Wisconsin State Public Defender

The Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office (SPD) has been providing "justice for all" since 1977, and is an independent, executive-branch state agency that ensures Wisconsin meets its constitutional requirement of providing legal representation to the indigent.

The mission of the Wisconsin State Public Defender is to zealously represent clients, protect constitutional rights, and advocate for an effective and fair criminal justice system.  Our commitment is to treat our clients with dignity and compassion.  Vision statement:  The Wisconsin State Public Defender Office will lead the way in protecting justice for all.

The agency provides legal representation to the indigent throughout the state in all of Wisconsin's 72 counties.  Organizationally, the SPD has 37 local trial offices, 2 appellate offices and a central administrative office.  The agency utilizes staff attorneys as well as contract private attorneys (to handle conflict and overflow cases).

The SPD's website provides resources to clients and potential clients, private attorneys who are certified to take SPD case appointments, individuals involved in the criminal justice system, and the public interested in the state agency that delivers on Wisconsin's constitutional requirement regarding indigent defense.

SPD Main Telephone number: 608-266-0087

Wisconsin State Public Defender Blogs

Latest from Wisconsin State Public Defender

State v. Joseph G. Green, 2020AP298-CR, 2/25/21, District 4 (recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) SCOW recently declared parts of §971.14 unconstitutional. See State v. Fitzgerald,  2019 WI 69, 387 Wis. 2d 384, 929 N.W.2d 165 and our post here. The statute allowed the government to administer unwanted antipsychotic medication to a defendant to […]…
S.K. v. S.S., 2020AP277, District 3, 2/26/21 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (briefs not made available) S.S. (or “Susan,” to use the court’s pseudonym) isn’t entitled to a new TPR grounds trial based on her trial attorney’s failure to object to the admission of testimony she argues was irrelevant “other-acts” evidence. Even if […]…
State v. Timothy D. Wright, 2020AP1578, 2/25/2021, District 4 (one-judge decision; ineligible for publication); case activity (including briefs) Wright worked at Christmas Mountain. Over the course of a couple of months he allegedly directed several racist and threatening rants at colleagues, including threats to kill some of them. A supervisor eventually called the police, and […]…
State v. Decarlos K. Chambers, 2019AP411-CR, 2021 WI 13, 2/23/21, affirming a per curiam court of appeals opinion,  case activity (including briefs) SCOTUS recently held that when a client expressly asserts that he wants to maintain his innocence, defense counsel cannot override that objective and concede guilt. If counsel does, a structural error occurs, and […]…
On February 24, 2021, the court of appeals ordered publication of the following criminal law related cases: State v. C.G., 2021 WI App 11 (rejecting claim of First Amendment interest in legal name change sought by transgender person) State v. Nhia Lee, 2021 WI App 12 (charges dismissed due to delay in appointing counsel) State […]…
State v. Marshun Dante Jackson, 2019AP2091, 2/17/21, District 3 (not recommended for publication); case activity (including briefs) Jackson pleaded to being part of a conspiracy to commit fraud (passing bad checks) against a bank in Dunn County. Then he was charged in St. Croix county with committing fraud against a bank there (initially this was […]…