Alternate Public Defender

Mission Statement:

To protect the constitutional rights of the indigent by providing them a voice in their defense in Washoe County Courtrooms. To be an advocate for the rights of those accused by the government requires courage, character and compassion.


To that end, the vision of this office is as follows:      

The Alternate Public Defender’s Office will strive, as a team
To vigorously protect and defend the rights of our clients
To challenge those who fail to see our clients as human beings
To be a voice for those who cannot speak

About Us


The Alternate Public Defender's office was created in March of 2007.  Alternate Public Defenders are licensed attorneys whose services are used when conflicts of interest arise at the Washoe County Public Defender`s Office. This occurs when the Public Defender’s Office has previously represented a witness, victim, or co-defendant in a new case.

This office handles adult criminal cases ranging from misdemeanor domestic batteries up to and including murder cases where the prosecutor is seeking the death penalty.  Any person facing criminal charges or termination of his or her parental rights and cannot afford an attorney is potentially entitled to the services of the Washoe County Alternate Public Defender's office. The attorneys in the office also handle cases involving juveniles who are involved in the juvenile justice system.  All of the Specialty Courts in Washoe County both at District Court and Justice Court levels are covered by APD lawyers.

There are twenty-five employees in the office, including Kate Hickman, who heads the office. Staff consists of fifteen lawyers, two investigators, five legal assistants andt three office support specialists. There are three bi-lingual staff members to handle inquiries from those who speak Spanish: Judith Maldonado (775) 328-3961; Alma Bermejo (775) 328-3960; and Patricia Tabet (775) 328-3970.  For languages other than Spanish, please have someone call in English to make arrangements or we will have the attorneys do so once the need is determined.  The APD has a contract with Language Link telephonic interpreting services.  

Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »
Call 311 to find resources, ask questions, and utilize Washoe County services. Learn More »