LIVINGSTON COUNTY – The County’s youngest department is flourishing thanks to the dedicated work of a young attorney and his four employees.
The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to formally appoint Hayden Dadd to a four-year term as Chief Conflict Defender of Livingston County. The Conflict Defender’s Office was founded just a year ago with Dadd at its head.
“I was happy to recommend Hayden for a full four-year term of office as Conflict Defender,” said County Administrator Ian Coyle. “Hayden has grown this fledgling office from scratch and handles the service and case-load responsibility admirably.”
As Chief Conflict Defender, Dadd oversees a clerk, Althea Merryman, and three Assistant Conflict Defenders: Heidi Feinberg, Scott Woodruff, and Melissa Wells-Spicer.
Dadd, Feinberg and Woodruff represent clients in family court, surrogate’s court or those who are accused of crimes in Livingston County who demonstrate that they cannot afford to hire a private attorney on their own and cannot be represented by the Public Defender’s Office due to a conflict of interest. Wells-Spicer handles indigent appeals for Livingston County.
Before creating the Conflict Defender’s Office in 2016, Livingston County contracted with local law firms to deliver this service.
Coyle said in 2016 that the new department was ‘a newfangled approach to delivering a core service,’ and that ‘there’s some apprehension and trepidation with something new,’ but that the Board of Supervisors ‘supports it and trust that Mr. Dadd and I will be savvy enough to create this department.’
“I am very thankful for the opportunity to continue to serve the people of Livingston County,” said Dadd. “I feel very fortunate to have a team of talented professionals that have helped get this department up and running.”