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avatar for Stephen Hanlon

Stephen Hanlon

Lawyer Hanlon
Since his retirement from Holland & Knight at the end of 2012,  Mr. Hanlon has confined his practice to assisting and representing public defenders with excessive caseloads. He now serves as a Professor of Practice at Saint Louis University School of Law.

Hanlon was lead counsel for the Missouri Public Defender in State ex rel. Mo. Public Defender Commission, , 370 S.W.3d 592 (Mo.banc 2012), which was the first state supreme court case to uphold the right of a public defender organization to refuse additional cases when confronted with excessive caseloads. The Waters case has been described as a “watershed moment” in indigent defense. Davies, Andrew Lucas Blaize Davies, “How Do We ‘Do Data’ in Public Defense?,” 78 Albany Law Review 1179.

Hanlon was the project director for the American Bar Association in the critically acclaimed study of the workload of the Missouri Public Defender undertaken by RubinBrown on behalf of the American Bar Association, known as “The Missouri Project,” available at www.indigentdefense.org(link is external). He currently serves as the project director for similar studies in several states. The ABA Journal Magazine has called him “The Oracle” for public defender workload studies. In 2019, the New York Times described him as “one of the leading voices in public interest law for decades."

For the last 20 years, Mr. Hanlon has filed systemic indigent defense reform litigation across the nation, published four law review articles about that system, taught a law school course at SLU LAW about that system, spoken out publicly about that system, and testified as an expert witness in litigation seeking to change that system. His work has been featured in the New York Times, on 60 Minutes and on the PBS Evening News Hour.
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