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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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NAPD News

December 15, 2018: Registration is now open for NAPD's Spring Events:
  • Executive Leadership Insitute (Frankfort, KY)
  • Train the Trainer (Frankfort, KY)
  • "We the Defenders" Investigators Conference (Biloxi, MS)
  • "We the Defenders" Social Workers/Sentencing AdvocatesConference (Biloxi, MS)
  • Team Mitigation Institute (Atlanta, GA)
Click on Events Tab for more info and to register.
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October 30, 2018: NAPD releases a video about its achievements over the 5 years since forming in November in 2013. This films was coordinated by NAPD Steering Committee Member and San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi and debuted at the Racial Justice Training and 5 Year Celebration in Baltimore, Maryland. You can watch the video HERE

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July 1, 2018: General Registration opens for the “WE THE DEFENDERS” TRAINING CONFERENCE,  November 26-29, 2018, Indianapolis, IN

You can watch a video about the event HERE 

Due to overwhelming demand, NAPD will again offer this comprehensive Investigator and Social Worker/Sentencing Advocate training experience! The program will include one track for Investigators and a separate track for Social Worker/Sentencing Advocates.  Hear from nationally recognized experts who will share their knowledge on a wide range of topics relevant to the work you do each and every day.  Network with other criminal defense practitioners from around the country and find your tribe. 
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January 23, 2018: In response to US Attorney General Jeff Session's reversal of prior policy on the imposition of fines and fees for criminal defendants, NAPD submitted the following letter on behalf of the public defender community. You can read the letter HERE
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