Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Brown White & Osborn LLP’s Services Under the San Bernardino County Adult Indigent Defense Contract

General Questions

Why Does San Bernardino County need to offer a contract to provide independent indigent defense?  Doesn’t the Public Defender handle that?

The San Bernardino County Public Defender does exceptional work representing the majority of indigent defendants in criminal proceedings in the county.  However, in some cases the Public Defender has a conflict of interest that bars them from representing a particular defendant.  For example, if there are two or more defendants charged in a case, the Public Defender can only represent one of them — they cannot represent multiple defendants in the same case, because they may have adverse interests.  San Bernardino County provides a panel of independent attorneys, sometimes called the ”Conflicts Panel,” to represent indigent defendants when the Public Defender cannot.

Where is Brown White & Osborn LLP providing indigent defense services in San Bernardino County?

The County of San Bernardino awarded Brown White & Osborn LLP (“BWO”) a contract to provide adult indigent defense services in two regions of the County: the East Valley Region, at the San Bernardino Justice Center, and East Desert Region, at the Joshua Tree Courthouse. 

When did Brown White & Osborn LLP begin providing services?

BWO began providing services on July 1, 2024.

What services does Brown White & Osborn LLP provide under the Adult Indigent Defense Contract?

BWO selects and manages a panel of experienced attorneys to staff the Conflicts Panel and represent indigent defendants under the contract in the East Valley and East Desert regions.  Those attorneys are independent contractors, not employees of BWO.  That assure that each client receives separate and unconflicted representation.  BWO monitors the quality and consistency of representation, provides support to the panel attorneys, and assures compliance with the County’s contract requirements. 

Does Brown White & Osborn LLP represent defendants under the contract? 

No.  BWO and its lawyers do not themselves represent the indigent defendants under the contract.  BWO selects and manages a panel of independent attorneys who represent the defendants directly. 

Questions From Defendants And Their Loved Ones

I’m represented/my loved one is represented by the Conflicts Panel.  Can you answer questions about my/their case and my/their defense?

The independent attorneys of the Conflicts Panel represent defendants directly.  Though BWO manages the panel, it does not represent the defendants and does not have detailed information about their cases.  Your first call should be to the Conflicts Panel attorney assigned to the case.

I know that I/my loved one is represented by a Conflicts Panel attorney but I don’t remember who that attorney is or how to contact them.  Can you help me?

Yes.  You can contact us through the “Questions and Comments” page [link].  Please provide the defendant’s full name and, if you have it, their case number.  We can help you find the assigned attorney’s name and contact information.

I have concerns/complaints about the representation a Conflicts Panel attorney is providing to me/my loved one.  What can I do?

BWO is committed to ensuring that the Conflicts Panel it manages provides excellent legal services.  If you have complaints or concerns about those services, please contact us through the “Questions and Comments” page [link].  Please provide the defendant’s full name, the name of the assigned attorney if you have it, and the case number if you have it.

Media Questions

I’m a journalist with questions about how Brown White & Osborn LLP provides services under the indigent defense contract.  May I contact you?

Yes.  The media should contact BWO General Counsel Kenneth P. White at [email protected] with media requests.