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Profile: traci.smith

Traci Smith is the Chief Public Defender for the Minnehaha County Public Defender's Office. She started her career as a deputy public defender in 1999. She became the Chief Deputy in 2003, and the Chief in 2005. With over fifteen years of trial experience and a staff of thirty two employees, her office is providing indigent defense in the largest county in the state in terms of population. She is a 2011 recipient of the Attorney of the Year award through Women in Law, and a published writer for the South Dakota Law Review, in The Outlier Case: Proportionality Review in State v. Rhines, 42 SDLR 192 (1997). She has been recognized for her volunteer contributions by the ABA Criminal Justice Section for the Juvenile Justice Collateral Consequences Project in 2012, and the 2012 publication of the Collateral Consequences of Criminal Prosecutions in South Dakota: A Guide for Criminal Defense Practitioners. Traci has been a speaker and presenter for numerous organizations, including SD Peace and Justice, the SD State Bar, and SD Trial Lawyers Association. She served as the Second Circuit Bar President from 2012-2013 and Secretary for the South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers from 2009-2012. She is a graduate of the University of SD School of Law and SD State University, and alumna of Virginia Intermont College. When Traci isn’t tethered to her cell phone, she enjoys spending time with her children at their sporting events and traveling to competitive softball tournaments. She currently resides in Sioux Falls South Dakota with her husband and their two children.

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NAPD News


November 1, 2017: NAPD closes registration and has sold out its 2017 Workloads Conference, to be held at SLU Law School (St. Louis, MO) on November 17-18, 2017. This Institute will be recorded and available to members after the event. Click HERE for a brochure with details and faculty!
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April 16, 2017: 60 Minutes' Anderson Cooper features the Orleans Public Defenders and NAPD General Counsel in a substantive segment about public defenders' excessive workloads, pervasive injustice, and the obligation of defenders to resist the "conveyer belt" of mass-incarceration. You can watch the compelling segment HERE 

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On March 18, 2017 - the 54th anniversary of the Gideon v. Wainright decision - NAPD published its Foundational Principles, which are recommended to NAPD members and other persons and organizations interested in advancing the cause of equal justice for accused persons.