office to sustain her practice, Dianne M. Erickson is not looking forward to February.

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