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Profile: bill.ward

William M. Ward was appointed as the State Public Defender for Minnesota in July 2014. Previously, Bill served as Chief Public Defender for the Fourth District - Hennepin County, Minnesota (April 2009-June 2014) and as Chief Public Defender, Tenth Judicial District, Minnesota (January 2001- April 2009). Prior to moving to Minnesota, Bill worked in the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, Cook County, Illinois (1987 – 2001). While there, he practiced in Chicago as well as the 6th Municipal District as a Felony Trial Assistant and Trial Supervisor. Bill has taught trial advocacy at Hamline University Law School, William Mitchell College of Law and DePaul University College of Law. Bill is on faculty at the National Criminal Defense College, Illinois Extended Trial Advocacy Program, Wisconsin Trial Skills Academy and the Minnesota Public Defender Trial Advocacy Institute and has presented or coached on many topics at numerous other programs. Bill received his J.D. from DePaul University College of Law and his B.A. from the University of Illinois. Admitted to practice in Minnesota and Illinois.

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  • Location: Chief Public Defender, Minnesota Board of Public Defense (Minneapolis, MN)
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    NAPD News

    On December 28, 2016, NAPD published its Open Letter to Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro for his prosecution of Orleans Public Defender investigator Taryn Blume. A bedrock principle of our criminal justice system is that every citizen accused by the government of a crime starts with the benefit of the doubt – with a presumption that they are in fact innocent.  That right becomes meaningless if we do not uphold the equally important right of every citizen-accused defense team who fights for her cause; who digs for evidence of her innocence; who exposes the government when it hides that evidence.  The legitimacy of our criminal justice system depends upon defense lawyers and defense investigators doing their jobs, and doing them well, without fear of reprisal from a prosecutor acting more like a bully than the champion of truth and justice he is supposed to be.

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    Last Chance to Register! The NAPD Executive Leadership Institute (ELI-2017) is almost full will will be held from 3:00 pm on April 2 through 11:45 am on April 5, 2017 at the Department of Public Advocacy training facility in Frankfort, KY. You can see more information and registration details HERE