top of page

Leading the way for Indigent Defense

The Panhandle Area Public Defender/Managed Assigned Counsel Offices are zealous advocates and trial lawyers serving the needs of our clients with qualified, compassionate, and holistic solutions.  Our offices strive to mirror the hard-working demographics of the Texas Panhandle area with a resolute determination, a heart for service, and a justice seeing spirit.


Program History 

In 2018, many members of the legal and local community formed a committee to improve criminal defense for the indigent defendants in Potter and Armstrong County. While the local criminal defense bar provided quality representation for their clients, the number of attorneys on the appointed list kept dwindling through retirements, people removing their name from the court-appointed wheel, and attorneys leaving the area for new opportunities. This has resulted in an overwhelming number of cases for the attorneys left taking court-appointments. In 2019, Potter County commissioned a study to review the indigent defense procedures and look at ways the criminal justice system in our area might improve. You can look at the study results here: Sixth Amendment Study 

Once the 6th Amendment Center published the study, the committee got to work addressing the issues outlined in the report. After many stops and starts, the group formulated a plan designed to enhance the overall quality of representation for indigent defense, assist in reducing the overall case numbers per attorney, tackle the mental health needs of indigent defendants, and address the decreasing number of attorneys taking court-appointed cases. The Texas Indigent Defense Commission awarded the Potter County Commissioners Court an improvement grant to get the project going.

The Potter and Armstrong County plan created two new departments: The Potter & Armstrong County Public Defender and the Potter & Armstrong County Managed Assigned Counsel Office.

In 2023, the Public Defender Office expanded to provide service to Armstrong, Carson, Deaf Smith, Donley, Moore, and Oldham Counties with offices in Amarillo, Dumas, and Hereford.

bottom of page