Philosophy of Service

Philosophy of Service

The Office of the Special Public Defender endeavors to provide vigorous, high quality ethical representation to our indigent clients in the criminal and appellate courts of Nevada. This robust advocacy is extended to all of our clients without regard to the nature or notoriety of their case or charge. While members of the private bar may decline to undertake representation in a particular instance, it is the duty of the Special Public Defender to assume the defense of all appointed cases of individuals who qualify financially for our services, i.e., who cannot afford to hire their own attorney.

The Office of the Special Public Defender is proud to have a client-centered practice where we give voice to those whose voices have been silenced by poverty. Attorneys and employees treat clients with respect and dignity.

Members of the office will fully explain the pending proceeding and the rights of their clients, diligently and vigorously protect the constitutional rights of their clients at all stages of the proceeding, look for explanations or mitigating factors, investigate their clients' stated defenses and endeavor to see that bail is not excessive and, if possible, obtain releases without bail.

Members of the office will maintain loyalty to our clients and maintain inviolate their clients' confidences. Decisions regarding office policy as well as individual case strategy must always be evaluated with both the client's interests and the duty of ethical practice in mind. Members of the office will advise the client regarding the possible and probable outcomes of the client's case. They may not knowingly aid in a contrived defense or present perjured evidence. At the same time, they should insist on every fair legal advantage. By doing so, members of the office advance the interests of their client, providing needed balance in the criminal justice system and the vindication of the constitutions of the United States and of the State of Nevada.

The Right to Counsel: Gideon v. Wainwright