Each has served indigent clients in the Memphis area for more than two decades — now assistant Shelby County Public Defenders Jack Green and James Etta Rayford have been named Fellows of the Memphis Bar Foundation. Green and Rayford were recognized at a November event in Downtown Memphis.
Green has been a public defender for 26 years and is a supervising attorney for the office. Currently, he serves as the Director of Performance Metrics for the public defender’s office. Green collects case data that help manage attorney workloads.
He is also the head of the Justice System Administration, which tracks client movement through the criminal justice system, monitors progress and identifies delays.
Rayford has practiced public defense for the past 24 years. Most recently, she joined the Juvenile Defender Unit, a highly-specialized division of the Shelby County Public Defender’s office which represents children in juvenile court. Rayford chose to serve on the new unit soon after it was established in 2013. The new defender unit was developed to help meet the agreement between Shelby County government, Shelby County Juvenile Court and the Department of Justice.
After the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ found due process and equal protection violations at Juvenile Court, the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office was called upon to provide attorneys for the defense of children and to supervise the defense function of Shelby County’s juvenile justice system.
Members of the Memphis Bar Foundation elect fellows based on ethics and professionalism. Eligible nominees must have practiced law at least 10 years. The Memphis Bar Foundation is the charitable arm of the Memphis Bar Association.