The Public Defense Services Commission (PDSC) is an independent body that governs the Office of Public Defense Services (OPDS). The Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court appoints the seven Commission members. The Commission's primary charge is to establish "a public defense system that ensures the provision of public defense services in the most cost efficient manner consistent with the Oregon Constitution, the United States Constitution and Oregon and national standards of justice[.]"
The PDSC appoints the Executive Director for OPDS. The Office of Public Defense Services is comprised of the following divisions: the Appellate Division (formerly known as the State Public Defender), Contract Services, Financial Services, the General Counsel's Office, Human Resources & Operations, and Research & IT Services.
Contract Services is responsible for administering the public defense contracts that provide legal representation for financially eligible persons. These contracts provide trial-level representation and appellate representation on cases not handled by AD. Financial Services processes requests and payments for non-contract fees and expenses. Both Human Resources & Operations and Research and IT Services provide administrative and infrastructure support to the agency.
AD is the appellate arm of OPDS. The division provides constitutionally mandated representation in the appellate courts to financially eligible persons in criminal cases (misdemeanor and felony criminal offenses, including capital offenses), parents in juvenile dependency cases, and inmates appealing administrative decisions from the Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision. An important feature under the Appellate Division tab of this website is the ONLINE APPELLATE REFERRAL FORM, which should be used by the trial attorney to refer a criminal case or a juvenile dependency case to this office.