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

Misdemeanors Certification Application

Class B-I Felonies, Juvenile, Mental Health and Revocation Certification Application

Class A Felonies Certification Application

Trial Litigation Experience and Training Requirements Form

Appellate Certification Application

Appellate Litigation/Training Form

Click here for instructions on submitting certification forms electronically

For more information, contact the Assigned Counsel Division