County of Humboldt logoThe Humboldt County Board of Supervisors today appointed Luke Brownfield as the new Public Defender. He replaces Marek Reavis, who retired on July 2. Brownfield was appointed as the Acting Public Defender effective July 4.

“With his experience and leadership, we are fortunate to have Luke as the new public defender for our community,” said 3rd District Supervisor and Vice Chair Mike Wilson. “We would also like to thank former Public Defender Marek Reavis, for his years of service to the community.”

Brownfield, a Humboldt County native, started his career as a defense attorney in Placer County where he served for 3 years. He then moved back to the North Coast, where he led the Child Abuse Services Team (CAST) for 5 years with the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office. Brownfield then left for the Public Defender’s Office where he has been for 6 years and served as the Assistant Public Defender for the last 4 years.

“I am very grateful to the Board of Supervisors and the people of Humboldt County for this fantastic opportunity to serve our community,” said Brownfield. “The Public Defender’s Office holds a special place in my heart. Having worked in the office for the last 6 years, I am excited to lead a team of such exceptional attorneys and amazing staff. Having been born and raised in Humboldt, I have a great respect for the work that is done here by so many.”

Brownfield ensures the Public Defender’s office will continue to defend and protect the rights, liberties, and dignity of those accused of crimes who cannot afford to retain counsel. However, the office now has a unique opportunity to help the community by providing more than just criminal defense.

“Rather than focusing solely on criminal representation and courtroom advocacy, I plan to address the broader social problems that underpin criminal behavior by addressing our clients’ underlying needs in addition to their criminal defense,” said Brownfield. “The types of problems that many public defense clients face – such as drug addiction, poverty, and homelessness – cannot be adequately addressed by a lawyer alone. Thus, engaging social workers within the public defense setting will provide great benefits to our clients and the County of Humboldt.”