The Alternate Public Defenders Office was created by the County Board of Supervisors in 1993 to stem the rising costs of indigent defense in cases where the Public Defender had a conflict of interest. Bruce Hoffman was appointed as the first Alternate Public Defender and upon his retirement in 2002 was succeeded by his then Chief Deputy Janice Fukai.
Ms. Fukai is the first woman of Asian American heritage to serve as a Department Head in the County of Los Angeles. Building on the foundation she created as Chief Deputy Alternate Public Defender, Ms. Fukai is leading the department into the 21st century. She attributes the APD’s tremendous success to highly dedicated and diverse staff. She places a premium on teamwork, camaraderie, and the wonderful sense of "family" that was cultivated when the office was small, and that continues to flourish today.
We are highly trained and devoted attorneys specializing in criminal defense, employed by the County of Los Angeles and backed up by a first rate support staff. APD attorneys provide high quality, cost effective and caring representation in cases where the Public Defender has a conflict of interest.
Although the APD handles every type of misdemeanor and felony case, it distinguishes itself by its representation in the most serious and otherwise costly cases for the county. In these cases, APD attorneys put to work their exceptional skills, training, and dedication to their clients.
At the APD, attorneys work in teams for maximum efficiency with in-house, highly trained investigators and paralegals, many of whom devote all of their efforts to death penalty cases. All attorney managers and supervisors, with the exception of Ms. Fukai and her Chief Deputy, still represent clients in court, in addition to performing their supervisory responsibilities.