News Release ~ 11/09/2010

Alex Bunin Named Houston’s First Chief Public Defender

Washington, DC (November 9, 2010) – The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) salutes Harris County officials on the appointment of Alex Bunin to serve as the first Chief Public Defender of Harris County, TX. Harris County includes the City of Houston and has a population of nearly 4 million people.

Mr. Bunin, a long time NACDL member and lecturer, brings exceptional experience, professionalism and passion to the defense of the indigent accused. NACDL supports the efforts to elevate the caliber of indigent defense services in the nation''s fourth largest city.

Mr. Bunin is currently the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of New York. He was appointed to establish that office by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1999. Mr Bunin also established federal defender offices in the District of Vermont and the Southern District of Alabama.

Houston defense attorney Jim Lavine, the current President of NACDL, called the appointment, “a great day for justice.” Lavine observed that “Alex Bunin is the right person at the right time for the right position. His appreciation for all components in the indigent defense system, including private and public attorneys, will ensure that the office gets off to a great start.”

Lavine added that NACDL “stands ready to do all we can to make indigent defense services in Harris County a model for the country.”

Mr. Bunin has been Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1991. He is author of articles on criminal law, criminal procedure, and the death penalty, and is co-author of O''Connor''s Federal Criminal Rules & Code. An Adjunct Professor at Albany Law School in New York, he teaches Trial Practice I & II. Mr. Bunin tried the first federal capital case in Vermont in over 60 years. He is returning to Houston where he attended South Texas College of Law and began the practice of law.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's approximately 9,000 direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.

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