Public Defender

Beginning July 6th, 2021, our offices will be open to the public between 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.


The Public Defender's Office was created in 1982 by constitutional mandate to provide indigent legal defense for: 

  • Felony, misdemeanor and probation violation charges against adults and juveniles in Whatcom County Superior and District courts
  • Involuntary mental and alcohol commitments 

Basic Information for Clients

Apply for a Public Defender - Affidavit of Indigency
To check your Superior Court dates
To check your District Court dates
To view the most recent Superior Court calendar 

You can contact your lawyer by email

  • Please don’t use email to schedule appointments.  Instead, call 360-778-5640 to make an appointment.
  • Staff Directory" - When you find your attorney’s name, click on the link to send an email.
  • Never discuss confidential or sensitive information about your case by email

What is that court date for?

1st appearance

  • If in custody, the prosecutor has 72 hours (3 business days) to file charges.  The 72 hour rule does not apply when the person is released from jail. 
  • The Judge determines if there is probable cause (PC).
  • The Judge sets conditions of release and the client either is released on personal recognizance (PR) or required to post bail.


  • Client pleads “not guilty” and the court schedules either a status hearing, omnibus hearing and trial dates.

Status and Omnibus hearings

  • Let’s the court know what the attorney and client are planning (change of plea, trial, continuance, etc).