The Defender Initiative Sixth Annual Conference on Public Defense: Justice - What’s Money Got to Do With It?

7.0 Law and Legal CLE Credits | WSBA AV Activity ID #1005582

Justice - What does Money have to do with it? This year’s program will cover important topics and trends in legal defense but will also have an emphasis on the role of money in our system. Topics include: Cash warrants and related financial barriers; Bail issues; Monetary Sanctions and LFO barriers. There will also be sessions on: National Trends in Workload Studies, and Litigation to Limit Caseloads; how defenders can address implied racial bias; and a new initiative to help clients who have multiple arrests, and a history of mental illness and substance abuse.


Recorded:  03/04/2016
Credits:  7.0 Law and Legal CLE | WSBA AV Activity ID #1005582

Featured Speakers:
Robert Boruchowitz, Dan Satterberg, Jesse Benet, Twyla Carter, Judge Linda Coburn, Alex Frix, Hickory Gateless, Ben Goldsmith, Alexes Harris, Judge Ronald Kessler, Anita Khandelwal, David Mace, Song Richardson, Travis Stearns

Co-sponsored by the Washington Defender Association.

Speakers include: King County Prosecutor Dan Satterburg; King County Superior Court Judge Ron Kessler; Edmonds Municipal Court Judge Linda Coburn; and Professor L. Song Richardson of University of California Irvine School of Law.


8:30-8:45 a.m.

Welcome by Dean Annette Clark

8:45-9:45 a.m.

Session 1: Lawyers for Misdemeanors - When will Judges Stop Taking Guilty Pleas without Valid Waivers of Counsel? and Discussion of National Trends, Workload Studies, and Litigation

Speaker: Professor Bob Boruchowitz, Seattle University School of Law

9:45-10:45 a.m.

Session 2: Top 10 Things to Begin Criminal Justice Reform in Washington

Speaker: Dan Satterberg, King County Prosecutor

Mr. Satterberg wrote in the Seattle Times, "What if we brought the same enthusiasm we have for professional football to the cause of criminal justice reform?" He will discuss ideas for removing barriers to re-entry among other topics.

10:45-11 a.m.


11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Session 3: Monetary Sanctions and LFO barriers

Speakers: Alexes Harris, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Washington

Alex Frix, District Court Lead Attorney, Thurston County Office of Assigned Counsel

Professor Harris and Mr. Frix discuss how defenders can use the data on racial disparity in legal financial obligations reported by Professor Harris, and how defenders can implement the Blazina decision.

12 noon

Lunch - 2nd Floor Gallery

Welcoming Remarks - Lori Bannai, Professor, Seattle University School of Law

12:30-1:30 p.m.

Lunch Address - Professor L. Song Richardson, Professor of Law at University of California Irvine School of Law.

A former defender with The Federal Defender in Seattle and The Defender Association, Professor Richardson will discuss How Defenders Can Address Implicit Racial Bias.

1:30-1:45 p.m.


1:45-2:45 p.m.

Session 4: Bail Issues

Speakers: Judge Ron Kessler, King County Superior Court

Twyla Carter, Misdemeanor Practice Director, King County Department of Public Defense

Ben Goldsmith, Felony Supervisor, King County Department of Public Defense Defender Division

Judge Kessler, Ms. Carter and Mr. Goldsmith discuss issues relating to bail, from issuance of arrest warrants to effective advocacy for personal recognizance release.

2:45-3:45 p.m.

Session 5: Familiar Faces Initiative

Speakers: Anita Khandelwal, Policy Director, King County Department of Public Defense

Jesse Benet, Reentry Services Coordinator, Diversion and Reentry Services, King County

Ms. Khandelwal and Mr. Benet discuss new initiative to help clients who have multiple arrests and a mental illness and substance abuse history and how the initiative relates to the successful LEAD diversion program.

3:45-4:00 p.m.


4:00-5:00 p.m.

Session 6: Cash Warrants and Other LFO Barriers

Moderator: Travis Stearns, Training Director, Washington Appellate Project

Panelists: Judge Linda Coburn, Edmonds Municipal Court

Hickory Gateless, Managing Attorney, Lawyers Fostering Independence, Center for Children & Youth Justice

David Mace, Managing Attorney, Open Door Legal Services, Union Gospel Mission

The panel discusses issues relating to court-imposed fees for quashing warrants.

5:00 p.m.

Course Evaluations and Adjourn



Robert C. Boruchowitz

Robert C. Boruchowitz is Professor from Practice and Director of The Defender Initiative at Seattle University School of Law. Before joining the faculty in 2007, he was Director of The Defender Association in Seattle for 28 years. He founded the Racial Disparity Project at The Defender Association. He has appeared at every level of state and federal court. He was an expert witness in the Hurell Harring case in New York State and in the Best v. Grant County case in Washington. Professor Boruchowitz was co-principal investigator on the recently released report, "An Analysis of the Economic Costs of Seeking the Death Penalty in Washington State."

Professor Boruchowitz developed a Right to Counsel Clinic, which won a writ of mandamus on right to counsel in Department of Corrections revocation hearings. He has taught in the Youth Advocacy Clinic where he pursued due process rights for children in truancy proceedings. He has taught criminal procedure and a seminar on Right to Counsel. He wrote "Diverting and Reclassifying Misdemeanors Could Save $1 Billion per Year: Reducing the Need For and Cost of Appointed Counsel," published by the American Constitution Society. As the founding president of the Washington Defender Association and a former member of the Executive Committee of the American Council of Chief Defenders, he has been instrumental in developing defender standards in Washington and nationally. He was a Soros Senior Fellow working on access to counsel in misdemeanor and juvenile cases. He worked on a similar project on a grant from the Foundation to Promote Open Society, working in Kentucky, South Carolina, and New Hampshire as well as in Washington. He has received numerous awards including the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Champion of Indigent Defense Award, the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers William O. Douglas Award, and the Washington Defender Association Gideon Award.

The Defender Initiative is working with the Sixth Amendment Center on a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice in Utah and Mississippi. One of the Initiative's first projects was a study of misdemeanor defense, resulting in the report "Minor Crimes, Massive Waste: The Terrible Toll of America's Broken Misdemeanor Courts", published by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.


Jesse Benet, Reentry Services Coordinator, Diversion and Reentry Services, King County

Jesse Benet is currently the Reentry Services Coordinator with the King Behavioral Health and Recovery Division (BHRD) working in the Diversion and Reentry Services section, and administers many behavioral health and housing reentry programs in King County, serving individuals who have come into contact with the local criminal justice system, often because of social justice issues (mental health disability, living in extreme poverty, experiencing homelessness and lack of access to resources). Jesse has worked in reentry programs since 2003, including several years of direct release planning services in the King County Jail as well as supervising reentry programs and working closely with adult problem-solving courts and is well-versed in mental health courts and diversion programs. He completed an M.A. degree in Psychology in 2002 at Humboldt State University and is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) Washington state.

Jesse has 20 years of experience working in the mental health human services field and has worked as a direct service provider and supervisor in inpatient, residential, outpatient, and providing release planning. Jesse is committed to systemically addressing racial disparities and other forms of oppression across justice and services in King County, and most recently is able to apply this lens to Familiar Faces, a health and human services transformation strategy in King County focused on individuals with behavioral health conditions, often living in extreme poverty and experiencing homelessness, who are cycling through our jails.

Twyla Carter, Misdemeanor Practice Director, King County Department of Public Defense

Twyla Carter is the Misdemeanor Practice Director for the King County Department of Public Defense. She oversees all misdemeanor casework across the four divisions of the Department to ensure quality public defense takes place in courts of limited jurisdiction. Prior to becoming the Misdemeanor Practice Director, she was a Staff Attorney with The Defender Association for over eight years. As a Staff Attorney, Twyla handled felony and misdemeanor trial caseloads, represented juveniles, and appealed misdemeanor convictions.

Twyla received her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice, summa cum laude, from Seattle University and her J.D. from Seattle University School of Law.

Twyla is very active in the community. She was recently appointed to the King County Juvenile Justice Equity Steering Committee and she is a board member for TeamChild and Matumaini Counseling. Twyla is also a member of the Washington State Bar Association's Legislative Committee and the Loren Miller Bar Association's ("LMBA") Judicial Evaluation Committee. In 2008, Twyla was the recipient of LMBA's Young Lawyer of the Year Award, and in 2014, she received Seattle University's Black Law Student Association's Alumni of the Year Award.

Judge Linda Coburn, Edmonds Municipal Court

Linda W.Y. Coburn took the bench in Edmonds Municipal Court in January 2015. She is a member of the Minority & Justice Commission and was recently appointed to the governing board of the District and Municipal Court Judges Association. Prior to becoming a judge, she was a felony attorney at Snohomish County Public Defender Association. She was first hired by that office in 2006 after having clerked for the Honorable George N. Bowden in Snohomish County Superior Court. She left the public defenders temporarily to clerk for the Honorable Stephen J. Dwyer at the Washington State Court of Appeals. Judge Coburn graduated from Seattle University School of Law in 2005. Law is her second career. She previously was a reporter/editor/manager at The Seattle Times. She holds a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Washington and a master's of science degree in journalism from Ohio University.

Alex Frix, Thurston County Office of Assigned Counsel

Alex Frix attended the University of Oregon Law School on a scholarship for the children of disabled veterans, graduating in 2006. While at Oregon, he was president of the local chapter of the American Constitution Society, worked to develop the Oregon Innocence Project, and worked as a prosecutor-intern for the Lane County District Attorney's Office.

The day after passing the Washington bar exam, he began his career as a public defender, first for Pierce County, commuting by bus each day from Olympia.

Alex has worked for the Thurston County Office of Assigned Counsel (OAC) since 2007, where he started defending indigent clients in Thurston County District Court. He transitioned to the Felony Unity in 2010 and handled various serious offenses including homicides. In 2015, he transitioned back to the OAC Misdemeanor Unit to serve as its supervising team lead.

In 2009, Alex worked various stakeholders to establish Thurston County Veterans Court, the first Veterans Treatment Court in the Pacific Northwest and only the twelfth in the nation (there are now over 200 such courts). For his work in Veterans Court, Alex has received commendations from the Washington Defender Association, the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, the Governor's Veterans Advisory Committee, the Thurston County Board of Commissioners, and the Washington State Bar Association. In 2014 he was presented with the inaugural Outstanding Young Alumnus Award by the University of Oregon Law School.

Alex presents at continuing legal education classes when his busy schedule allows. He's presented on the topics of treatment courts, domestic violence sentencing laws, and legal financial obligations at CLEs sponsored by the Washington Defender Association, the Government Lawyers Association, the Washington State Bar Association, the Washington State Office of Public Defense, and various local bar associations.

Hickory M. Gateless

Hickory is the Managing Attorney for Lawyers Fostering Independence (LFI) at the Center for Children & Youth Justice. LFI is a civil legal aid program for current and former foster youth. Hickory received his J.D./M.B.A. from Seattle University and the Albers School of Business & Economics in 2008. He then clerked for Washington State Supreme Court Justice Charles Johnson and United States District Court Judge Benjamin Settle. Prior to his current role, Hickory practiced civil litigation at Pacifica Law Group.

Benjamin Goldsmith

Benjamin Goldsmith is the Felony Supervisor for The Defender Association Division-King County Department of Public Defense. He received a J.D. from University of Michigan, cum laude and an LLM from Georgetown University, where he was an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow in the Criminal Justice Clinic. During his time at Georgetown, he tried felony and misdemeanor cases in D.C. Superior Court and taught and supervised in the criminal clinic. As a supervisor at TDAD, Ben represents clients charged with homicide, created a comprehensive training program for new felony attorneys and is a frequent presenter to local and national defender organizations.

Alexes Harris, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington

Alexes Harris is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington. She earned her MA (1999) and PhD (2002) in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her research focuses on social stratification processes and racial ethnic disparities, particularly how contact with institutions like educational and criminal justice systems impact individual's life chances.

Dr. Harris' current book project, A Pound of Flesh: Monetary Sanctions as a Permanent Punishment for Poor People, is under contract with Russell Sage and is part of the American Sociological Association's Rose Book Series. Publication is expected by summer 2016. Her research for this book has already received widespread media attention from outlets like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, NPR, Mother Jones, Aljazeera, King5 News and The Seattle Times. Dr. Harris' work has been published in a number of academic journals, including The American Journal of Sociology, American Sociological Review, Law and Society Review and Symbolic Interaction. With a recently awarded grant, Dr. Harris is continuing her research on monetary sanctions to replicate and expand her Washington study in seven other states with collaborators.

Dr. Harris was recently appointed by United States Attorney General to a four-year appointment on the Office of Justice Programs Science Advisory Board.

Anita Khandelwal, Policy Director for the King County Department of Public Defense

Anita Khandelwal is Policy Director for the King County Department of Public Defense. Anita served as a senior attorney at the Public Defender Association, a nonprofit law firm in Seattle, where her duties included identifying criminal justice policies in need of reform and bringing litigation to address systemic issues facing criminal defendants, such as delays in the provision of competency services (Trueblood). She worked at the Public Defender Association a total of five years and as a federal public defender for the Western District of Washington nearly two years. She graduated from Yale Law School in 2005.

David Mace, Open Door Legal Services

Since 2007 David Mace has been the Managing attorney at Open Door Legal Services, a ministry of Seattle's Union Gospel Mission that serves the legal needs of homeless individuals in the Seattle/King County area. Prior to his work at the Mission, David was a prosecutor in the Family Support unit of the Snohomish County Prosecutor's office for seven years, working primarily on child support collection. He began his career as a criminal prosecutor in King County in 1999. David is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center.

L. Song Richardson, Professor of Law at University of California Irvine School of Law

Song Richardson is a Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. Her interdisciplinary research uses lessons from cognitive and social psychology to study criminal procedure, criminal law and policing. Currently, she is working on a book that examines the legal and moral implications of mind sciences research on policing and criminal procedure. Professor Richardson's scholarship has been published by law journals at Yale, Cornell, Northwestern, Southern California, and Minnesota, among others. Her article, "Police Efficiency and the Fourth Amendment" was selected as a "Must Read" by the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. Her co-edited book, The Future of Criminal Justice in America, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2014.

Professor Richardson's legal career has included partnership at Schroeter, Goldmark and Bender, and work as a state and federal public defender in Seattle, Washington. She was also an Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. Immediately upon graduation from law school, Professor Richardson was a Skadden Arps Public Interest Fellow with the National Immigration Law Center in Los Angeles and the Legal Aid Society's Immigration Unit in Brooklyn, NY.

 Professor Richardson has been featured in numerous local and national news programs.

Professor Richardson is the 2011 Recipient of the American Association of Law School's Derrick Bell Award, which recognizes a junior faculty member's extraordinary contribution to legal education through mentoring, teaching, and scholarship. Richardson frequently presents her work at academic symposia, non-academic legal conferences, and conducts trainings for judges, prosecutors, public defenders and police officers on the science of implicit racial bias. She is a member of the American Law Institute.

Dan Satterberg, King County Prosecuting Attorney

Dan Satterberg was elected King County Prosecuting Attorney in November 2007 to succeed his longtime friend and mentor, the late Norm Maleng. He was re-elected in 2010 and 2014 without opposition. Dan served as Chief of Staff for Norm Maleng for 17 years, and was responsible for the management and operation of the Prosecuting Attorney's Office, including budget, human resources, technology, legislative and policy matters. The Prosecuting Attorney's Office employs more than 235 attorneys, 240 staff, and has an annual budget of nearly $69 million. Before 1990, Dan was a trial attorney in the Criminal Division, where he spent rotations in the Special Assault Unit, Drug Unit, and served as the office's first gang prosecutor in 1988.

Dan is committed to the reform of the Criminal Justice system. He has launched successful programs to keep youth in school, divert youth from the courtroom, deal with drug-addicted people in a more effective way, and give police additional tools for responding to low level offenders with mental health issues. Dan also believes that we need to do more to help people leaving prison make the successful transition from offender to taxpayer, and he is committed to reducing recidivism among people leaving jail and prison. All of these reforms are possible, he believes, with the partnership of the community.

Dan was born and raised in South King County and attended Highline High School. His father was a lawyer in White Center and his mother was a nursing instructor at Highline Community College. He graduated from the UW undergraduate school (Political Science and Journalism) and the UW Law School.

Travis Stearns

Travis Stearns is an advocate for the right to counsel for all disenfranchised persons. He has worked in public defense most of his career, currently with the Washington Appellate Project. A graduate of George Washington University Law School, he has worked as a public defender for the Legal Aid Society in New York City and for the Whatcom County Public Defender in Bellingham, Washington before working at the Washington Defender Association. He has argued in all levels in Washington's judicial system, from trial court to the Supreme Court. He also focuses on training and substantive policy reform, having seen success in the courts and with the legislature. He is a nationally recognized speaker on issues relating to leadership, trial advocacy, the right to counsel and the impact of criminal convictions. He has published articles in law school journals, primarily on issues relating to the impact of criminal convictions on reentry. He is an adjunct professor at Seattle University School of Law, a member of the Washington State Supreme Court's Minority and Justice Commission and the Washington State Bar Association's Commission on Public Defense. He has been recognized by Seattle University School of Law for his work as a mentor and supervisor and by the Northwest Immigration Rights Project for his work redefining gross misdemeanor in Washington to 364 days.


General Registration: $210.00

SU School of Law Alumni : $175.00