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  • Dependency Unit

    2237 East Ajo Way, Tucson, AZ 85713
    (520) 724-2994
    M - F 8am - 5pm

    Link to Dependency Division Law Offices Map

    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.



    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.


    John Walters

    John Walters

    John graduated cum laude from the University of Arizona College of Law, 2013; and was admitted to practice law in Arizona in 2013.  Before that, he graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans with B.A.s in Spanish Literature and Classical Studies in 2009 and an M.A. in Spanish Literature in 2010.  During law school, John worked with the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Civil Rights Division, and the Pima County Public Defender’s Office as a law clerk.  After graduation, John clerked for the Honorable Michael Butler, until he joined the Pima County Office of Children’s Counsel in 2014.  There he practiced dependency law, family law, and served as appellate counsel (2016-18).  John joined the Pima County Public Defender’s Office in 2018.


    Lori Bable

     

    Graduate of the James E. Rogers College of Law, 2019, with certificates in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy, Immigration Law, and Program in Criminal Law and Policy.  Licensed to practice in Arizona since 2020.  Lori earned her Ph.D. in Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of English, minor in Gender and Women’s Studies, with her project articulating the strategic Indigenous Feminist Pedagogy surrounding passage of the tribal provisions of VAWA 2013, University of Arizona, 2020.  Prior to becoming a lawyer, Lori earned a Master’s degree and worked at nonprofits in southern Arizona providing resources to persons with low income.  Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Scott D. McDonald, Pima County Juvenile Court, 2020. Attorney with the Pima County Public Defender, Dependency Unit, since 2020.


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    Public Defender

    33 N. Stone Ave., 21st Flr
    Tucson, AZ 85701

    Phone:  (520) 724-6800
    Fax:   (520) 770-4168

    Monday - Friday
    8 a.m. - 5 p.m., except on holidays


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