Official Government Website

Indigent Defense Providers and Defending Attorneys

The PDC has been given the authority to create Indigent Defense Standards with which the defending attorneys must comply. These standards will be created by rule through the negotiated rulemaking process. For more information, navigate to the following pages:

Standards and Guidelines

Negotiated Rulemaking

Proposed and Pending Rules


This document can assist you to understand what standards are current and require compliance. This document is only a guide. The PDC recommends reviewing the IDAPA rules in full to ensure compliance.

Pursuant to Idaho Code 19-850, the State Public Defense Commission has been charged with establishing training and continuing legal education requirements with regard to the following types of cases: criminal, juvenile, abuse and neglect, post-conviction, civil commitment, capital, and civil contempt. As part of that mission, the Commission offers Defending Attorneys training and continuing legal education opportunities to those who qualify. State statute defines a "defending attorney" as "any attorney employed by the office of public defender, contracted by the county or otherwise assigned to represent adults or juveniles at public expense." (I.C. 19-851(1).) The State Public Defense Commission makes an attempt to maintain a current roster of all institutional, contract and conflict public defenders throughout the state. If you are not on our mailing list and currently work for a county public defender agency, work under a contract with a County Board of Commissioners, or frequently take indigent appointments, please contact us directly.

IDAPA 61.01.01 - Training Rule

Pursuant to Idaho Code 19-850(2)(d), the PDC may provide training and continuing legal education for indigent defense services. The legislature has appropriated training funds to the PDC. These rules create the procedures by which the PDC will use these funds and provide training to defending attorneys and their staff. Click here for training rules that went into effect on July 1, 2016.

IDAPA 61.01.07 - Standards for Defending Attorneys

Idaho's Defending Attorneys are required to maintain their Idaho State Bar license and complete Continuing Legal Education requirements. For the current rules, navigate to Rules (Standards) page. In summary, defending attorneys shall complete 7 hours of CLE's annually that are relevant to the representation of indigent defendants or other individuals who are entitled to be represented by an attorney at public expense. Additionally, for those attorneys who handle cases requiring specialized knowledge, 3 CLE's within 2 years of handling such cases is required that are pertinent to the specialized area. The PDC is currently proposing training and education requirements for those attorneys who handle capital cases. To review the proposed rule, navigate to the Proposed and Pending Rules page.

Presented by the National Association for Public Defense, in partnership with the Idaho Public Defense Commission. - August 19 - 21, 2019 - Registration and Lodging Limited!

The Public Defense Commission (PDC) and the National Association for Public Defense (NAPD) would like to invite you and your defense team (see below) to bring a current case for a non-capital client and participate in the Team Mitigation Institute on August 19-21, 2019 in Boise, Idaho. Registration and Lodging are limited, so please act quickly if you wish to secure a spot! Contact to reserve your spot!

Concordia University School of Law
501 W Front St
Boise, ID  United States  83702

Conference Information

"This was one of the most informative conferences that I have ever attended. I found every presentation to be worthwhile and the small team work was an invaluable experience. Our entire team had a positive experience, largely due to the organization of the conference, the content covered, and our small group trainer.
- Elizabeth J. Loebman describing the Atlanta TMI."

Mitigation created by a team of professionals in non capital case is increasingly becoming the standard of practice.   This  bring-your-own-case institute is designed for defense teams to work on the mitigation for  a non-capital client.    The institute is a mix of presentations followed up by small group work facilitated experienced faculty.   Participants are encouraged to come with their defense team (attorneys, investigators, paralegals, social workers, mitigation specialists and other sentencing advocates).  Sole team members are welcome, if you are unable to bring others on your client's case.

Topics featured at the institute include

  • Creating the Mitigation Story
  • Organizing the defense team
  • Mental Illness and Chemical Dependency
  • Intersectionality and the Use of Self
  • Mapping techniques to turn data into advocacy

Small groups will be assigned so that you will work with teams with similar cases.   Some may have clients with a realistic chance or diversion, others may be working toward lowering the terms of years.

Groups will also be specific to the characteristics of the clients (i.e juvenile or mental illness).


Up to Aug 5
Members - $440
Non Members - $490

After  Aug 5
Members - $490
Non Members - $540 

Volume discount of $25 for each registrant after the first 5 in a group. 

We have a limited room block set up with the Hyatt Place Boise/Downtown Hotel.  Information on booking a room will be provided in the confirmation email after registration.   The room rate is $139 per night.  

Current agenda (subject to change) 

August 19, 2019
12:00 -1:15
An overview: Mitigation and integration throughout the case from start of case  - Lori James Townes

  • Overview of the goals of the institute
  • Getting to know out clients beyond the charges
  • Frontloading Mitigation with the judge, prosecutor and jury (even if going for a not guilty verdict)
  • Demo of Mitigation Argument

Small group

  • Introductions of participants
  • Introduce your client

2:30 -3:15
Team Mitigation: Creating and working with an Attorney-Led Defense Team of Investigator and Mental Health-Mitigation Specialist – Lorinda Youngcourt

  • The advantages of a multidisciplinary team that is led by the attorney and has an investigator and mitigation specialist with a mental health background
  • Defining roles based on strengths of team members
  • Organizing the tasks and documents
  • Checklist

3:30 – 4:30
Small group

  • Creating your Mitigation Team
  • Initial communication to Team
  • communicating responsibilities
  • Maintaining the file
  • Checklists

August 20, 2019
The Why:  Creating the Story of Mitigation - Cyndy Short

  • Answering the why questions to create build compassion
  • Striking the balance between connecting the audience with the client’s strengths and the challenges faced by our client.
  • Putting the world right again through restoration, punishment and deterrence
  • Paint the picture of a future for the client after the sentence is complete

9:30 – 11:30
Small Groups

  • WhyStorming – identifying the questions that must be answered
  • Finding those answers through investigation
  • Draft the theory of mitigation

Mental illness, chemical dependency and our clients – Jeff Chapdeliaine

  • Weaving these facts into the story of our client so they are perceived as mitigating rather than aggravating.

Mapping to Tell the Story – Amy Nyugen

  • Creative uses of maps and other images to turn data into a story

3:30 – 4:30
Small group
Defense Team develops a plan, responsibilities assigned, work product reviewed and evaluated

Aug 21, 2019
Intersectionality and the Use of Self – Cessie Alfonso
A discussion of intersectionality, what it is, and how its’ understanding can create a more dynamic relationship between yourself and your client. Learning what makes the Self and how it can be used to increase connection with all individuals you work with. The Self is created as a result of environment and relationships. When you bring the Self to the table through skills and techniques, you show your counterpart that you will advocate with empathy and understanding.

Small Groups


Small Groups

  • Present the current story of mitigation to the group
  • Action Planning

Noon – 1 pm
Closing   -  Cynthia Roseberry


Scholarship Application: The rules allow the PDC to approve the attendance of attorneys or other staff to attend conferences that are not sponsored by the PDC. Please read the rules, then download the appropriate application for a scholarship.

Application for Scholarship Funding - use this form to apply for non-PDC sponsored training programs

Application for Scholarship PDC Program - use this form if you are non-attorney staff and would like to attend a PDC sponsored training program

Submit the application via email or fax to the PDC.


To receive CLE credit for watching these recordings, defending attorneys must submit an MCLE accreditation application through the Idaho State Bar.

The Public Defense Commission plans on offering MCLE credit through archived webinars hosted by the National Association for Public Defense (NAPD) at their MyGideon site. Those webinars are only available to dues-paying members. If you are interested in joining NAPD, the Public Defense Commission conducts a membership drive twice each year and will cover your dues. Please contact us for more information regarding NAPD membership.

For access to the archived webinars, visit My Gideon.

Attorneys can download a simple “blackletter” version of relevant state statutes or applicable court rules by clicking on the links below. (The .pdf versions are bookmarked for ease of use.)


(1) Idaho Criminal Rules (Supreme Court)(2015)

Word version         .pdf version

(2) Idaho Misdemeanor Criminal Rules (Supreme Court)(2015)

Word version         .pdf version

(3) Idaho Rules of Criminal Procedure (Title 19)(2015)*

Word version         .pdf version


(1) Idaho Rules of Evidence (Supreme Court)(2015)

Word version         .pdf version

(2) Idaho Rules of Evidence (Title 9)(2015)

Word version         .pdf version


(1) Idaho Criminal Code (Title 18, 20, & 37)(2015)

Word version         .pdf version

* Note that where conflicts exist in matters of procedure between a statutory provision and the Idaho Criminal Rules adopted by the Supreme Court, the court rules prevail. See State v. Currington, 108 Idaho 539, 541 (1985).

Attorneys handling capital cases at public expense must meet the qualifications in Standards for Defending Attorneys edition 2017.

Pursuant to Idaho Code 19-850, the PDC has the responsibility of determining the qualifications of defending attorneys assigned to capital cases. Those attorneys on the Idaho Supreme Court Idaho Capital Defense Roster as of May 1, 2018 are eligible for inclusion on the PDC Capital Counsel Roster at the same level at which they are currently listed. Attorneys must demonstrate they are actively handling criminal defense cases of some complexity and show proof of attendance at the required level of capital training as approved by the PDC within the last two (2) years for the level of service they will be providing. Such application must be made on or before November 1, 2018. Upon the expiration of the term of eligibility, grandfathered attorneys must show compliance with the requirements of these standards, Indigent Defense Standards, and all applicable professional and ethical responsibility standards. A defending attorney who fails to meet these standards at that time, will be removed from the Capital Counsel Roster.

For current members of the ISC Capital Defense Roster - To apply for inclusion on the PDC Roster, provide the required information listed above in an e-mail to Kelly Jennings.

For attorneys who are not on the ISC Capital Defense Roster - To apply for inclusion on the PDC Roster, complete the Capital Defense Roster Application and send to the PDC, ATTN: Kelly Jennings.


Idaho Code 19-864 requires all defending attorneys to submit an annual report by November 1 of each year to the board of county commissioners, the corresponding administrative district judge and the PDC. The PDC has created and approved the following form for annual reporting for FY2018:

FY2019 Annual Reporting Form - Contract Defending Attorneys

FY2019 Annual Reporting Form - Institutional Offices

FY2019 Annual Reporting Form - Initial Appearance Attorneys Only

Based on IDAPA 61.01.02, the PDC is required to make available the reporting form for the next fiscal year. Pursuant to this rule, defending attorneys may find the FY2020 Defending Attorney Annual Report below. As of the FY2020 year, all attorneys will use this form to report, regardless of whether they are contract attorneys or working in an institutional office.

FY2020 Annual Report for Defending Attorneys: Annual Reporting Form for all contract and institutional attorneys.

FY2020 Annual Report for Defending Attorneys Instructions: Annual Reporting Instructionsfor all contract and institutional attorneys.

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