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When a person can not afford to hire an attorney on a legal matter, they can ask the Judge to appoint the Public Defender's office to represent them.  Public Defenders, just like private attorneys, have attended law school and obtained their Juris Doctorate Degree, and have been granted admission into the Nebraska State Bar as a licensed practicing attorney.

Public Defenders are appointed by a Judge, typically this is done at the first court appearance but not always.  It is the Judge's responsibility to determine whether an individual can afford a lawyer or if the individual is indigent, and therefore should receive the services of the Public Defenders office.

The Public Defender's office can only represent one party (or person) involved in the same incident or court case.  Representing more than one party would create a conflict of interest.  A conflict can also arise between parties in unrelated cases when certain past or present relationships exist between them.  Once a Public Defender has withdrawn from a case due to a conflict of interest, the Judge will appoint a private attorney to represent them at no cost.

Public Defenders do not handle the following types of cases:

  • Divorce
  • Child custody
  • Adoption
  • Small claims lawsuits 

Thomas C. Riley,
Douglas County Public Defender

Attorneys on Staff:

Andrews, Natalie M.

Bertelson, Molly A. 

Cavanaugh Jr.,  John J.

Cavanaugh, Leslie E.

Craig, Brian D. 

Currans, Melinda S.

Donahue, Mary Rose

Dvorak, Mary M.

Ellis, Leigh A. 

Harry, William R.

Hayden, Annie O.

Hoetger, Lori A.

Holst, Jordan E. 

Holtz, Ann C.

Jacobs, Jami L.

Jadlowski, Katie

Jedlicka, John J.

Jeffrey, Megan E.

Jelinske, Alyssa M.

Jerabek, Mikki C.

Johnson, Douglas A.

Kron, Laura F. 

Leuck, Brenda J.

Lucas, April M.

Lyons, John J.

Marcuzzo, L. Robert 

Mathews, Emily A.

McClung, Rebecca A.

McKnight, Claudia L.

Melia, Kyle M.

Mendoza, Allyson A.

Micek, Lauren J.

Miller, Matthew J.

Montegut, Tamara

Mori, Christine A.

Obermeyer, Noelle M.

Osuala, Augustine C. 

Romshek, Abbi R. 

Saathoff, Cathy R.

Shanahan, Timothy F.

Sosa, Yvonne D.

Stensrud, Bethany R.

Tate, Cindy A.

Taylor, Korey T.

Thielen, Mary K.

Tlustos, Jeanine E.

Wade, Zoë R.

Walag, Lauren A.

Wampler, Travis L.

West, Jessica C.

Wharton, Martha J.

Yost, Nicholas J.

Case statistics:

Pie Chart showing 2012 Case Statistices

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