Providing zealous, effective, ethical representation

to indigent people accused of crimes.





The Georgia Public Defender Council’s Appellate Division provides appellate representation to indigent clients through two means (1) The Office of the Appellate Defender and (2) appointment to private lawyers with whom the Division has contracted to accept matters on appeal. Appointment of all cases is handled by the Appellate Program Manager, who receives and reviews all requests for appointment. 

The Office of the Appellate Defender is one of only three units in the public-defender system that handles cases from across the state. And it is the only public-defender unit dedicated to representing clients before the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals of Georgia. Because an appeal following conviction is often a client’s last chance at relief with the benefit of counsel, the Appellate Defender’s mission is to provide each client with the best appellate representation possible in that client’s case.

In addition to representing clients, the Office of the Appellate Defender helps to continually improve the quality of indigent defense in Georgia by:

  • Tracking and reporting on legal issues that are important to public-defender clients across Georgia;
  • Responding to public defenders’ legal-research needs with expertise;
  • Consulting with public defenders and contract counsel on the litigation of legal issues at trial and their preservation for later appeals;
  • Assisting public defenders and contract counsel with all aspects of appellate litigation, from strategic planning to brief-writing and oral argument;
  • Offering superior online research materials, including a curated bank of appellate briefs;
  • Petitioning for writs of certiorari or appearing as a friend of the court, where appropriate; and
  • Delivering, in coordination of the Georgia Public Defender Council’s Training Division, professional development programs on appellate practice and procedure, as well as on developments in the law.

Please note: The Office of the Appellate Defender’s lawyers can give legal advice only to the Office of the Appellate Defender’s clients. The Office of the Appellate Defender cannot give legal advice to friends or family of clients or clients who are represented by other lawyers.

The Office of the Appellate Defender cannot represent clients in federal court, or in any civil action or petition for post-conviction habeas corpus relief.

Private lawyers interested in accepting appointed appellate matters from the Georgia Public Defender Council can find more information here.

Contact Appellate Division

270 Washington Street SW, #5198
Atlanta, GA 30334
Tel: (404) 739-5151