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VIEWS: 20 PAGES: 17

									Metro Public Defender’s Office

             Annual Report




            Providing Zealous Representation
                           and
   Fighting For Equal Justice for the Indigent Accused




       Fiscal Year 2008 – 2009
                          TABLE OF CONTENTS

Message from the Public Defender.…………………………………………….1

The Office Structure ……………………………………………………………2

      Attorney Staff ……………………………………………………...... 2-3

      The Criminal Division ………………………………………………….4

      The Juvenile Division …………………………………………………..5

Public Defender Special Program Efforts

      Grants and Projects ……….....…….........……………………………….6

      Internship Opportunities ………………………………………………..7

      Representation of Non-English Speaking Clients ………………………8

      Minority Recruiting ……………………………………………………..9

Office and Staff Accomplishments in FY09

      Technology Improvements..……………………………………………10

      The Public Defender’s Office in the Community ………………… 11-12

Caseload Figures ……………………………………………………………...13

Public Defender Funding ……………………………………………………..14




                                     i
                           Message from the Public Defender

                                                     In Fiscal Year 08-09, the Metropolitan Public
                                             Defender’s Office faced perhaps its most difficult
                                             challenge ever when our friend, mentor, and leader -
                                             - Public Defender Ross Alderman – was tragically
                                             killed in a motorcycle accident on August 9, 2008.
                                             Ross was a tireless public servant who believed in
                                             equal justice for the poor, and who dedicated his
                                             professional life to helping the often forgotten and
                                             scorned. He was an exceptional attorney, an even
                                             better mentor, and for nearly nine years, he was THE
                                             Public Defender. More personally, he was our witty,
                                             humble, honest, hard-working, wise, and fearless
                                             leader, who loved cowboy boots and who put up
                                             with us. We loved him, and we still miss him. We
                                             also know that his legacy in this Office lives on
                                             through us – through our dedicated advocacy for our
                                             clients, our commitment to improving our
                                             community, and our loyalty to each other. Today, I
                                             am proud to say that every member of our staff has
                                             honored Ross’ legacy this year, and I am confident
they will continue to do so in the future.

        The rest of my message this year is one of appreciation and optimism. I am grateful
for the confidence the Metro Council has shown in me, and for the warm welcome and
assistance that Mayor Dean, Vice Mayor Neighbors, and other Elected Officials and
Department Heads have offered during my transition into the role of Public Defender. More
importantly, I am indebted to my colleagues at the Public Defender’s Office – lawyers,
secretaries, investigators, social workers, interns, paralegals, administrative staff. They are
the brains and the heart behind the excellent services we provide, and they are responsible for
making this year a successful one for our Office.

        The upcoming year is certain to bring new challenges, particularly in light of our
economic climate. In FY09, the Public Defender’s Office represented indigent adults and
juveniles on more than 40,000 warrants, indictments, and delinquency petitions, and that
number is likely to increase next year. Our employees are working longer hours, and
representing more people than ever before. Nevertheless, with the continued support of the
Metropolitan Government and the State of Tennessee, I am optimistic that the Public
Defender’s Office will continue to fulfill its Mission to provide zealous representation and to
fight for equal justice for the indigent accused.

C. Dawn Deaner
Metropolitan Public Defender


                                                  1
                                    The Office Structure

        The Metropolitan Public Defender’s Office operates under the authority of the
  Metropolitan Charter, Title Two, Section 2-16-010, which states:

                The public defender shall render legal aid and defend only those
         indigent defendants who are in jail, charged with the commission of a crime
         and are unable to make bond, or such other defendants as a court with
         criminal jurisdiction shall determine to be indigent. In addition, the public
         defender shall provide guardian ad litem services when such services are
         deemed required by the Davidson County juvenile court for children who are
         the subject of proceedings in such court and the metropolitan government
         would be required by law to pay reasonable compensation for such services if
         not provided by the public defender.

  In practice, this mandate sends the Public Defender’s Office to all levels of local and State
  courts to represent our clients, including 11 General Sessions Courts, 6 Criminal Courts, and
  Juvenile Court. Attorneys in the Office also appear before the Tennessee Court of Criminal
  Appeals and the Tennessee Supreme Court to represent clients on their direct appeals.

         The office is divided into two divisions: the Criminal Division, located in the
  Parkway Towers Building, and the Juvenile Division, housed at the Juvenile Justice
  Building, 100 Woodland Street. At full staffing levels, the Office has 44 licensed attorneys
  who are responsible for the representation of clients in both Divisions, on charges ranging
  from public drunkenness to first degree murder. This group of attorneys is comprised of
  diverse individuals recruited locally and from across the country, all of whom have strong
  academic credentials and a commitment to public service. Nashville is truly fortunate to
  have such high-quality defense attorneys representing its least fortunate citizens.



                               Public Defender Attorney Staff

   Attorney Name                       Title                            Law School

Dawn Deaner                 Public Defender               George Washington University
Jerrilyn Manning            Deputy Public Defender        Nashville School of Law
Rodney Caldwell             Asst. Public Defender         University of Memphis
Shawn Caster                Asst. Public Defender         Vanderbilt
Gina Crawley                Asst. Public Defender         Florida Coastal School of Law
Mickie Daugherty            Asst. Public Defender         Cumberland School of Law
Jeff DeVasher               Asst. Public Defender         Vanderbilt
Genesis Draper              Asst. Public Defender         University of Texas
Lisa D’Souza                Asst. Public Defender         Harvard Law School


                                               2
Laura Dykes             Asst. Public Defender   Vanderbilt
Sunny Eaton             Asst. Public Defender   Univ. of the District of Columbia
Mike Engle              Asst. Public Defender   University of Tennessee
Virginia Foard          Asst. Public Defender   Univ. of California, Berkley
Laura Getz              Asst. Public Defender   Southern Methodist Univ.
Jason Gichner           Asst. Public Defender   Vanderbilt
Amy Goodwin             Asst. Public Defender   University of Georgia
Jessamine Grice         Asst. Public Defender   New England School of Law
Jennifer Hall           Asst. Public Defender   University of Tennessee
Mary Kathryn Harcombe   Asst. Public Defender   New York University
Randi Hess              Asst. Public Defender   Roger Williams
Martesha Johnson        Asst. Public Defender   University of Tennessee
Kevin Kelly             Asst. Public Defender   Vanderbilt
Caroline LaBrec         Asst. Public Defender   Willamette University
Joan Lawson             Asst. Public Defender   Vanderbilt
James McNamara          Asst. Public Defender   University of North Carolina
Kyle Mothershead        Asst. Public Defender   Vanderbilt
Kristin Neff            Asst. Public Defender   University of Indiana
Rob Robinson            Asst. Public Defender   University of Kentucky
Sharon Ruiz             Asst. Public Defender   Stanford
Ainka Sanders           Guardian Ad Litem       Vanderbilt
Chase Smith             Asst. Public Defender   Nashville School of Law
Aimee Solway            Asst. Public Defender   New York University
Kristin Stangl          Asst. Public Defender   Vanderbilt
Gary Tamkin             Asst. Public Defender   Vanderbilt
Emma Tennent            Asst. Public Defender   Vanderbilt
LaTasha Thomas          Asst. Public Defender   University of Arkansas
Emily Todoran           Asst. Public Defender   Indiana University
Karen (Katie) Weiss     Asst. Public Defender   University of San Diego
John Wiethe             Asst. Public Defender   Nashville School of Law
Jonathan Wing           Asst. Public Defender   University of Pennsylvania
Tyler Yarbro            Asst. Public Defender   University of Virginia




                                          3
                                  The Criminal Division
        The Criminal Division attorneys represent defendants in General Sessions Court and
Criminal Court. Our representation of clients involves interviews, case investigation,
research and court appearances. To assist with these responsibilities, the Office has a support
staff that includes investigators, social workers, legal secretaries, paralegals, and law clerks.

        The judges who preside over General Sessions Court have set a number of different
dockets at which attorneys from this Office must appear daily. The General Sessions Court
conducts Blended Criminal Dockets in four courtrooms each day, which consist of
defendants who have been arrested on misdemeanor warrants and were unable to make bond,
as well as defendants who are not in custody. The General Sessions Court also conducts
daily Felony Jail and Review Dockets for defendants who are in custody, and a Citation
Docket for defendants who were charged with a criminal offense without being physically
arrested. In Fiscal Year 09, General Sessions Court offered three specialty courts where the
Public Defender’s Office represented clients – Mental Health Treatment Court, Misdemeanor
Drug Court, and a new DUI trial docket.

        By agreement with the General Sessions Court judges, defendants who are in jail,
unable to make bond, set for a General Sessions docket and do not have an attorney are
presumptively eligible for representation by the Public Defender's Office. Defendants who
are not in custody and are set for a General Sessions docket may obtain Public Defender
services by applying at our Office. Intake personnel in the Public Defender’s Office screen
applicants for eligibility by following income guidelines established in the Federal Poverty
Guidelines. The Court must give final approval for our appointment to General Sessions
clients who are screened by Public Defender personnel.

        The Davidson County Criminal Court has six divisions, all of which meet daily. The
Public Defender’s Office assigns three or four attorneys, an investigator, and a secretary to
work in each court, and they are responsible for representing all of the Public Defender
clients who appear in that court. In Criminal Court, the Office receives its clients solely by
court appointment after the Court makes a determination that the defendant is indigent (too
poor to hire an attorney).




                                               4
                                  The Juvenile Division
        The Juvenile Division of the Public Defender’s Office, which is housed at the
Juvenile Justice Center, was created in 1978, and now has a staff of five lawyers, one social
worker, and a legal secretary. This team of individuals represents children in Juvenile Court
delinquency proceedings who come from indigent families, or who are in state custody. To
date, the clients have ranged in age from five to nineteen years of age, and they face
allegations as minor as curfew violations and as serious as homicide.

       Juvenile Court holds many different dockets at which the Public Defender’s Office
attorneys must appear. Appearance, settlement and motion dockets are routinely held along
with detention hearings. Trials and transfer hearings are individually scheduled by the
attorneys. The Office does not accept clients directly, but represents those children to whom
the Juvenile Court appoints us after determining their eligibility for our services. The staff of
the Juvenile Division does an excellent job fulfilling their mandate under the Metro Charter,
and contributing to the efficient operation of the court system.

        In addition to its delinquency cases, the Juvenile Division also provides Guardian Ad
Litem (GAL) services to children who appear in Juvenile Court due to allegations of neglect
and dependency, truancy from school, unruliness, or as the subjects of a custody dispute.
These children need a legally trained advocate to stand up for their interests in these pivotal
court proceedings. They also need someone capable of identifying the social problems that
are likely the underlying cause of their involvement in the legal system, such as a drug-
addicted parent or an undiagnosed learning disability.

        The Public Defender’s Office has served the children of Davidson County in this
capacity since 1998. Our GAL program is staffed with one attorney, one social worker, and
more recently, volunteer graduate and undergraduate students. These individuals work as a
team to assure that the needs of the children they represent receive due consideration in
court, and that any services these children need are provided in an appropriate manner. This
year, the team was proud to applaud the high school graduation of one of its long term
clients, who despite his difficult family circumstances, will be headed to college in the fall.
Success stories like this young man’s are proof of how important and effective the GAL
program can be in improving the lives of Nashville’s youngest and most vulnerable citizens.




                                               5
                                   Grants and Projects

         Although the economic downturn in Fiscal Year 09 brought mostly bad news with it,
the stimulus package passed by our Federal government generated some positive news for
the Public Defender’s Office. Additionally, the staff of the Public Defender’s Office made
specific efforts this year to reach out for more creative sources of funding to assist our
clients.

        Justice Assistance Grant: For many years, the Office has received a small amount
of funding from a federal Justice Assistance Grant to hire part-time clerks to assist in
representing our juvenile clients. Undoubtedly, resources spent to turn a child’s life around
are the best way to prevent crime in the future. The Office continued this practice in Fiscal
Year 09, and is pleased to announce that this grant funding will be increased next year.

        Teamchild Nashville: Thanks to an idea proposed by Mary Ann Hea, our social
worker in the Criminal Division, the Public Defender’s Office was recently awarded a two-
year federal grant to start a local Teamchild program. Modeled on a successful program in
Washington State, Teamchild’s goal is to provide holistic civil legal advocacy for children
at-risk of entering serious or long-term delinquency proceedings. The Teamchild attorney
will be able to go places that a typical Assistant Public Defender cannot go, such as legal
hearings on educational appeals, custody determinations, and TNCare denials. The grant
will fund a single attorney position, and the program is scheduled to start up in August 2009.

       The Sycamore Project: Named for the beauty and strength the tree represents, the
Public Defender’s office is kicking off a pilot program geared at helping women who have
been trapped in the cycle of drug abuse, prostitution, and incarceration. The project was
made possible through a generous $10,000 gift from the Cynthia D. Schell Charitable Trust,
and once again, the vision of our social worker in the Criminal Division, Mary Ann Hea.

        During 2008, 321 people in Nashville were arrested for prostitution, many of them
multiple times and nearly all of them women. This population faces enormous challenges
when they are released from jail or prison. Typically, these women have histories of
physical and sexual abuse, and chemical dependency. Many of them have lost custody of
their children, and are mentally ill. They are often too poor to overcome these problems on
their own, and have lengthy criminal histories that make it difficult for them to find legal
employment. Due to these pressures, relapse is often inevitable.

       The Project participants, all of whom will come from a jail setting, will become sober
and medically stable before entering the Project. Upon their release from custody, they will
enter Peace Unlimited, a recovery home chosen for this Project. They will also enroll in
alcohol and drug treatment as needed, and have all necessary appointments with primary care
doctors and psychiatrists. In turn, Sycamore will provide for their first month’s rent, bus
passes, clothing, and toiletries. The Public Defender’s Office is excited about this new
opportunity to make a lasting difference in the lives of our clients. We also want to thank the




                                              6
District Attorney General’s Office as well as the Davidson County General Sessions Court
for their willingness to divert appropriate candidates to the Project.




                                           7
                                Internship Opportunities
       In today’s job market, students from all disciplines are anxious to obtain practical
work experience in an environment where they can also contribute to serving their
community. The Public Defender’s Office has a long history of capitalizing on student
volunteers, and using our internship program to recruit the best and brightest employees to
work at the Office after graduation. FY09 was no exception.

       This year the Office again hosted interns from Vanderbilt’s HOD undergraduate
degree program in our Juvenile Office. These interns compiled a 113-page Juvenile Court
Resource Manual, which lists services available to Davidson County youth and their
families, and is designed to offer alternatives to Juvenile Court intervention. This year the
Criminal Division also hosted an HOD intern who worked with our General Sessions Court
team.

        One of our most popular internship opportunities is the summer law clerk program.
This year the Office received over one hundred applications for the five formal internship
positions we offer. Given this level of competition, the Office was able to select a highly
qualified group of paid and unpaid summer clerks from both local and national law schools.
These clerks do meaningful work that assists us in managing our growing caseload.

        Beyond law clerks, the Public Defender’s Office also hosts students in high school,
college, and social work programs who bring their talents and energy to other aspects of our
work. These interns help with tasks as varied as case investigation, client intake, public
relations, case information management, client communications, and social work
assessments.

       The search for high quality volunteer resources is never-ending. This year a new
opportunity arose when large law firms began deferring the start dates for new associates
who chose to spend time instead working in a public interest organization. As a result of
proactive advertising by this Office for interested candidates, we are pleased to announce that
Nashville will be the beneficiary of one such deferral. Chris Hydak, a recent graduate of
Vanderbilt University Law School, will join the Office in September 2009 to work here full-
time for one year as a law clerk – at no cost to Metro.

       The Public Defender’s Office is grateful to all of its volunteers, and hopes to continue
building on these successful partnerships in the future.




                                              8
                 Representation of Non-English Speaking Clients
        For many years, the Davidson County criminal justice system has been confronted
with ever increasing demands on the system’s ability to meet the unique issues presented by
non-English speaking individuals who are charged with committing criminal offenses. The
majority of these individuals speak Spanish, and the Public Defender’s Office has made an
effort to assist more adequately our Spanish speaking clients and their families. Our “Take
This Book” handbook is now available in Spanish. We utilize a Spanish indigency
application, and several of our employees speak Spanish, including: one of our three intake
employees, three of our six criminal investigators, and four of our attorneys.

        Due to these efforts, Spanish-speaking individuals who come to the Office for
representation receive high quality services by a team of individuals who are able to
communicate with them in their native language. This often includes referrals to social
service agencies that are better able to address problems involving substance abuse, domestic
violence, and immigration issues. It also includes an overall cost-savings to state and local
government, which is not required to pay for the out-of-court translation services that these
defendants would otherwise need if represented by appointed counsel who was not fluent in
Spanish.

        Beyond our Spanish speaking clients, the Public Defender’s Office is more frequently
encountering clients whose native language is something other than English or Spanish. For
these clients, the Office works with the Davidson County courts to locate certified
interpreters who can assist in the client’s representation. Of course, language is not the only
barrier to a strong attorney/client relationship. Cultural differences and unfamiliarity with
the American legal system can also make navigating our criminal courts difficult for non-
English speaking individuals. In such cases, our employees make an effort to reach out to
family, friends, or members of our clients’ cultural community for assistance. During the
coming year, we hope to strengthen our relationships with the leaders of Nashville’s
immigrant communities in order to better assist our non-English speaking clients.




                                              9
                                    Minority Recruiting

       The Public Defender’s Office has a strong record of recruiting minority employees to
work at the Public Defender’s Office. The Office has always believed in the importance of
maintaining a diverse staff, particularly in light of the diverse group of clients whom we
serve. In Fiscal Year 09, 42% of Public Defender clients were African-American, 34% were
Caucasian, and 23% were Hispanic. The other 1% were of Asian, Indian, or other ethnicity.

        Of particular importance to the community in recent years has been the hiring and
retention of African-American attorneys in our Office. The Public Defender’s Office has an
excellent record of recruiting high quality attorneys of all races, including African-American
attorneys, to our Office. In 2009 the Office again received an award from the Nashville Bar
Association’s Minority Opportunities Program “for contributions to enhance diversity and
professional success.” Currently, of the 39 Assistant Public Defenders on staff, ten are
members of a minority group, including seven African-American attorneys. This ratio well
exceeds that of most private law firms in Nashville, where minorities comprised only 13% of
all associate attorneys on staff in 2008, according to the American Bar Association.

        Despite these accomplishments, the Office is committed to improving our recruitment
of minority attorneys. Over the past year, low turnover at the Public Defender’s Office has
resulted in only two new attorney hires. One of those new attorneys, Martesha Johnson, is an
African-American woman who grew up in Nashville. Additionally, the Office hired Aisha
McWeay, a recent graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, as a full-time law clerk in
June 2009. Like Ms. Johnson, Ms. McWeay is an African-American woman who previously
worked with the Office in our summer intern program. She will be taking the Tennessee bar
exam in February 2010, and she will become a member of our attorney staff upon her
admission to the Bar.

        Beyond our attorney staff, the Office has focused on minority hiring elsewhere.
During the past year, two criminal investigator positions became available, and minority
employees were hired to fill both positions. The first new investigator hired this year was
Luis Acevedo, who is from Puerto Rico and is fluent in Spanish. More recently, the Office
hired investigator Jill Fitcheard, an African-American woman who was formerly a police
officer in Washington, D.C.

        The Public Defender’s Office also continues to seek diversity in its summer intern
program. Since the Office has historically drawn the majority of its new attorney hires from
this pool, we are committed to recruiting an excellent and varied group of students to spend
their summers with us. This year we were lucky to have eleven law students at the Office,
five of whom were members of a minority group, including four African-American students.
With this good start on the future, as well as other minority recruiting efforts, the Office will
continue its emphasis on hiring and retaining an excellent and diverse staff of individuals
who are committed to our Mission.




                                               10
                               Technology Improvements

       This year the Public Defender’s Office has focused on technological advances in two
areas: 1) improving our Office website, which only became operational in November 2005;
and 2) exploiting our even newer ability to video conference with our clients in jail.

        As our senior staff at the Public Defender’s Office recall, just 15 years ago we were
an Office without any computers. Today, we have computers, but we know that many of our
clients and their families do not have internet access. Thus, we cannot, and do not, rely upon
the internet as our primary means of reaching out to the public. Nevertheless, the worldwide
web has become an integral part of our society, and it can serve as a valuable resource for
those with access to it. We have worked this year to improve our website, which is located at
http://publicdefender.nashville.gov, to make it even more useful to both clients and other
members of the community. Most notably, we have added a “News” link which contains
updated information about our trial successes and staff involvement in the community. In the
coming year we hope to add a feature that will showcase the attorney staff at our Office.

         Over the past year, the Office has also begun to use with more frequency our new
video conferencing technology. Although not a substitute for face-to-face client contact, the
ability to see and talk to a client by video conference in a matter of minutes offers numerous
benefits, particularly for those clients who are housed at jails located away from the
downtown area. For instance, instead of a 40 minute round trip commute to the jail to advise
a client of a moved court date, we can now see the client after a brief phone call to the
Sheriff’s Office to schedule a video conference. Although the amount of time we spend with
the client does not change, the video conference technology significantly reduces the amount
of time we spend getting access to the client, which in turn allows the attorney or investigator
to spend that time more productively on other aspects of the case. Additionally, whereas
time constraints may have previously caused us to forego a client visit, the ease with which
we can now access clients by video conference allows us to stay in even better
communication with them.




                                              11
                  The Public Defender’s Office in the Community
       This was another busy year outside the Office for our employees, both in their
extracurricular activities and their accomplishments. Some of the highlights were:

        * Hands On Nashville Day – On September 27, 2008, a team of volunteers from the
Public Defender’s Office spent their morning at Glencliff High School painting a fence. This
public service event is designed to make physical improvements to Metro school facilities.

       * Operation Stand Down – On October 17 and 18, 2008, the Public Defender’s
Office continued its long tradition of staffing a “mobile courtroom” at Operation Stand
Down, which assists hundreds of honorably discharged veterans, most of whom are
homeless, with their unmet social service needs.

        * TACDL New Lawyers Class – In 2008, the Public Defender’s Office, in
partnership with the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, presented two bi-
annual training seminars that are mandatory for all new lawyers seeking to take criminal
appointments in our General Sessions Courts. Not only does our Office design the
curriculum for this day-long program, but we also arrange for all of the speakers, who
present on topics ranging from mental health evaluations to suspended sentence motions.

        * Project Homeless Connect – On December 2, the Public Defender’s Office
participated in this first time event designed to provide a broad array of social services to
members of Nashville’s homeless community in a single location. Although the event was
held at Municipal Auditorium, a “homeless court” was set up at the A.A. Birch Building, and
participants were brought there to deal with outstanding court cases. It was such a successful
day that Nashville’s Homelessness Commission is planning similar events for the future.

       * Polar Bear Plunge – On February 19, 2009, a few brave members of the Public
Defender’s Office, including Mickie Daugherty and Kyle Mothershead, participated in this
annual event benefitting Special Olympics. On this cold February morning they took the
plunge into Percy Priest Lake and raised money for this very worthy cause.

        * Annual Convention of the National Black Law Students Association – On
February 4-7, 2009, the National Black Law Students Association for the Southern Region
held their Annual Convention in Nashville, and members of the Public Defender’s Office
were there to contribute. The highlight of the Convention was the Frederick Douglas Moot
Court Competition and the Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition. Assistant Public
Defenders LaTasha Thomas and Gina Crawley participated as judges for the competitions.
Additionally, Ms. Crawley and Deputy Public Defender Jerrilyn Manning participated in a
lively panel discussion showcasing careers in public interest law.

        * Nashville Bar Association’s High School Mock Trial Competition –
Congratulations go out to Mike Engle and Sunny Eaton, who served as volunteer coaches to
this year’s winning team from Hume Fogg High School. After their victory in March 2009 at


                                             12
the Nashville event, the team went on to compete in the statewide High School Mock Trial
competition. Coaching one of these teams takes a great deal of time, and we are proud that
the Public Defender’s Office was involved again this year.

        * Country Music Marathon -- For the fourth year in a row, volunteers from the
Metro Public Defender’s Office (past and present) awoke bright and early (4:00 a.m.!!!!) to
staff a Water Station at the Country Music Marathon in April. This group effort offers us a
great way to work together as a team outside the Office, and to reunite with old friends who
have moved on to other adventures. It was a bittersweet experience this year without Ross
Alderman there, as he was responsible for the Office becoming involved in this event in
2006, and motivating us to return every year after that. We were honored that Ross’ son,
Noah, joined us again, and brought with him his wife and family.

        * United Way’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program – In the weeks before
April 15, Jennie Young, a Legal Secretary at the Public Defender’s Office, donated 42 hours
of her time assisting low-income taxpayers in Davidson County to complete their tax returns
at no cost, while still insuring they received the maximum possible return.

       * NBA Minority Opportunities Award -- In May 2009, the Public Defender’s
Office was recognized again by the Nashville Bar Association’s Minority Opportunities
Program with its Sponsorship Award, acknowledging “contributions to enhance diversity and
professional success.” The Office has received such awards from the NBA for many years
now, demonstrating our commitment to recruiting a diverse staff of attorneys and interns.

       * American Bar Association’s Homeless Project in Nashville – On June 15, 2009,
the Public Defender’s Office participated in this forum designed to bring together individuals
from across the community to discuss creative solutions to reducing and eradicating
homelessness in Nashville. Mary Ann Hea, our social worker in the Criminal Division,
served as a Panelist during the day-long discussions.

         * Deputy Public Defender is “Best of the Bar” -- In June 2009, Deputy Public
Defender Jerrilyn Manning was recognized by the Nashville Business Journal as one of the
“Best of the Bar” for 2009. Each year, the NBJ recognizes 100 lawyers who are the best in
their fields of practice. We, of course, have always known Jerri to be the best.

       * Partnership with Education Equal Opportunity Group – Throughout 2009 the
Public Defender’s Office collaborated with George Thomas, President of the Education
Equal Opportunity Group (EEOG), in his efforts to educate young people about leadership
and their legal rights. In February, members of the Office participated in the EEOG’s 8th
Annual Save-A-Student Leadership and Training Conference at Legislative Plaza. On April
28, 2009, members of the Office also taught a “Know Your Rights” forum sponsored by the
EEOG at The Temple Church on Kings Lane. In the coming year, the Public Defender’s
Office expects to expand this collaboration for the benefit of our community.




                                             13
                            2009 Annual Caseload

                                       Cases Opened                    Cases Closed
Criminal Court                                            5,716                       5,598
General Sessions Court                                   25,467                      20,037
Juvenile Court                                            1,165                       1,655
Total                                                    32,348                      27,290


  35,000

  30,000

  25,000                                                          Criminal Court

  20,000                                                          General Sessions
                                                                  Court
  15,000                                                          Juvenile Court

  10,000                                                          Total

    5,000

         0
             Cases Opened Cases Closed


        In FY09, our caseloads in Juvenile and General Sessions Courts increased
dramatically. In Juvenile Court, we closed approximately 25% more cases in FY09 (1,655)
than in the previous year (1,197). In General Sessions Court, the increase in case closings
was also significant, rising from 17,191 cases in FY08 to 20,037 cases in FY09 – a nearly
14% jump. In Criminal Court, our numbers showed a slight increase, from 5,525 closed
cases last year to 5,598 this year. Notably, the Office handled this heavier workload despite
a nearly $539,000 reduction in funding from FY08 (see next page).




                                             14
             Metropolitan Public Defender’s Office Funding
                             FY2008-2009

                             State             Metro           Criminal          Grants             Total
                                                                Court
   Amount               $1,588,500         $3,883,700         $165,000         $5,271         $5,642,471 1
   % Funding                28.2%             68.8%              2.9%             .1%



                                         Funding Sources
                                                                                   Grant
                  Criminal                                                         s
                  Court
                  2.9%

                                                                                   State
                                                                                   28.2 %




       Metro
       68.8%




                     State         Metro          Criminal Court                 Grants
State: State stipend from Public Defender Conference
Grants: Justice Assistance Grant with 10% Cost Allocation Fee
Metro: Metro’s cost to operate the Metropolitan Public Defender’s Office
Criminal Court: Criminal Court Clerk’s Office collects $12.50 from all persons convicted of crimes in Davidson
County.




   1
    Total Funding for FY09 was nearly $539,000 less than what the Office received in FY08, which was
   $6,181,444.


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