A Commitment To Excellence

A Passion For Justice

Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc., is the Federal Community Defender Organization for the Southern District of California. We are based in San Diego, with a branch office in El Centro, California, and are appointed to represent indigent persons accused of criminal offenses in federal court. A nine-member Board of Directors oversees our daily operation. We are independent from the local federal judiciary and funded by a sustaining grant (FY2021 approximately $25 million) awarded by Congress under the Criminal Justice Act.


FDSDI has been serving San Diego and Imperial counties since 1966 as a private, non-profit corporation representing indigent persons accused of federal criminal offenses. Our staff currently consists of over 60 trial attorneys and 65 support personnel. We have an aggressive and distinguished appellate department.



Helpful information & resources for our clients and their families.


Tyre Nichols, 1993-2023. Federal Defenders of San Diego is outraged by the unnecessary and tragic death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of law enforcement. We offer our condolences to his family and community for their loss. We reiterate our support for both the Black Lives Matter movement and measures to end the excessive use of force by law enforcement.  Acts of police violence not only affect those involved, but entire communities. 

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Email cjarequest@fdsdi.com to request access to the Motion Bank.

The materials provided on this password-protected area of Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc.’s website are intended for the exclusive use of current members of the Southern District of California Criminal Justice Act panel. They should not be copied, disseminated, or provided in any way to unauthorized persons. Abuse of this system will result in the revocation of access privileges and possibly in the site being taken down entirely. Additionally, the materials should be used as a starting point for legal research and not as a substitute for independent legal research and writing.