Distinguished Saint Martin’s alumnus to return to campus for lecture

Thomas W. Hillier II to share insights into federal public defense

February 14, 2008

Lacey, Washington — Saint Martin’s University will host the third lecture of the 2007–08 Robert A. Harvie Social Justice Lecture Series on Friday, Feb. 22, at 4 p.m. in Spangler Hall on the University’s main campus, 5300 Pacific Ave. SE, Lacey, Washington, 98503. Saint Martin’s distinguished alumnus Thomas W. Hillier II, federal public defender for the Western District of Washington state, will speak on federal public defense and its relationship to the changing landscape of federal sentencing law. The event is free and open to the public.

Hillier, a graduate of Saint Martin’s (1969) and the Gonzaga University School of Law (1973), has served as the district’s federal public defender for more than 25 years. In 1982, he was appointed to the position and has been reappointed every four years since. He argued before the United States Supreme Court in United States v. Bagley, 473 U.S. 667 (1985), and has appeared before the 9th Circuit on many occasions. Hillier currently represents Ahmed Ressam, the “Millennium Bomber,” and will be appearing before the United States Supreme Court on Ressam’s behalf next month.

Active in federal defender affairs nationally, Hillier sits on the Legislative Subcommittee for Federal Defenders, the Federal Defender Training Committee, the Sentencing Guideline Committee and the Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Evidence. He is also a lecturer at the University of Washington School of Law and a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Hillier returned to Saint Martin’s in 1994 to deliver the commencement address and again in 2006 to receive a distinguished alumni award. For outstanding service in his profession, he has received the Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ William O. Douglas Award, the Washington Bar Association’s Angelo Petruss Award, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington’s William O. Douglas Award, the Seattle-King County Bar Association’s Outstanding Lawyer Award and Gonzaga University’s Gonzaga Law Medal.

The Robert A. Harvie Social Justice Lecture Series was created by Saint Martin’s University Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Robert Hauhart, Ph.D., J.D., to raise awareness of social justice issues within the community and to honor the work of Robert A. Harvie, J.D., former professor and chair of the Department of Criminal Justice at Saint Martin’s.

Saint Martin’s University is an independent four-year, Catholic, coeducational university located on a 320-acre wooded campus in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 18 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 21 majors and six graduate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes 1,250 students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its main campus, and 650 more to its five extension campuses located at Fort Lewis Army Post, McChord Air Force Base, Olympic College, Centralia College and Tacoma Community College.

For additional information:

Robert Hauhart, Ph.D., J.D.
Saint Martin’s University

Keri Graham
Saint Martin’s University