Carl C. Holmes
Carl Holmes completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley in 1963 where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. He then attended Hastings College of the Law and obtained his Juris Doctor degree in 1968.
Having worked for the Orange County Public Defenders Office for nearly his entire professional career, Carl Holmes has handled almost every assignment in the office from misdemeanor trials to homicide and capital cases. As a manager he was Head of Court in the Central, North and West Judicial Districts, then Assistant Public Defender in charge of all Municipal Courts. Prior to being named Public Defender in 1996, Mr. Holmes served as Chief Deputy Public Defender.
When Orange County declared bankruptcy in 1994, Carl Holmes devised a plan that saved the county approximately 6.1 million dollars per year without compromising the quality of legal representation to the indigent of Orange County. His leadership and management skill have made the Orange County Public Defenders Office one of the best public defender offices in the country.
On March 21, 1999, the Orange County Human Relations Commission honored Carl Holmes for outstanding contributions to human relations in Orange County. The Human Relations Award recognized his active participation in numerous community and professional organizations including the Orange County Bar Association judiciary committee, the Orange County Future Search Coalition, which coordinates and promotes communication between community based organizations, private enterprise and government agencies for the purpose of helping the poor. Mr. Holmes has also been a member of the Board of Directors of the California Public Defenders Association, a frequent lecturer on poverty and poverty related issues for community organizations, a supporter and lecturer for families against three-strikes, a supporter of the Hispanic, Asian, and African American Bar Associations and contributor to the Orange County 100 Black Men Organization. All of these activities demonstrate Carl Holmes' long-standing professional and personal commitment to provide a voice for the poor, not only in the courts, but in the community as well.
On May 7, 1999, Carl Holmes received the "California Public Defender of the Year Award" at the annual California Public Defenders Association convention at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lake Tahoe. The award is given to those who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and lawyering abilities in all aspects of Public Defender work.
The Orange County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution congratulating Carl Holmes on his accomplishments and commending him for his work as Public Defender on June 15, 1999.
Essay on Crime and Poverty by Carl C. Holmes
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