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News Posted on November 20, 2007

Sands '84 Reappointed Federal Public Defender for Arizona

Attorney Jon M. Sands '84 of Phoenix has been reappointed to a second four-year term as United States Federal Public Defender for the District of Arizona. The reappointment, announced today by Chief Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, is effective September 1, 2008.

Sands oversees attorneys and support staff working in offices in Flagstaff, Phoenix, Tucson, and Yuma. The office reported 8,116 new criminal defense cases in fiscal year 2006. In addition to criminal defense and appeals, public defenders are assigned to court-directed prisoner and witness representations, bail/pre-sentencing, and probation and parole revocation hearings.

Sands has worked in the Federal Public Defender's Office for the District of Arizona since 1987. He was promoted in 1994 to supervisory attorney for the Phoenix Office, where he was responsible for the case supervision, office management, budget and paneling of CJA cases for 20 staff lawyers and 40 support positions. He was appointed the federal public defender in 2004.

Sands earned an undergraduate degree in history from Yale University, graduating magna cum laude in 1978, and received his J.D. from UC Davis School of Law, graduating with honors in 1984. While in law school, he earned two scholarship awards, served as editor-in-chief of UC Davis Law Review, and was a member of the Order of the Coif. He was law clerk to then-Circuit Judge Schroeder from 1984 to 1985.

The Office of the Federal Public Defender was created by Congress to fulfill the constitutional requirement that indigents charged with crimes in the federal justice system be provided with professional legal representation at no cost. Congress funds the Offices of the Federal Public Defender through the Defender Services Division of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

By statute, judges of the courts of appeal select and appoint the federal public defender for a renewable term of four years. The court makes its initial appointment after a nationwide recruitment and the use of a local screening committee pursuant to Equal Employment Opportunity guidelines. A federal public defender may be reappointed if the court concludes that he or she is performing in a highly satisfactory manner based upon a broad survey and performance evaluation process.

Press Release/November 20, 2007