Updated: Dec. 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.

Annual Report   |   Budget  |  Bylaws  |  Year in Review

Join Now


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.


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

Executive Committee

Terms run Oct. 1, 2022–Sept. 30, 2023, unless otherwise noted

ChairJosephine Townsend

Chair-Elect: Vacant

Immediate Past Chair: C Dale Slack 

Secretary/Treasurer: Nicholas Holce 

Young Lawyer Liaison*: vacant

Board of Governors Liaison*: Erik Kaeding (2022-2023) and Brett Purtzer (2022-2023)

Committee Members

Representing Defense

Mark E. Vovos (2021-2024) 
Mary Kay High  (2022-2025)
John Strait (2020–2023)
Kelsey Page (2020–2023)

Representing Prosecution

Anita Petra (2022–2025)
Hugh Birgenheier (2022–2025)
Daniel LeBeau (2020–2023)
Ed Owens (2021-2024)
Tracey Munger (2021-2024) 

*Nonvoting 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.