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  • Dependency Unit

    About Us

    The Dependency Unit represents parents who have temporarily lost custody of their children to the Department of Child Safety (DCS) due to allegations of abuse or neglect, as well as parents who are facing termination of their parental rights either through a private action or at the request of DCS.  The Dependency Unit provides representation to parents from the initial stages of a DCS case until the case has concluded either through reunification of the family or other means.  It is the goal of the Dependency Unit to provide thorough legal representation to assist our client’s navigate the dependency process and achieve the best possibly outcome for their family.


    Derek Koltunovich

    Graduate of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, 2009; admitted to the State Bar of Arizona, 2009. University of Arizona, BS, 2006.  Senior Attorney with the Pima County Office of Children’s Counsel, 2011-2016.  Experience as a Rule 38(d) attorney in the University of Arizona Criminal Defense Clinic, 2009. Attorney with the Pima County Public Defender, Dependency Unit, since 2016.



    Becky McLean

    Graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law, with Distinction, 1981; Law Review (published 1980); admitted to the State Bar of Arizona in 1981; Attorney in a private Arizona law firm, 1981-83; substantial and extensive experience as a Felony Trial and Appellate Attorney in the Law Offices of the Pima County Public Defender since 1983.



    Leah Cotton

    Graduate of the James E Rogers College of Law, 2008.  Licensed to practice in Arizona since 2009. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Leah earned a Master’s degree and worked as a hospice bereavement counselor. Leah began working for the Protective Services Section of the Attorney General’s Office in 2010, representing the Department of Child Services (formerly Child Protective Services) in dependency cases. From 2014 onward, has been a Mediator with Pima County Juvenile Court, helping reach non-trial resolutions in dependency cases. Attorney with the Pima County Public Defender, Dependency Unit, since 2017.



    Adrienne Ticer

    Graduate of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, 2016; Psychology B.S., University of Arizona, 2013; Public Management & Policy B.S., University of Arizona, 2013; admitted to the State Bar of Arizona, 2016; Judicial Extern to the Honorable Robert A. Junell, United States District Court, Western District of Texas, 2014, Legal Intern for the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Chief Counsel, 2015; Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Kathleen A. Quigley, Pima County Juvenile Court, 2016-2017; Attorney with the Pima County Public Defender, Dependency Unit, since 2017.



    Cynthia Sweet

    Graduate of the University of Arizona, 1984; Graduate of the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, 1987; practical experience as a Rule 38(d) student attorney with the Pima County Attorney's Office, 1985-1987; Assistant Staff Judge Advocate, U.S.A.F. (Fairchild AFB, WA; Osan AB, ROK; Travis AFB, CA); Deputy Pima County Attorney, Tucson, AZ, 1992-2005; Contract Attorney (working with OCAC) working on Dependencies / Delinquencies, Pima County Juvenile Court, 2006-2017; Dependency Attorney with the Pima County Public Defender's Office since 2017.



    Jean Morrill

    Graduate of the James E Rogers College of Law, 2008.  Licensed to practice in Arizona since 2009.  Prior to becoming a lawyer, Jean earned a Ph.D. in Hydrology and Water Resources at the University of Arizona and worked as a research scientist, undergraduate instructor, and science education outreach coordinator. From 2009 to 2018 served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Javier Chon-Lopez on the Civil, Juvenile and Criminal benches. Attorney with the Pima County Public Defender, Dependency Unit, since 2018.



    Jennifer Rochelle

    Graduate of the City University of New York School of Law, 2013; admitted to the State Bar of New York, the State Bar of New Mexico and the State Bar of Arizona; legal intern for the Brooklyn Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense; legal intern for the ACLU of Southern California; attorney at Law Access New Mexico, 2014-2015; trial attorney at the Law Offices of the Public Defender New Mexico, 2015-2017; clerk and attorney at the Pima County Public Defender’s Office, Dependency Unit since 2017.


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    The Law Offices of the Pima County Public Defender

    33 North Stone Avenue, Suite 2100
    Tucson, AZ 85701

    (520) 724-6800


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