Updated: April 27, 2022

Criminal Law Section

The Criminal Law Section seeks the participation of the Bar, including prosecutors and defense counsel, by providing a forum for the exchange of ideas in the areas of criminal law, correction, procedure, and evidence. The section works with pending legislation and development of statutory enactments to improve and facilitate the administration of justice within the criminal arena.

With an equal number of defense and prosecuting attorney positions, the executive board champions the rights of both the accused and victims in the criminal justice system. Activities include publishing a newsletter, as well as assisting with the Criminal Law Institute.

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Shape Your Section for the Future: Apply Today to Become a Section Leader

Application deadline is April 15, 2022.

The following section executive committee positions are open for applications. All terms begin Oct. 1, 2022.

  • Chair-elect: remainder of current term ending Sept. 30, 2022.
  • Secretary/Treasurer: one-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2023.
  • At-Large Member - Prosecution: one-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2023.
  • At-Large Member - Defense: two-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2024.
  • At-Large Member - Prosecution (two positions open): three-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2025.
  • At-Large Member - Defense (two positions open): three-year position beginning Oct. 1, 2022, and ending Sept. 30, 2025.

To learn more about roles and expectations for serving on the section executive committee, review this volunteer position description, which provides a general overview of section executive committee positions—these may differ for each section.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be a current section member and should be eligible to vote in accordance with the section’s bylaws.

Application Process

Go to the myWSBA portal  to complete the online application for open executive committee positions. The Section has requested that each applicant submit a resume and statement of interest with your application. These documents can be uploaded with your online application (pdf format only). Please be advised that application materials may be posted on this website for public viewing.

Note: If you are applying for more than one position on this or multiple sections’ committees, you must complete and submit all applications at the same time, as you will not be allowed back into the portal at a later time. Please make sure you are completing the applications within the application window for all of the relevant sections.

Nomination Process

The Chair shall appoint a nominating committee consisting of three members, to be chaired by the Immediate Past Chair, or in the event that person is unable or unwilling to serve, another member of the executive committee. All applicants will apply through an electronic application process administered by the Bar. The nominating committee shall strive to assure diversity in its nominations, including regional diversity. The executive committee shall make and report nominations for the offices of Chair-elect, Secretary/Treasurer, and for members of the executive committee to succeed those whose terms will expire at the close of the annual meeting, and to fill vacancies then existing for unexpired terms. The orientation of nominees shall be consistent with Section 4.2. The nominations shall be sent to Section members at least two months prior to the annual election. Other nominations for the same offices must be supported by the signatures of at least ten Section members submitted to the executive committee at least one month prior to the annual election of the Section and shall be specifically designated as defense or prosecution oriented nominees. The executive committee will approve a list of nominees for each open position.

Alternate Nomination Process

Other nominations for the same offices must be supported by the signatures of at least ten Section members submitted to the executive committee at least one month prior to the annual election of the Section and shall be specifically designated as defense or prosecution oriented nominees.

Elections Process

All voting members of the section will receive an electronic ballot sent to their email in June 2021. Visit this webpage in early June for election updates and voting instructions.

Questions? 
For more information about the Section, its executive committee roles, and elections process, please review the Section’s bylaws. You may also contact any member of the current Section Executive Committee or email sections@wsba.org.


The Latest Criminal Caselaw Notebook for Free

As a benefit to Criminal Law Section members, download the Criminal Caselaw Notebook 2022, prepared by the Hon. Ron Kessler.  If you are having trouble accessing the documents, contact sections@wsba.org.


Newsletters 

Archived issues are available to section members upon request. To request an issue, please email sections@wsba.org.


Executive Committee

Terms run Oct. 1, 2021–Sept. 30, 2022, unless otherwise noted

ChairJosephine Townsend 

Chair-Elect: Dale Slack

Secretary/Treasurer: Dan LeBeau

Young Lawyer Liaison*: vacant

Board of Governors Liaison*: Alec Stephens (2021-2022) 

Committee Members

Representing Defense

Mark E. Vovos (2021-2024) 
Mary Kay High  (2019-2022)
Edwin Aralica (2019-2022)
Nicholas Holce (2020-2022)
John Strait (2020–2023)
Kelsey Page (2020–2023)

Representing Prosecution

Anita Petra (2019–2022)
Hugh Birgenheier (2019–2022)
Daniel LeBeau (2020–2023)
Ed Owens (2021-2024)
Tracey Munger (2021-2024) 

*Nonvoting member>


Meetings

The Executive Committee of the Criminal Law Section conducts meetings from time to time. As meetings are scheduled, details will appear in the events section of this page.

Please contact committee member for any other details on their upcoming meetings and locations.


Join Our List Serve

To join the section list serve and for general questions, please send your email address and Bar number to sections@wsba.org. For more information and to get involved with the section, please contact the section chair, Josephine Townsend .