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Frank Dunham Leaves the Planet

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Sadly, on November 3, Frank W. Dunham, Jr., passed away.

Mr. Dunham was the first federal public defender for Alexandria, Virginia. He apparently operated his federal public defender’s office with the full independence that is critical for all public defender offices.

The most striking professional information in Mr. Dunham’s obituary is his constant dedication to first-rate criminal defense in private practice and through the federal public defender office that he ran.

Beyond that, I am concerned about the article’s mention that a security clearance would be required to finalize the appointment of Michael Nachmanoff as the next federal public defender. That seems to clash with the independence that is critical for any indigent defense office.

Finally, I took to heart how Mr. Dunham bent over backwards to be there for his family, to the point that one of his sons often did not even realize how intense was his workload  Such role models are critical for all lawyers.

Thanks to Capital Defense Weekly for covering this sad news. Jon Katz.