Denise Crawford is a Deputy Public Defender IV trial lawyer with the Orange County Public Defender's Office. During her career, she has handled all manner of criminal matters from simple misdemeanors to complex felony cases. As a senior lawyer in the office, she mentors younger deputies, conducts hiring interviews and provides training. She began her career under the expert tutelage of preeminent trial lawyer Jennifer L. Keller. When she transitioned to the Orange County Public Defender's Office, not only did she handle criminal matters, she was assigned to Mental Health, LPS, Probate, SVP, Guardianship and Juvenile units gaining extensive experience in niche areas of practice. By far, however, Ms. Crawford is most at home in front of her juries. She travels to conduct trainings on trial practice both domestically and abroad with international partnerships. Most recently, Ms. Crawford provided trial training to the Public Defender's Office equivalent in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She also writes and publishes on the topic of trial practice.
Ms. Crawford is a frequent speaker and most recently (April 2020) spoke on panel with Congressman Gil Cisneros and Congresswoman Judy Chu. To read about her cases in the media, awards and honors - just Google her! She was elected to the Board of Directors of the Orange County Asian American Bar Association (OCAABA) in 2013 and has served as co-chair of the Judicial Evaluation and Community Service Committees. She finished her term as President of OCAABA in 2021 and currently serves as the Immediate Past President while also serving as the NAPABA Southern California Regional Governor. She loves a good fight (in court) and in her spare time is an avid scuba diver, sport motorcycle rider, political news junkie and pug dog lover.