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Milwaukee County’s Community Conferencing Program: The Role of the Defense Lawyer

Dick, Terese
June 4, 2015

Source: (2002) The Wisconsin Defender. A Journal of Research and Education Published by the Office of the Wisconsin State Public Defender. 10(3):15-17. Downloaded 2 October 2003.

In this article, Terese Dick, a public defender in Wisconsin, discusses the role of the defense lawyer in a community conferencing program. Based on the principles of restorative justice, community conferencing attempts to assess the harm done by a criminal act and then determine how to repair the harm and hold the perpetrator accountable. To explain the role of the defense lawyer, Dick begins by identifying three stages in the conferencing process. Dick then explains that in this process the role of the defense lawyer is not so much advocate for the defense client in the traditional adversarial context, but support person. The defense lawyer is a ‘counselor at law’ representing the client’s best interests, but with the recognition that the client has already accepted responsibility for his or her actions.


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