Next week is National Pubic Defense Week, highlighting the importance of legal representation for all and recognizing the 56th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision Gideon v. Wainwright (Decided March 18, 1963)… which held that the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee of counsel is a fundamental right essential to a fair trial and, as such, applies to the states through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

For the third year in a row, the Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender (PA) invites you to celebrate this anniversary by joining us over the course of the next two weeks for the following community activities:

  • Friday, March 15th
    • The Kate Taxis Defender of the Year Award to Assistant Public Defender Adrienne Kosinski.
    • This award is given yearly to someone who exemplifies what it means to be a client-centered and community oriented practitioner. Adrienne does remarkable work for our youth in the courtroom and works tirelessly on pushing for systems change outside of it.  Congratulations, Adrienne!  We cannot wait to celebrate you! 
  • Monday, March 18th
    • Court Observation Day in partnership with Gideon’s Promise, the National Association of Public Defenders, and other Participatory Defense Hubs around the country.
    • Community members in various locations around the country will be going to court and observing different proceedings and then coming back to do a live webcast to talk about what they experienced.
  • Wednesday, March 20th
    • The Herbert J. Morris Making the Difference Award to the YWCA Tri-County Area in Pottstown, PA.
    • This is the award we give to our community partners who share our vision and serve our clients.  The YWCA Tri-County Area (Pottstown, PA) has been doing incredible work around racial justice in our schools and in the community.
  • Saturday, March 23rd
    • Criminal Record Expungement Community Clinic in Pottstown, PA.
    • Pro Bono attorneys, law students, and other community volunteers will be available to assist adults with cases in Montgomery County with assessing their eligibility for expungement, and with drafting pro se petitions.
    • A panel discussion on Fines & Costs will include Andrew Christy of the ACLU of Pennsylvania.
    • Funding is provided, in part, by a mini-grant from the Campus Compact of New York & Pennsylvania.
  • Tuesday, March 26th