|For Immediate Release
January 20th, 2004
(714) 347-8405 (O)
THE VERDICT IS IN – VOLUNTEER PROSECUTORS FOR OCDA SAVES TAX MONEY AND IMPROVES PUBLIC SAFETY
SANTA ANA – Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas will be swearing in eleven volunteer attorneys for the second cycle of the Trial Attorney Partnership (TAP) program. TAP provides well qualified, experienced private attorneys to prosecute crimes on a volunteer basis at no additional cost to the taxpayer. TAP attorneys will be assigned to different courts where they will perform all misdemeanor and juvenile deputy duties, including case filing, pretrial conferences, motions, hearings and trials.
OCDA recruited attorneys from local, prestigious, private law firms. The TAP attorneys will receive one-week of intensive training on prosecutorial skills and will volunteer full time for at least eight weeks. Since June 2003, seven TAP prosecutors have worked over 2,500 hours at a savings of $140,000 in hours of service to the County. Collectively, the first group of TAP prosecutors completed 19 jury trials, 46 preliminary hearings, eight court trials and nine motions on behalf of the People.
“The verdict is in. Having these top-notch attorneys volunteer thousands of hours increases my Office’s ability to handle our large case loads and makes Orange County safer,” stated Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “This public-private collaboration and partnership is more important now than ever during these times of budgetary concerns.”
These TAP prosecutors are from some of the County’s most prestigious law firms including: Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Morrison & Forester, Kutak & Rock, Newmeyer & Dillion, O’Melvney & Myers, Robinson, Calcagnie & Robinson, and Walsworth, Franklin, Bevins & McCall. TAP was established in partnership with the Orange County Bar Association.
This has also been a positive experience for the TAP prosecutors. “You simply cannot put a price on jury experience. I will be a better and more confident lawyer for having done this. Also, it is personally fulfilling to be a part of the criminal justice system,” stated past Tap participant Matthew Lilly of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.