About Us

The District of South Carolina Federal Public Defender office was established in 1977, following the ruling on Gideon v Wainwright, 372 US 335 (1963), which established the right to counsel for indigent defendants, and the Criminal Justice Act of 1964, 18 U.S.C.3006A.  The Federal Public Defender office was established per the District of South Carolina Plan for the implementation of the Criminal Justice Act, which is on file in the U.S. District Court.  The Federal Public Defender office, along with a panel of private attorneys known as CJA panel attorneys, are appointed by the court and are charged with representing those who request counsel and are determined to be indigent.  There is a Federal Public Defender office and a group of panel attorneys for each of the district's four primary locations: Columbia, Charleston, Greenville and Florence.