Office of the Public Defender
Stanislaus County Public Defender
I attended UC Berkeley as an undergraduate and went to law school at the University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law. Before that I was raised in the central valley and grew up in the Clovis California area. I graduated in 1977 and began practicing that same year. I was a member of the Tulare County District Attorney's office from 1980 to the end of 1984 at which time I joined the Tulare County Public Defender's office. I was a member of that office for about twelve years. During that time I moved from deputy public defender to chief deputy public defender and then to assistant public defender. In 1990 I was the Tulare County Trial Lawyers trial lawyer of the year. This was probably because I had argued two different matters before the California Supreme Court in the year or so before I received the award. Those two cases were the Tapia v. Superior Court 54 CAL 3rd 356 (1991) and Izazaga v. Superior Court 53 CAL 3rd 282 (1991) matters which deal with reciprocal discovery in criminal cases. I have tried many different types of criminal matters during my career including several death penalty cases. I was appointed to be the Stanislaus County Public Defender by the Board of Supervisors in February of 1996. I am the third person to hold that position in the 33 year history of the office. We have 32 attorneys and a total staff of 52. I am married to Carrie Stephens. I have 6 children who range in age from 27 to 2.