Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

About Us

Who We Are

The Oregon Public Defense Commission is an independent body charged with establishing and maintaining a public defense system that ensures the provision of public defense services consistent with the Oregon Constitution, the United States Constitution and Oregon and national standards of justice. The Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court appoints the thirteen Commission members with input from all three branches of government.

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 Commission appoints the Executive Director for the OPDC. The Office is comprised of the Appellate Division (including the Juvenile Appellate Section), and Business Services.  Business Services includes Contract & Financial Services, Human Resources, Operations, Research & Information Technology, and the General Counsel's Office.

The Business Services division 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 the Appellate Division.

The Appellate Division provides constitutionally mandated representation in the appellate courts to financially eligible persons in criminal cases, to parents in juvenile dependency cases, and to inmates appealing administrative decisions from the Board of Parole and Post-Prison Supervision.


The Oregon Public Defense Commission's mission is to ensure constitutionally competent and effective legal representation for persons eligible for a public defender.


The Oregon Public Defense Commission (OPDC) will maintain a sustainable statewide public defense system that provides quality representation to eligible clients in trial and appellate court proceedings. To that end, the OPDC is a

  • guardian of the legal rights and interests of public defense clients and the public's interest in equal justice and due process of law.
  • champion for the effective delivery of public defense services and administration of justice, and for funding that ensure the continuing availability of competent and dedicated public defense counsel.
  • responsive and cooperative policy maker in the state's justice system.
  • responsible steward of taxpayer dollars devoted to public defense.

Affirmative Action Plan

It is the policy of the Oregon Public Defense Commission that no person shall be discriminated against by reason of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age (if the individual is 18 years of age or older), or disability not directly and substantively related to effective performance. It is also the policy of OPDC to establish and maintain a program of affirmative action to address the effects of discrimination intended and unintended, which is indicated by analysis of present employment patterns, practices and policies.

OPDC’s Non-Discrimination and Affirmative Action Plan shall be followed by all OPDC staff. All personnel actions of OPDC shall be administered according to this policy. OPDC’s supervisory and management staff shall ensure that the intent as well as the stated requirements of the Plan are implemented. In addition, it is the duty of every employee of OPDC to create a job environment that is conducive to non-discrimination and free of any form of discrimination or discriminatory harassment.

This Non-Discrimination and Affirmative Action Plan will be posted in plain sight at all times for employees’ use and referral. Any agency or member of the public requesting a copy of the OPDC Affirmative Action Plan shall be provided one at no cost.

View the entire Non-discrimination
and Affirmative Action Plan

Contact Information

Appellate Division
1175 Court Street NE
Salem, OR 97301

Main Phone: 503.378.3349

Business Services
198 Commercial Street SE Suite #205
Salem, OR 97301
Billing Inquiries: 503.378.2478

Sign up to our mailing list