2020 SPD Annual Criminal Defense Conference

-Speaker Biographies-

Paul Rifelj is an Attorney Manager for the Public Defender’s Juvenile/Mental Health Office in Milwaukee County.  Paul has dedicated his 18-year legal career to indigent-defense, having served in both Racine and Milwaukee.  He has extensive litigation experience in the areas of Juvenile Justice and Waiver litigation. Paul has previously lectured on suppressing juvenile confessions at the annual Illinois Public Defender Conference.  He has been a guest speaker at New York University’s symposium on algorithms, where he presented on the danger of implicit-bias within evidence-based decision-making models, and he is a member of the Cook County Trial Advocacy Faculty.  In 2015, Paul became one of the first active Public Defenders in many years to be appointed to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court bench, a trend which we are happy to see continuing with numerous Public Defender appointments in the past several years.  After losing his bid for retention in 2016, he rejoined the Public Defender’s Office as an attorney manager. Paul lives in Wauwatosa, WI with his wife, Kelly, his 11-year-old daughter, Charlotte, and his son, Cole, who just turned 9.