Council on Public Defense
The Council on Public Defense (CPD) unites representatives of the bar, private and public criminal defense attorneys, current and former prosecutors, the bench, elected officials and the public to address new and recurring challenges that impact the public defense system. The CPD educates and informs policy makers on issues that need reform and provides concrete proposals that are enhanced by the comprehensive nature of the CPD membership. The CPD is guided by its charter.
Council on Public Defense Initiatives
The CPD has accomplished a number of initiatives since it was established as an advisory committee of the WSBA in 2009. The following are some examples of its work.
In June 2011 the WSBA Board of Governors adopted performance guidelines for criminal defense representation. The guidelines are intended to be used as a guide to professional conduct and performance and not meant to be undertaken automatically in every case.
In September 2011 the WSBA Board of Governors adopted updated standards for indigent defense services as proposed by the CPD and forwarded the standards to the Washington Supreme Court for consideration. The WSBA standards are recommended and not enforceable.
In July 2012 the state Supreme Court ordered adoption of revised standards for indigent defense services. The Court-adopted standards are enforceable. The CPD later developed Frequently Asked Questions to address questions about the standards.