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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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."

...

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.”

...

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.  

 

GPDC's Newest Public Defenders Attend TILPP in Savannah July 25-28

GPDC's Newest Public Defenders Attend TILPP in Savannah July 25-28


GPDC’s newest public defenders participated in our TILPP Part II: Trial Skills program, July 25-28, in Savannah. The goal of TILPP is to provide the participants with the particularized skills and strategies necessary for the representation of indigent defendants in Georgia. Topics from voir dire through appellate practice were presented in plenary sessions followed by extensive practice and feedback in small groups. Faculty consisted of outstanding public defenders from across the state. 

Our 2019 Annual Georgia Public Defender Conference Was a Success!

Our 2019 Annual Georgia Public Defender Conference Was a Success!


Over 400 public defenders joined us in Savannah from July 22-25 to take a DEEP DIVE into criminal defense.

See the photos HERE.

Former GPDC Council Chairman Ron Cross Honored in Savannah

Former GPDC Council Chairman Ron Cross Honored in Savannah


Ron Cross, past chairman of the Council, was honored at the July 24 meeting in Savannah. Mr. Cross served on the Council since its beginning and over eight years as Chairman. His dedication, leadership, and thoughtful guidance has been a huge part of GPDC’s success.

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