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County bar association names public defender its attorney of year

Fellow Snohomish County lawyers recognize the efforts Marybeth Dingledy has put into 15 years with the office.

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By Diana Hefley
Herald Writer
  • Marybeth Dingledy

    Marybeth Dingledy

EVERETT — If Marybeth Dingledy isn’t in a courtroom defending her clients, she’s probably climbing a mountain for charity, kicking around a soccer ball or leading city kids on a hike.
Dingledy packs a lot into life, and that’s the way she likes it.
The longtime public defender recently was named attorney of the year for 2010 by her fellow Snohomish County lawyers. She was honored at a ceremony Friday hosted by the Snohomish County Bar Association, which represents more than 700 lawyers.
“I nominated her because she is what all attorneys should strive to be. She is zealous, thoughtful and conducts herself with the highest level integrity,” said Jennifer Rancourt, also with the Snohomish County Public Defender’s Association.
Dingledy has been with the office since 1996. She has represented people accused of all kinds of crimes. She’s been in more than 100 jury trials, including some complicated, high-profile cases. Dingledy has served as the public defender for the county’s drug court, and also supervised attorneys in the county’s district courts.
Dingledy said she’s honored that she was selected by her fellow attorneys, many of whom she’s faced off against in court. She strives to be civil while working hard for her clients, Dingledy said.
Dingledy is an effective attorney who is committed to what she is doing, said Bill Jaquette, the director of the public defender’s association and Dingledy’s boss.
She’s good in dealing with her clients. It’s not uncommon for Jaquette to field complaints from clients. Generally those stem from people’s misunderstanding of the law, he said. Very few of those complaints are ever about Dingledy, Jaquette said. She is good at making sure her clients understand the process and she keeps in contact with them along the way, he said.
“They trust in her,” Jaquette said.
Dingledy is not only dedicated to defending the rights of the accused, she contributes to the public good outside of work, too, Rancourt said.
Dingledy, 41, has climbed six major peaks as a way to raise money for breast cancer awareness. She’s raised more than $50,000 for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She’s also a leader with the Sierra Club.
“In a word, she is amazing,” Rancourt said.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463;
Story tags » Everett

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