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Providing Indigent Criminal Defense in the Financial Meltdown


March 30, 2009 12:45pm - 2:00pm


This panel brings together a number of distinguished leaders of the criminal bar to illuminate the causes of and potential responses to this crisis. The panel will lay out the economic and legal realities of the current situation, including he great strain it has placed on county-state financial relations. But it will also explore how these conditions test the ethical obligations of defense lawyers and will evaluate the ethical implications and practical strategic consequences of various steps now being taken around the country. In addition, the panel will consider the institutional obligations of the trial courts and of prosecutors in developing a holistic understanding of defense funding that recognizes the deeply intertwined needs of all agencies of criminal justice.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Bennett Brummer, Former Miami-Dade County Public Defender
  • Nancy Forster, Maryland State Public Defender
  • Mark Stephens, the elected public defense for Knox County (Knoxville), Tennessee
  • John Stuart, Minnesota State Public Defender


  • Erin Becker, Senior Deputy Prosecutor, King County, Washington
With welcoming remarks and concluding observations by:
  • Jeff Adachi, Public Defender of the City and County of San Francisco

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