The Defender Initiative 7th Annual Conference on Public Defense:
Fifty Years Since Gault, Fifty-Four Years Since Gideon - Progress and Challenges on Right to Counsel

5.5 Law and Legal, 1.0 Ethics and .75 Other CLE Credits | WSBA Activity ID #1035330

The promises of the Gault and Gideon decisions remain only partially fulfilled. Six weeks into a new federal administration, we will review how we can more fully implement the right to counsel, focusing on issues affecting juveniles and young adults. We will discuss how to use in daily defender practice some of the major developments in understanding how young people think; how to address issues of race in representing defender clients; and new ideas in diversion as well as the Council on Public Defense Proposed Juvenile Performance Guidelines.


Recorded:  03/03/2017
Credits:  5.5 Law and Legal, 1.0 Ethics and .75 Other CLE | WSBA Activity ID #1035330
Length: 7 hours, 36 minutes

Featured Speakers:
Featuring: Simmie Baer, Jeffrey Ellis, Annie Benson, Travis Stearns, Robert C. Boruchowitz

Co-sponsored by the Washington Defender Association

Many thanks to our additional sponsors:

Perkins Coie, LLP
Johnson Flora Sprangers, PLLC
James E. Lobsenz and Carney Badley Spellman, P.S.


Agenda and speakers are subject to change

8:30 a.m.


Dean Annette Clark, Seattle University School of Law

8:45 - 9:30 a.m.

Lawsuits, Bail Reform, Truancy, and Standards--Report on National Developments and work of The Defender Initiative

Presenter: Robert C. Boruchowitz, Professor from Practice, Director of the Defender Initiative, Seattle University School of Law

9:30-10:30 a.m.

Should juvenile confessions be admissible?

Presenters: Paul Holland, Director of Trial Advocacy and Dispute Resolution Programs, Seattle University School of Law
George Yeannakis, TeamChild
Judge Anne Ellington (ret.)

10:30-11:00 a.m.


11:00 a.m. -12:00 noon

Developing categorical exemptions and developing creative sentencing alternatives for young adults

Presenter: Jeffrey Ellis, Co-Director, Oregon Capital Resource Center

12-12:30 p.m.

Lunch (included)

12:30-1:30 p.m.

Luncheon Keynote Presentation

Gault at 50: How to ensure the "guiding hand of counsel" doesn't become a choke hold

Presenter: Simmie Baer, Cowlitz County Staff Attorney

1:45-2:45 p.m.

How racism is hard wired in the criminal justice system.

Presenters: Annie Lee, Prof. Kim Ambrose

2:45-3:30 p.m.

Enhancing Representation and Building Alliances for Reform: Strategies for Engaging Our Communities

Moderator: Annie Benson, Senior Directing Attorney, Washington Defender Association

Panelists: Dr. Karen A. Johnson, Black Alliance of Thurston County
Kurtis Robinson, I Did The Time, Spokane; NAACP of Spokane
Tarra Simmons, Founding Member, Civil Survival

3:30-3:45 p.m.


3:45-4:45 p.m.

Yes, Kids do have a right to counsel in truancy hearings

Presenters: Travis Stearns, Michael Morris, Mamie Lackie, Greg Link

4:45-5:30 p.m.

Lessons learned from diversion program for theft cases at the Mall

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

Panelists: Chief Mike Villa, Tukwila Police Department
Carla Lee, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office
Kendrick Glover, Executive Director & Founder, Glover Empower Mentoring (GEM


Program Chair

Robert C. Boruchowitz, Professor from Practice and Director of the Defender Initiative, Seattle University School of Law

Robert C. Boruchowitz was an attorney at The Defender Association, a non-profit public defender office in King County, for 33 years. He is leading an initiative at the law school to advance efforts to improve public defense representation for thousands of people in Washington and provide models for application in other states. He has handled appeals at all levels of the state and federal courts and argued the Seling v. Young case in the U.S. Supreme Court, challenging the application of Washington's "sexually violent predator" law. He was lead counsel on a recent Washington Court of Appeals decision that due process requires that children in truancy proceedings have counsel. Bellevue v. E.S. (2009). That case began in the Youth Advocacy Clinic and two clinic students worked with him on the appeal.

For 28 years, he served as The Defender Association's Director. 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 that have been endorsed by the Washington State Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He led a subcommittee that developed both Performance Guidelines for Criminal Defense Representation and Standards for Indigent Defense Services that were adopted by the Washington State Bar Association. On June 15, 2012, the Washington Supreme Court adopted a rule recommended by the WSBA requiring defenders to certify compliance with the WSBA standards as slightly modified by the Court.

He is leading the new Defender Initiative, aimed at providing better representation for people accused of crimes or otherwise facing loss of liberty. The project will advance efforts to improve public defense representation for thousands of people in Washington and provide models for application in other states. The Initiative has received grant funding from the Open Society Foundation to improve access to counsel in misdemeanor courts. The Initiative has worked in Washington, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. Additional information about the Dfender Initiative is available at


General Registration - $220.00

Seattle University School of Law Alumni  - $185.00