Providing zealous, effective, ethical representation

to indigent people accused of crimes.

 

 

 

 

Our Mission

The Georgia Public Defender Council is an independent agency within the executive branch of the state government of Georgia. Our mission is to ensure, independently of political considerations or private interests, that each client whose cause has been entrusted to a circuit public defender receives zealous, adequate, effective, timely, and ethical legal representation, consistent with the guarantees of the Constitution of the State of Georgia, the Constitution of the United States and the mandates of the Georgia Indigent Defense Act of 2003; to provide all such legal services in a cost efficient manner; and to conduct that representation in such a way that the criminal justice system operates effectively to achieve justice.

[Reference: O.C.G.A. § 17-12-1 (c), Georgia Indigent Defense Act of 2003]

Defending Everyone's Rights One Person at a Time

 

Contact Divisions

Central Office

104 Marietta St NW #400
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 795-2440
Toll Free: (800) 676-4432

Send Open Records Requests to: 

OpenRecords@gapublicdefender.org

Appellate Division

104 Marietta St NW #600
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 739-5151

Office of the Capital Defender

104 Marietta St NW #600
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 739-5151

Office of the Mental Health Advocate

104 Marietta St NW #200
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404)795-2440

State Level Services

104 Marietta St NW #200
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 795-2440

Grants Division

104 Marietta St NW #400
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 795-2504

External Public Resources

Georgia Judicial Gateway

http://georgiacourts.gov/

(This Portal is provided to enable Citizens and Court Professionals to access Vital Judicial Services throughout the State of Georgia and is not maintained by GPDC)

Latest News

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Adeline Alexander Appointed Clayton CPD

Adeline Alexander Appointed Clayton CPD


Please join us in congratulating Adeline Alexander as the newly appointed CPD of the Clayton Judicial Circuit effective October 16, 2019. Adi has an extensive background in criminal and juvenile law. She began her career in public defense in Florida in 1999. She has since served as a senior public defender in both Miami-Dade County in Florida and Fulton County and as a senior ADA in Clayton and Fulton counties. She initially worked for GPDC as a conflict attorney before serving as Supervising Attorney for our Fulton County Juvenile Conflict Defender Office from 2013 to 2017. From 2016-2017, she also served as the GPDC representative on Governor Deal’s Steering Committee for Juvenile Reform. Her 20 years of criminal trial and appellate work, her dedication to indigent defense, and her previous management experience with the agency make Adi an excellent fit for Clayton CPD.

GPDC's Forensic Science Division Holds Inaugural DNA Workshop

GPDC's Forensic Science Division Holds Inaugural DNA Workshop


GPDC's Forensic Science Division held its first DNA Workshop on October 1, 2019. Over 130 public defenders and private criminal defense attorneys attended in Atlanta, as well as via broadcasts to Tifton and Savannah. Attorneys from fifty-four separate offices participated. The training was made possible by the contributions of two generous sponsors, private firm, King + Spalding, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Topics included Basic DNA and Motions and Trial Strategy, among others. Thank you to our sponsors, speakers, and attendees for a successful and very informative seminar.

APD Brett Willis Teaches at Harvard

APD Brett Willis Teaches at Harvard


Hall County Assistant Public Defender Brett Willis this week completed a teaching assignment at Harvard University's Criminal Justice Institute. Willis was invited to serve as a teaching team member for Harvard's Trial Advocacy Workshop for the week of Sept. 3-6. 

Willis was part of  a teaching team consisting of a team leader, teaching fellows and a practicing judge. Sessions involved mock trials and role-playing assignments for students in various aspects of trial advocacy, evaluations of performances, and occasional demonstrations by members of the teaching team.

Willis has been with the Hall County Public Defender's Office since its inception in 2006. "I've been extremely fortunate to work for the finest public defender office in Georgia," he said. "Our court system and judges are second to none. I've benefited greatly from what Hall County has to offer. It is an honor and privilege to give back to law students through teaching."

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Cohilas Voted New Chair of Council

Cohilas Voted New Chair of Council


A partner at Watson Spence in Albany, Chris Cohilas has practiced law since 2002. Appointed to the Council by Governor Nathan Deal in September 2017, Mr. Cohilas was unanimously voted chairman at the July 24 Council meeting upon the retirement of past-chairman Ron Cross. Not unaccustomed to being called “Chairman,” Cohilas also serves as the Chairman of the Dougherty County Commission. Among his many awards and accolades, Mr. Cohilas was most recently awarded the Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service earlier this year. In 2013, he was awarded the Martin Luther King Day “Dream Award” for his community involvement. “His experience both as a defense litigator and county commissioner, as well as his commitment to serving his fellow Georgians, uniquely qualify him to lead the Council as chairman,” said Interim Director Jimmonique Rodgers. “We are grateful to have his leadership on the Council.”

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GPDC Appoints Eastern Judicial Circuit Public Defender Todd Martin

GPDC Appoints Eastern Judicial Circuit Public Defender Todd Martin


GPDC is pleased to announce the appointment of Todd Martin as the new Circuit Public Defender of the Eastern Judicial Circuit. Todd has been with the Eastern Public Defender's Office since its inception in 2005.  Prior to that he was in private practice and, in the late 1990's, served as an assistant public defender in the Northern Circuit and became its circuit public defender in 1999 under the old GIDC regime.

He received both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia where he majored in English and minored in Russian. 

In Memoriam: A Tribute to CPD Christine Van Dross

In Memoriam: A Tribute to CPD Christine Van Dross


The Georgia Public Defender Council lost a great leader and advocate with the death of Christine Van Dross last week. Christine was one of the original 43 Circuit Public Defenders who took on the challenge in 2005 of starting a new statewide public defender system out of nothing more than a vision and a desire to make this state better. Since that time, she has helped to build this agency and the quality of indigent defense in Georgia. We celebrate her life and her legacy.  

 

Congratulations to Nicki Vaughan on Georgia Appleseed Award

Congratulations to Nicki Vaughan on Georgia Appleseed Award


The State Bar of Georgia congratulates Hall County Chief Assistant Public Defender and Gainesville resident Nicki Vaughan for her leadership as chair of the Child Protection & Advocacy Section of the State Bar, which was recently recognized with a Good Apple Award from the Georgia Appleseed Center for Law and Justice. 

See the full article HERE.

Former Public Defender Vines Appointed to Council by Lt. Governor

Former Public Defender Vines Appointed to Council by Lt. Governor


Appointed to the Council in March 2019 by Lieutenant Governor Duncan, Mr. Johnny E. C. Vines has an undergraduate degree from University of Georgia and his Juris Doctorate from Thomas M. Coley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. A former public defender in the Dublin and Middle Circuits, Mr. Vines currently practices law privately and contracts with GPDC representing indigent clients in cases where a conflict has been declared.

Having served in the Marine Corps from 1999 to 2003, Mr. Vines has Veteran’s Affairs Certification and is a member of both the National and Georgia Associations of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Southern District of Georgia, and the bars of the Georgia Court of Appeals and Georgia Supreme Court. Mr. Vines was recently elected to his second term as a member of the Candler County Board of Education and is a native of Haralson County, Georgia.

“The fact that Mr. Vines has worked for GPDC as a public defender, and continues to work with our c...

Council Member Cohilas Receives Justice Benham Award

Council Member Cohilas Receives Justice Benham Award


Cohilas awarded Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service