State of Oregon Office of Public Defense Services

About Us

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 the OPDS. 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 Commission ensures that eligible individuals have timely access to legal services, consistent with Oregon and national standards of justice.


The Public Defense Services Commission (PDSC) 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 PDSC 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.