Request for Qualifications – Public Defender
Publication date: September 25, 2023
The City of Bainbridge Island (City) is seeking qualifications from attorneys and firms that can provide effective counsel to indigent defendants charged with misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor crimes in City of Bainbridge Island Municipal Court. The City invites interested attorneys or firms with criminal court experience to provide Public Defense Attorney services. The City’s needs are outlined in the following Request for Qualifications (“RFQ”).
The City encourages responses from individuals and firms led by those who identify as women or members of traditionally marginalized communities, or who are or could be certified as Minority Business Enterprise/Women Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE), Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE), or equivalent.
The City of Bainbridge Island is located in the State of Washington, on ancestral territory of the suq `?abs? “People of Clear Salt Water” (Suquamish People). Bainbridge Island has an area of 26 square miles, with 52 miles of shoreline, dense forests, mostly suburban development patterns, and an estimated population of 25,000. The entire Island is incorporated as one city. The City of Bainbridge Island is located in Kitsap County.
The City is responsible for providing indigent defense services to persons charged with misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor crimes who meet certain financial eligibility criteria. Bainbridge Island currently contracts with one law firm to provide public defense services. In 2022, 167 cases were assigned to the Public Defender.
Court is scheduled every Tuesday morning from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. If a defendant is taken into custody, or one that was in custody and bailed out, a non-scheduled hearing will occur the following day at 10:45 a.m. A hearing like this will occur one to three times per month. The City houses incarcerated defendants in the Kitsap County Jail and the Contractor is required to promptly initiate contact with an assigned defendant and to conduct regular visitations in accordance with the Public Defense Standards adopted by the City.
Anticipated Scope of Work
The successful bidders will provide legal representation in compliance with the City’s Adopted Public Defense Standards. A copy of Resolution 2014-14 is attached as Exhibit A. For a full detail description of Services requested, refer to Attachment “B” of the Professional Services Agreement.
Base Compensation. In consideration of the Contractor performing the Services, the City agrees to pay the Contractor the set fee of $450 per case assigned with an additional payment of $300 for each case taken to trial. Additional hourly compensation is provided for post judgment representation, plus actual expenses as explained in the Professional Services Agreement. This compensation amount represents the resources necessary to provide Public Defender services through the Contractor except as provided below.
Payments in Addition to the Base Compensation.
The City shall pay directly to the service provider or Contractor, as appropriate, for the following case expenses when reasonably incurred and approved by the Court or Contract Administrator from funds available for that purpose:
- Pre-authorized expenses
- Lay Witness Fees
- Copying Clients’ Files
- Process Service
Individuals or firms wishing to respond to this Request for Qualifications should provide a straightforward, concise description of provider capabilities to satisfy the requirements of the request. Emphasis should be on completeness and clarity of content.
Each submittal must include the following components:
- The names and Washington State Bar Numbers of individuals who will be providing public defense services, and their areas of responsibility;
- Specific experience of individuals relative to the qualifications;
- Disclosure of any litigation or judgments rendered against the attorney or firm in any matter relating to professional activities of the attorney or firm, including any pending or founded complaints to the Washington State Bar Association;
- References. At least 1 municipal reference is preferred and you may provide up to 3 references;
- List of any other locations where the attorney serves as a public defender and if they currently maintain a private practice.
Submit your qualifications by 4:00 PM PST on Friday, October 25, 2023. Submittals are limited to 15 pages, not counting the cover pages. Responses should be sent via email under the subject “Public Defender” to . Submittals must be received by the deadline. Submittals received after the deadline will not be considered.
Email is the preferred method, but responses may also be mailed or dropped off at City Hall (Monday – Friday, from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM). Print copies should be double-sided, with no cover or binding.
280 Madison Ave N
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
Attention: Adam Nebenzahl, “Public Defender Qualifications”
- October 25, 2023 Deadline to submit
- Week of November 6, 2023 Potential interviews
- Week of November 13, 2023 Date of selection of the most qualified applicant
- Week of December 4, 2023 Contract agreement negotiated and signed
- January 1, 2024 Services underway
Review and Selection Process
Evaluation will be based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative criteria. The criteria used as a guideline in the evaluation will include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Relevance and strength of qualifications
- Availability to accommodate calendar and other requirements (preference for location in Bainbridge)
- Ability and experience performing services of this type
- Proof of ability to meet required insurance and contractor standards as enclosed
- Attention to detail
Terms and Conditions
Questions regarding this RFQ or the submittal process should be directed to Management Analyst Adam Nebenzahl at mailto: or 206-780-8597.
Selected applicants will be required to execute a City of Bainbridge Island Professional Services Agreement, obtain a City of Bainbridge Island Business License, and demonstrate compliance with the City’s insurance requirements.
The City reserves the right not to select any of the applicants, and the right to select an individual or firm not from this application process. The City further reserves the right to waive irregularities and informalities in this process. This RFQ does not obligate the City to pay any cost incurred by applicants in responding to this RFQ. All such costs shall be borne solely by each applicant. Furthermore, this RFQ does not obligate the City to enter into a contract with any applicant responding to this RFQ.
In the event that the City and the most qualified applicant cannot negotiate a mutually agreeable contract for the services specified in this RFQ at a price which the City, at its sole discretion, determines is fair and reasonable, the City reserves the right to terminate negotiations with that applicant and begin negotiations with another applicant or begin a new process to select a consultant to perform the services specified in this RFQ.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information
The City of Bainbridge Island in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), commits to nondiscrimination on the basis of disability, in all its programs and activities. This material can be made available in an alternate format by emailing
or by calling collect 206.842.2545.
Title VI Notice
The City of Bainbridge Island in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 78 Stat. 252, 42 U.S.C. 2000d to 2000d-4 and Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Department of Transportation, subtitle A, Office of the Secretary, Part 21, nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs of the Department of Transportation issued pursuant to such Act, hereby notifies all bidders that it will affirmatively ensure that in any contract entered into pursuant to this advertisement, disadvantaged business enterprises as defined at 49 CRF Part 26 will be afforded full opportunity to submit bids in response to this invitation and will not be discriminated against on the grounds of race, color, national origin or sex in consideration for an award.