Special Counsel to the Director (Ethical Conflicts and CJA Panel)

Claire T. Roth

Claire T. Roth is special counsel to the director for ethical conflicts and the CJA panel for the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS).  Ms. Roth is responsible for resolving agency ethical conflicts under the District of Columbia Rules of Professional Responsibility.  Her practice includes researching and writing pleadings and routinely litigating conflict matters before judges of the D.C. Superior Court, as well as regularly advising the United States Attorney’s Office and PDS counsel of agency conflict assessments. Ms. Roth is also a liaison to the D.C. Superior Court Judge of the Criminal Division for establishing quality standards to improve the Criminal Justice Act Attorney Panel (CJA Panel) defense representation both in terms of resources and training. She is the program chair for the Criminal Practice Institute’s training program that offers continuing legal education to CJA Panel attorneys throughout the year, and represents PDS on the Superior Court Continuing Legal Education Committee.   Ms. Roth is also executive and senior editor of the Criminal Practice Institute (CPI) Trial Manual, an 1800-page treatise on criminal law in the District of Columbia.  Additionally, Ms. Roth is currently a chairperson of the Attorney Advisory Selection Committee that is responsible for making CJA Panel recommendations to the Criminal and Family Divisions of the D.C. Superior Court.  She also assists the court in screening prospective law firms interested in being appointed to criminal pro bono cases under the Criminal Justice Act. 

Ms. Roth began her legal career in 1987 at a D.C. law firm before joining PDS. She received a B.A. double major in philosophy and political science, cum laude from Boston University, a J.D. from George Washington School of Law, and a Masters of Law from Georgetown University Law Center. Ms. Roth was also an International Legal Studies Fellow at the United Nations, International Labor Organization (1986), and an E. Barrett Prettyman Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center (1989-1991).