The Office of the Legal Defender was created in 1995 to provide the county an alternate indigent defense office that could render excellent legal defense while efficiently and cost-effectively handling the burgeoning number of indigent defense cases. Having the option of assigning conflict and overflow cases to another county agency allowed the county to significantly reduce the costs of directing these cases to private counsel.
The founding philosophy of the Office of the Legal Defender, which concentrated on acquiring exceptional staff and providing them with modern equipment, quickly attracted experienced and respected attorneys and support staff. Initially, the Office operated with eight attorneys and five support staff members handling only criminal matters. The Office expanded and now handles, criminal matters,civil matters in juvenile dependency / severance cases, and appeals utilizing a professional staff of 134 employees.
Throughout the years of operations, the Office has maintained its high standards of traditional representation while incorporating the latest technology in an economical fashion.