One of the ironies of being a public defender is that the public defender is often the last person to stand trial in a serious case. The process of putting the public defender on trial goes something like this: Stage 1: The defendant stands trial and gets convicted. Stage 2: The defendant receives a whopping sentence. Stage 3: The defendant’s conviction gets affirmed on appeal. Stage 4: The defendant files a post-conviction motion claiming ineffective assistance of counsel. Stage 5: The prosecutor takes on the role of defense counsel for, you guessed it, the public defender.