With thanks to CPDA for the use of their information & material…

It is with a heavy heart that we are writing to let you know that Paulino Duran, former Chief Public Defender of Sacramento County,  passed away last week from complications of Covid.

Paulino served approximately a quarter of a century at the helm of the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office. At the time of his retirement in 2018,  Paulino was the longest sitting Public Defender in the State of California and longest sitting department head in Sacramento County.

Paulino emigrated from Mexico to the United States as a child and became a proud United States citizen. In his teens, his father sent him to work alongside farm workers during the summer harvest where he not only learned how hard that work is, but also how important it is to obtain an education. In his youth, he was an amateur boxer, and he played football at San Francisco State.

Paulino went on to graduate from law school at the University of San Francisco. He taught law for a time at UC Hastings School of Law. He was always drawn to helping others, and he genuinely cared about the people he worked with. Paulino worked a stint as an Assistant District Attorney in his early years. But he eventually settled in at the Marin County Public Defender’s Office before coming to the Sacramento County Public Defender’s Office as the Public Defender.

Paulino served as the President of the Califoria Public Defenders Association, was a constant contributor to CPDA,  and while in Sacramento was often CPDA’s voice in the legislature on issues important to criminal justice reform. Paulino was an active and involved member of NLADA and ACCD.

Paulino lived by the words, “May you personally never need the services of the Office of the Public Defender but if you do, be assured that you will receive quality legal representation. Also, be proud of the fact that employees within this law firm are insuring that the law is upheld in fact, principle and spirit.”

 He will be sadly missed by all those he touched and helped mentor along the way.