Once upon a time (August, 1985) there was a little office born from need and necessity. The office started out with two clerical staff and five attorneys. There were few computers, and lots of “yellow tablets” full of briefs and motions (yes – the clerical staff typed briefs from handwritten pages and a few from dictaphones).
As the office grew, more attorneys and staff were added to its ranks. The little office never lacked in great dedication by its constitute members; nor did it lack in clients. Some members left in anticipation of brighter futures (and some came back to the fold); some lasted all of one day or a couple months before they found this was not their “cup of tea.” And some have stayed for years (and years and years!). All of these members added to the character of the office.
Many processes have been added, deleted and changed: better and more efficient computers (and word processing pains), the development of a data base, file review had its day in the sun, a “sentencing unit” worked through hundreds of cases, contract attorneys helped ease the load, the addition of legal assistants, the break-off of two capital appeals offices, and docketing review to name a few. But one process has essentially remained the same – opening cases.
This little office has just reached a double milestone – don’t ask me for other numerical milestones since the data base does not contain all the office’s successes and failures during its existence. The Appellate Defender Office has just opened 25,000 cases and is 25 years old!
Joyce has been with the ADO since the beginning and is certainly one of the moving forces behind its success. Happy Anniversary, ADO!