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The Wisconsin State Public Defender's Office (SPD)

The SPD has been providing "justice for all" since 1977, and is an independent, executive-branch state agency that ensures Wisconsin meets its constitutional requirement of providing legal representation to the indigent.

The SPD is proud of its mission and its vision.  Mission statement:  To promote justice throughout Wisconsin by providing high-quality legal services, protecting individual rights, and advocating as a criminal justice partner for effective defender services and a fair and rational criminal justice system.  Vision statement:  Working together, the Wisconsin State Public Defender Office will lead the way in protecting justice for all.

The agency provides legal representation to the indigent throughout the state in all of Wisconsin's 72 counties.  Organizationally, the SPD has 36 local trial offices, 2 appellate offices and a central administrative office.  The agency utilizes staff attorneys as well as contract private attorneys (to handle conflict and overflow cases).

The SPD's website provides resources to clients and potential clients, private attorneys who are certified to take SPD case appointments, individuals involved in the criminal justice system, and the public interested in the state agency that delivers on Wisconsin's constitutional requirement regarding indigent defense.

SPD Main Telephone number: 608-266-0087

Link to SPD Telephone Directory

 

Transcript Policy

The SPD, not the counties, pays for transcripts that are ordered by appointed counsel. The SPD will pay for the original and one copy of transcripts that are prepared in response to an authorized request by a SPD appointed attorney. The Wisconsin State Public Defender reserves the right not to pay transcript expenses which have not received the required prior approval. If prior approval is required, but is not obtained, the obligation to pay the transcript expense falls upon the attorney who requested the service.  The following are the policies and procedures for ordering transcripts and payment and payment of transcript costs.

Trial Level Appointments
  1. Attorneys are to use their best judgment when deciding what transcripts they need. No attorney should have a blanket policy of ordering transcripts.
  2. Transcripts require prior approval. Due to a substantially higher cost, they should be requested only in the rarest of circumstances.
  3. Transcripts obtained during trial level representation belong to the client, but they are to be retained by counsel until the conclusion of representation. If a Notice of Intent to Pursue Post-Conviction relief is filed, the transcripts must be forwarded to SPD appellate intake along with the date stamped copy of the Notice of Intent and Appellate Questionnaire.
  4. Do not order transcripts for post-conviction review.
  5. If a need arises for you to view transcripts during the appeal, appellate counsel will arrange to make them available to you.
  6. Bills for transcripts requested are sent directly to the local SPD office.

Appellate Level Appointments

  1. The transcripts needed for post-conviction review will be ordered by SPD staff.
  2. If there are transcripts of trial proceedings missing from the transcripts provided by the SPD or if you need a transcript of a post-conviction hearing, please order them using the procedure described below.
  3. When you request copies of the court record under s. 967.06, Stats., the Clerk of Court will bill the SPD directly.
  4. Transcripts obtained during appellate level representation belong to the client, but they are to be retained by counsel until the conclusion of representation.
  5. Bills for transcripts requested are sent directly to the SPD.

Procedure for requesting transcripts

  1. When you order transcripts, the SPD will pay for the client copy and the original only. The original is filed in the court file. Do not order more than one client copy
  2. You must use the SPD Request for Transcripts form. The form must be delivered to the court reporter who was present at the hearing.
  3. When you receive the transcript, please notify the SPD office that appointed you for the case. Please provide the client name and number of transcript pages received.
  4. The local SPD office will call you if they have received a bill for a transcript you requested and you have not notified the office of its receipt.

Probation Parole Revocation Hearings

  1. Attorneys may request copies of tapes of revocation hearings from the Div. of Hearings and Appeals. If there is particular testimony or portions of the hearing that you need, please limit the request to that portion.
  2. Prior approval is required for a transcript of revocation hearings. The Div. of Hearings and Appeals will prepare the transcript. If there is particular testimony or portions of the hearing that you need, please limit the request to that portion. Use the SPD expense request form to request the required prior approval. 
    Expense request form
  3. Bills for copies of tapes of revocation hearings or a transcription of the tapes prepared by the Div. of Hearings and Appeals are submitted by the Div. of Hearings and appeals to the SPD administrative office in Madison.
  4. Prior approval is required for preparation of revocation transcripts by an outside court reporting service. Such approval will be granted only in the rarest circumstances. Appointed attorneys must use court reporters listed on the state Department of Administration court reporter contract list. Court reporter list A request to hire a court reporter should be sent to the Assigned Counsel Division, 315 N. Henry St. 2nd Floor, Madison, WI, 53703. Use the SPD expense request form for such a request. Expense request form
  5. The SPD will not approve a request for a court reporter to be present at a revocation hearing.

Depositions

  1. Appointed attorneys must use court reporters listed on the state Department of Administration court reporter contract list. 
  2. Hiring a court reporter for a deposition must be pre-approved. A request to hire a court reporter should be sent to the Assigned Counsel Division though the attorney online billing account.  The court reporter must submit the bill for their appearance fees as well as the cost of the deposition to the local SPD office that appointed the attorney.
 

Medical Record Pay rate per Statute 146.83 (3f) (b)

(Current as of July 1, 2012)
 
1. For paper copies: $1.02 per page for the first 25 pages 
                                $0.76 cents per page for pages 26 to 50 
                                $0.51 cents per page for pages 51 to 100 
                                $0.30 cents per page for pages 101 and above.
 
2. For microfiche or microfilm copies, $1.52 per page.
3. For a print of an X-ray, $10.15 per image.
4. If the requester is not the patient or a person authorized by the patient, for certification of copies, a single $8.00 charge.
5. If the requester is not the patient or a person authorized by the patient, a single retrieval fee of $20.30 for all copies requested.
6. Actual shipping costs and any applicable taxes.
 
 
Why do the rates change?
 
On each July 1, beginning on July 1, 2012, the department shall adjust the dollar amounts specified under par. (b) by the percentage difference between the consumer price index for the 12-month period ending on December 31 of the preceding year and the consumer price index for the 12-month period ending on December 31 of the year before the preceding year. The department shall notify the legislative reference bureau of the adjusted amounts and the legislative reference bureau shall publish the adjusted amounts in the Wisconsin Administrative Register.

State Public Defender Private Bar Online Billing Program

Need to Sign Up?

  • You must have a valid email address and reliable internet service.
  • To sign up to use the online system This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Already Signed Up? Access Is:

 

      https://pb.opd.wi.gov/pbaccess/login.aspx

Help Using the Private Bar Online Billing Program
Once you have signed up you will have these instructional tools available to you:

 

  • Demonstration Site - We have set up a demonstration site to give you a chance to explore the billing program before you actually use it.
  • Demonstration Site Instructions - Print these instructions to guide you through the demonstration site.
  • Private Bar Online Access Instructions - These are complete instructions for using the online billing system. Print this document to use as a more detailed explanation of the system. This document lists step by step instructions.

Assigned Counsel Division (ACD) Certification

Attorneys must be certified by the Wisconsin State Public Defender (SPD) before they can receive case appointments. Pursuant to Wisconsin Administrative Code PD 1, there are several levels of trial and appellate certification. Certification levels are based on the case type and/or the need for specialized training. Attorneys who have not been previously certified will be provisionally certified for one year.

Attorneys may be certified only in those counties in which they reside or maintain their principal office per PD 1.035(3)(a).  However, in counties where there is a shortage of attorneys, attorneys residing or maintaining their principal office in an adjacent county may also be certified in the shortage county per PD 1.035(3)(b).  An attorney who is certified in two or more counties under this section "travels outside the county" for purposes of reimbursement when traveling in a county outside the attorney's principal place of business.  

Attorneys are expected to represent clients ethically and competently. Although an attorney may meet the criteria for a case type certification, he or she may not be competent to represent every client whose case falls within that case type. Attorneys should not accept cases unless they are confident they have the experience and ability to provide appropriate representation in the case. All attorneys receiving case appointments are expected to meet minimum performance standards.

Minimum Attorney Performance Standards

Appellate Performance Standards

Core Principles of Juvenile Defense Practice

 

Certification Applications:

General Certification Application

Certification Application- Misdemeanors

Certification Application – Felonies, juvenile, mental health and revocation cases

Litigation Experience & Training Form

Certification Application – Class A felonies

Certification Application – Appellate cases

Appellate Litigation/Training Form


For more information, contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

 

What is my scope of appointment?

When should I close my case?

How do I bill and get paid?

Attorneys generally submit their bills at the conclusion of the representation. All bills are submitted using our online billing system. When you become certified, the Assigned Counsel Division will send you a username and password for your online billing site. Attorneys should review the billing rules and policies before undertaking representation.


What training is available?

The SPD Training Division  sponsors various criminal law related seminars throughout the year including an annual conference in Milwaukee each fall. They also offer OnDemand  training.  SPD training is offered at a very low cost to attorneys taking SPD appointments.

What if I withdraw?
An appointed attorney shall notify the local SPD office within 24 hours of being allowed by the court to withdraw from a case.