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APDA 2021 Winter Conference

Registration will be opening shortly for the APDA 2021 Winter Conference. As we approach the second anniversary of the pandemic, APDA is looking to help find and define the new normal for CLE and the indigent defense community by cracking open the door to in-person learning. The Winter Conference will be much smaller in size than previous years both as to registration and course offerings. As part of our effort to ensure the safest possible environment, we will be requiring proof of vaccination at the time of sign-in at the conference. We are also requiring the wearing of a mask at all times (except when eating/drinking). We are reducing our registration cap from 1,700 to 450. To facilitate social distancing, we are only using the larger rooms at the Tempe Mission Palms, which results in there being 4 tracks, instead of the usual 24. There will be two Criminal Law Tracks, a Support Staff Track, and a DUI Track. The program will not be recorded and will not be offered virtually.

In consideration of this limitation on registration, as well as the proof of vaccination requirement, APDA is partnering with the Maricopa County Public Defender Office and the National Association of Public Defenders (NAPD) to offer over 100 hours of CLE, either free or at reduced fees, over the next seven months to help everyone meet their State Bar MCLE requirement in the event they are unable to attend this program. We are also in the preliminary stages of planning a week-long, in-person Summer APDA Conference in June of 2022.

General registration will open Friday, November 19 and will close at 5:00 PM on Wednesday, November 24. The flat rate registration fees are $250 Public Defenders and all non-attorneys, $325 Contract Attorneys, and $425 for Private Attorneys. The Annual Awards Luncheon on Thursday (Dec 16) is included in the registration fee and will be held on the second-floor rooftop patio. There are no single day registration options. Registration will be first come, first served, and will be closed once we reach capacity. No walk-in registrations will be available. Proof of vaccination is required.

We are excited about offering an in-person APDA, albeit smaller in scale than we have come to know and love over the years. We are working to ensure that we provide everyone in the criminal defense community with quality education and training, and we appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding as we venture into the new normal of CLE programs. Through all the virtual and in-person options being presented, we are confident that we can start the process of reconnecting with our friends and colleagues from across the state. We are all anxious to once again be the cohesive unit that makes our criminal defense community special. Let’s all be safe as we look forward to a return to the days of shaking hands, hugs, and in-person camaraderie.


The Arizona Public Defender Association is a non-profit corporation comprised of all of the county, city, federal and tribal indigent representation offices and programs in the state.


To improve the quality of legal representation of poor people who face the loss of their liberty, and thereby to enhance the administration of justice.

To safeguard the constitutional rights of indigent individuals, thereby protecting the rights of all members of the community.

To assist our clients and the community by seeking dispositions that are effective in addressing the underlying problems that contribute to criminal behavior, thereby reducing recidivism and enhancing public safety.

To support the attorneys and staff members of Arizona’s public defense offices and programs by ensuring that their career choice of public service is a satisfying and rewarding one.




… if posterity judges a free society by how it treats its individual members, it should be of considerable consolation to us all that our system does not require an accused to stand alone.
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