Profile: daniel.goyette

Daniel T. Goyette is the Chief Public Defender for Jefferson County (KY) and has served as Executive Director of the Louisville-Jefferson County Public Defender Corporation since 1982. Dan is a past president of both the Louisville Bar Association and the Louisville Bar Foundation. He is a recipient of the American Bar Association's Dorsey Award, and currently serves as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID). Additionally, he is a former member of the ABA House of Delegates and the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. Since 1979, he has been a member of the adjunct faculty at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, receiving the Dean's Service Award in 2003. He has lectured on a variety of legal issues and topics both locally and nationally, and the Kentucky Bar Association presented the 2003 Justice Thomas B. Spain Award to him for outstanding service in continuing legal education. In 2007, he was selected as the recipient of the state's Outstanding Lawyer Award by the Kentucky Bar Association. He is a charter member of the Louis D. Brandeis American Inn of Court and Chair of its Membership Committee. He is also a charter Board member and past President of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He currently serves on the Kentucky Supreme Court Criminal Rules Committee and the Chief Justice's Commission on Racial Fairness in the Courts. The Department of Public Advocacy presented the Gideon Award to him in 1994 for his extraordinary commitment to equal justice and his courage in advancing the right to counsel for the poor in Kentucky. Among other organizations, he has chaired Citizens for Better Judges and the Center for Educational Leadership, and he currently serves as Vice-Chair of the board of directors of Louisville Public Radio. He was recently honored as one of the recipients of the Hall of Fame William H. Sheppard -Excellence in Community Leadership Award. Dan is a graduate of Marquette University, the Rome Center of Liberal Arts, and the University of Oklahoma College of Law.




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


On March 2, 2017, NAPD released its Statement on Reducing Demand For Public Defense: Alternatives to Traditional Prosecution Can Reduce Defender Workload, Save Money, and Reduce RecidivismThere are more than 2 million people in jail and prison in the United States. This is a four-fold increase since 1980. This increase and the racial disproportionality among incarcerated people has led to alliances across the political spectrum to address the impact on people and on budgets.  As the new Coalition for Public Safety has put it, “Our country has an ‘overcriminalization’ problem and an ‘overincarceration’ problem — and it’s getting worse." NAPD authored this statement because there is a great opportunity to make transformative changes that can improve justice and save money.  A variety of organizations representing a wide spectrum of political views have joined together to end the systematic problem of overcriminalization and narrow the net of incarceration by reforming criminal codes.