Dane County Criminal Defense Project


                          The application process has been completed for 2019


2019 Criminal Defense Project Applications Being Accepted


Under the Criminal Defense Project, Dane County Circuit Court judges appoint counsel on a flat-rate basis for indigent criminal defendants who are not eligible for Public Defender appointment. The current Memorandum of Understanding between the court and selected lawyers expires December 31, 2018. A new MOU will be signed for the period January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019. The current basic rate of pay is $750 for Misdemeanor and Criminal Traffic cases, $1000 for Class C Felony cases and below, $1500 for Class B Felony cases, and $2500 for Class A Felony cases. Additional compensation at the rate of $70/hour is awarded for cases that go to trial.

Lawyers experienced in criminal law are invited to submit their name for consideration. Those currently participating in the CDP MOU should also apply for continued consideration in 2019.


Qualified bi-lingual counsel are encouraged to apply.


Implementation of the new State Public Defender eligibility guidelines has had the effect of reducing the volume of cases receiving CDP appointments. Case assignments will be made on a rotating basis.


If you wish to be considered, please forward a letter of interest and a completed application to:

Kerry Widish, Chief Deputy Clerk of Courts
Dane County Clerk of Courts Office
215 S Hamilton Street, Room 1000
Madison, WI  53703


You may obtain an application and other informaiton in-person from the Clerk of Courts Office or use the following links:

2019 Application Form

2019 Memorandum of Understanding

2019 Program Announcement Flyer


The deadline for applications is October 31, 2018.


2019 Criminal Defense Project Applications now being accepted