Updated: June 12, 2019

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.

Annual Report  |  Budget  |  Bylaws  |  Year in Review

Congratulations New Executive Committee Members!


All terms begin Oct. 1, 2019.

Chair-elect (Defense): one-year term ending Sept. 30, 2020

Josephine Townsend

Secretary/Treasurer: one-year term ending Sept. 30, 2020

Jim Hershey

At-Large Member (Defense): three-year terms ending Sept. 30, 2022

Mary Kay High

Edwin Aralica

At-Large Member (Prosecution): three-year terms ending Sept. 30, 2022

Hugh Birgenheier

Anita Petra

NEW Criminal Caselaw Notebook for Free

As a benefit to Criminal Law Section members, you can download the Criminal Caselaw Notebook 2018, prepared by the Honorable Ron Kessler. These documents are password protected for members-only. If you are having trouble accessing the documents, contact sections@wsba.orgPlease be advised the notebook had to be reformatted from the original due to file size.

Additionally, you can download the Criminal Caselaw Notebook 2016 app for free on your Android or Apple smart phone by searching for "CCLN" in the app store. 


May 2016  │  January 2016  │  January 2015

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

Executive Committee

Terms run Oct. 1, 2018–Sept. 30, 2019, unless otherwise noted

Interim ChairJosephine Townsend

Immediate Past Chair: Hugh Birgenheier

Young Lawyer Liaison: Paul Shelton*

Board of Governors Liaison: Kim Hunter*

Committee Members

Three-year term unless otherwise noted

Representing Defense

Vacant (Jan. 2016–Sept. 2019)
Edwin Aralica (Jan. 2016–Sept. 2019)
John Strait (Jan. 2017–Sept. 2020)
Aimee Sutton (Jan. 2017–Sept. 2020)
Adam McGerty (Oct. 2018-Sept. 2021)
Mark E. Vovos (Oct. 2018-Sept. 2021)

Representing Prosecution

Jim Hershey (Jan. 2016–Sept. 2019)
Anita Petra (March 2016–Sept. 2019)
Angelle Marie Gerl (Oct. 2018-Sept. 2020)
Philip Sanchez (Jan. 2017–Sept. 2020)
Amy Jaquette (Oct. 2018-Sept. 2021)
Dale Slack (Oct. 2018-Sept. 2021)

*Non-voting member


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.