Updated: Oct. 1, 2019

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 and meets regularly throughout the year.

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.

Performance Guidelines for Criminal Defense Representation

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. 

Performance Guidelines for Juvenile Offense Representation

In November 2017 the WSBA Board of Governors adopted performance guidelines for juvenile defense representation. 

Standards for Indigent Defense Services

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.

Court Adopted Standards for Indigent Defense Services and Certificate of Compliance

In May 2018 the state Supreme Court ordered adoption of revised standards for indigent defense services. The Court-adopted standards are enforceable. 


Council on Public Defense Membership

The CPD consists of 23 voting members and up to five emeritus members appointed by the WSBA Board of Governors.

Council on Public Defense Leadership

Daryl Rodrigues, Chair
Travis Stearns, Vice-Chair

Council on Public Defense Members

Deborah Ahrens, Seattle University School of Law
Nicholas Allen, Columbia Legal Services
Kimberly Ambrose, University of Washington School of Law
Justin Bingham, City of Spokane Prosecutors Office
Bob Boruchowitz (emeritus), Seattle University School of Law
Jason Bragg
Ann Christian (emeritus)
Rachel Cortez, Law Office of Rachel Cortez
Judge Patricia Fassett, Cowlitz County Superior Court
Eileen Farley (emeritus)
Colin Fieman, Federal Public Defender, Western District of Washington
Louis Frantz
Jaime Hawk, ACLU of Washington
Christie Hedman, Washington Defenders Association
Judge Drew Henke, Tacoma Municipal Court
Eric Hsu, Benton County Office of Public Defense
Commissioner Randy Johnson, Clallam County Board of Commissioners
Kathleen Kyle, Snohomish County Public Defender
Justice Sheryl Gordon McCloud, Washington Supreme Court
Joanne Moore, Office of Public Defense
Abraham Ritter, Gonzaga University School of Law
Daryl Rodrigues, Chair, Snohomish County Public Defender Association
Travis Stearns, Vice-chair, Washington Appellate Project
Rebecca Stith, Attorney at Law
Natalie Walton-Anderson, King County Prosecuting Attorney

Council on Public Defense Staff

Bonnie Sterken
Access to Justice Specialist
206-727-8293