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Profile: mark.stephens

Mark Stephens was elected Public Defender for the Sixth Judicial District for an eight-year term in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1990, and was re-elected in 1998 and 2006. He practiced law in the private sector for ten years before committing to public defense services. He has dedicated his public defender career to building the Knox County Public Defender's Community Law Office (CLO) into a national model of client-centered, holistic representation. He has previously served as President of the Tennessee District Public Defender's Conference and Chair of the Tennessee Supreme Court's Indigent Defense Commission. Nationally, he serves on the Board of Gideon’s Promise (formerly the Southern Public Defender Training Center). In September 2013, he assumed the role of vice-chair of the National Association for Public Defense. He is a member of the American Bar Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. On the state level, Mr. Stephens is a member of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Tennessee Bar Association. On a local level Mr. Stephens is a member of the Knoxville Bar Association and the Knoxville Defense Lawyers Association. Since 2004, he has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he teaches Trial Advocacy.

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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.