"Lawyers in a criminal case are necessities, not luxuries....[I]n our adversary system
of justice, any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured
a fair trial unless counsel is provided for him. This seems to us to be an obvious truth.
" Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335, 344 (1963).
The Federal Public Defender for the Western District of Washington was established in the spring of 1975 for the purpose of ensuring the Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel and equal access to justice in federal court. Fully staffed offices in Seattle and Tacoma provide wide ranging representation for financially qualified individuals whenever a liberty interest is threatened. The office also provides support and training for lawyers who accept appointments to represent people pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act (CJA). This web site was designed to further that support function and to provide information and news relevant to the mission of the office and the CJA.