Case News, Staff News, DREAM News & Community News
A 71-year-old First Step client previously convicted of a crack cocaine offense received a time served sentence from Judge Robart, reducing his sentence by almost one year in real time. Congratulations to Seattle AFPDs Ann Wagner and Dennis Carroll and paralegal Michael Larson, as well as to the client, whose remarkable record of service to others in prison and ability to advocate for his interests will serve him well in his reentry. Wonderful news!
AFD Jennifer Wellman Honored for Her Role in DREAM (Drug Reentry Alternative Model)
On July 9th Seattle AFD Jennifer Wellman was honored by the staff of the Federal Public Defender and two former DREAM clients for her instrumental role in the collaborative creation of a pre-adjudication court which would result in the dismissal of all criminal charges against participants upon successful completion. Jennifer spent two years researching and investigating the various alternative court models, and then advocating for and negotiating with the court, the US Attorney’s Office and Probation. DREAM is a national model for such courts, and remains one of the very few federal pre-adjudication courts for felony cases. The Court began operation in 2012. Jennifer was the FPD attorney assigned to the court and has been our representative for the last 7 years. While still involved, she is handing leadership of this project over to Seattle AFD Corey Endo. 43 individuals have graduated from this court and had their felony charges dismissed. More importantly, they have gotten their lives back, are gainfully employed, and have reunited with estranged family members. Jennifer was instrumental in the success of each individual. Without her leadership, it is unlikely that this unique version of a federal drug court would have been created, and without her mentorship, advice and advocacy many of our clients would not be leading the productive lives which they now enjoy.
Kudos to Seattle Paralegal Donna Maxwell!
Donna Maxwell was able to convince an Arizona prosecutor to dismiss charges and quash a warrant for a client who is in custody. The client has been participating in RDAP, but would have missed out on the extra good time and halfway house time without Donna’s persistent efforts. Great work!
Welcome Our New Seattle Receptionist Natalia Parker!
The Federal Public Defender Seattle Office welcomes our new Receptionist, Natalia Parker. She is a recent graduate from the University of Washington in Law, Societies, and Justice. Natalia is excited to join the office full-time, after interning with us this past winter and spring. She is an avid reader, and takes part in a monthly book club with a group of incarcerated men at the Monroe Correctional Complex. Natalia is passionate and curious about how the law and legal systems shape social life.
Two DREAM participants graduated in July, one after 12 months in the program and one after 15 months. Both participants used their time in DREAM to address their addictions and to build strong foundations for their futures. One graduate reunited with her three children while in the program and is now working to secure permanent housing. Friends, families, and others from the community came to celebrate their strength and sobriety. The graduates were good friends and role models to other DREAM participants and will be missed. Congratulations graduates!
A former client’s tremendous success on supervision was featured in this Seattle Times’ story about reentry programs. Jennifer Wellman is quoted in the article describing our office’s collaboration with other stakeholders to ensure that our clients have the best chance of making a positive transition into the community and go on to lead productive lives. Read about it here
This month, Seattle AFDs Vicki Lai, Greg Geist, Nancy Tenney and Mo Hamoudi along with Seattle FPD legal interns Shiyun Chen and Mallorie Urban attended a summer celebration and networking event sponsored by UW Law’s PILA and the Gates Public Service Law Program at Optimism Brewing. PILA, the Public Interest Law Association is a student-run organization dedicated to promoting legal work
that serves the public and the Gates Public Service Law Program enables and empowers JD students to pursue a career in public service law by providing students with a full-ride scholarship to UW Law. In exchange, Gates scholars commit to work in public service for five years following graduation. Willa Osborn, one of the five 2018-19 Gates Scholars, is interning with our office this summer and Shiyun Chen, another of our UW Law interns is on the PILA board. The Federal Defender’s Office welcomes these opportunities to connect with students and to support those potentially interested in public defense careers, including our own fabulous interns, and we look forward to attending more community networking events during the upcoming school year.
Pierce County LFO Reconsideration Day!
If you have criminal fines in the following courts: Pierce County Superior, Pierce County District and/or Tacoma Municipal and you have had difficulty paying them, please register ASAP to attend the Legal Financial Obligation (LFO) Reconsideration Day on Wednesday, September 25, 2019. They are only taking the first 1,000 individuals who register, so act quickly! They will not help walk-ins. Register here