FDSDI was charted in 1972 under the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law for public purposes. FDSDI is governed by a nine-member board of directors. The board selects and oversee the executive director for the organization. The board meets approximately quarterly to discuss the business of the organization and projects of the board as a whole.
The board names four officers – President (two-year term) and the Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer (one-year term). To facilitate its work it has a number of committees, both standing and ad hoc. Examples include Finance, Management Liaison, Awards and Annual Dinner, Board Development, Nominating, etc.
At the Annual Defender Dinner, which it sponsors, the board presents the Paul Bell Award for excellence in appellate advocacy and the E. Stanley Conant Award for excellence in trial advocacy.
Members are chosen by the present board for three-year terms. They receive no compensation for their service.
Our close proximity to the U.S.-Mexico border has a strong influence on our caseload. The majority of our clients are charged with drug and immigration related offenses. Our attorneys also have the opportunity to represent clients facing a wide variety of federal charges, including bank robbery, fraud, counterfeiting, pornography, assault, and firearms offenses.