About Our Team

Providing high quality, cost effective criminal defense
Jessica Kampfe

Jessica O. Kampfe

Public Defender and Executive Director, Jessica O. Kampfe, received a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of Vermont in 2002. She earned her J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School in 2006 and was admitted to the Oregon State Bar in September of that year. She practiced as a criminal defense attorney at Metropolitan Public Defender in Washington County and Multnomah County from 2006 until 2009. During that time she represented hundreds of clients charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses. Additionally, she is a member of the Oregon State Bar’s Uniform Criminal Jury Instruction Committee. Ms. Kampfe joined the Public Defender of Marion County in March, 2010 and became the Public Defender and Executive Director in August, 2015.

Thomas S. Sermak

The Founder of the Public Defender of Marion County, Thomas S. Sermak, received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Michigan in 1970. He earned a Master of Arts in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1972. He earned his J.D from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1978.

That same year Tom began his legal career by becoming an associate in a general practice law firm in Eugene, Oregon. In January of 1981 he joined, Public Defender Services of Lane County, inc. and practiced there until 1984 when he again tried his hand at private practice. By December of 1987 he had come to the realization that his only professional interest was in public defense. He returned to Public Defender Services of Lane County and stayed there in various capacities until April of 2007 when he was hired by the Board of Trustees of the Public Defender of Marion County, Inc. to establish then run a Public Defender office in Salem, Marion County, Oregon.  Tom retired from the Public Defender of Marion County in October, 2015.

Mr. Sermak is a member of the Marion County Public Safety Coordinating Council, the Office of Public Defense Services Contractors Advisory Committee and the OPDS Quality Assurance Task Force.

Manuel Perez

Assistant Executive Director and Deputy Public Defender Mr. Perez received a Bachelors of Arts degree from Boise State University in 1978. He earned his J.D. from the University of Oregon Law School in 1981 and was admitted to the Oregon State Bar in September of that year. He practiced civil law for Oregon Legal Services until 1995 when he joined the firm of Rader and Rader in Ontario, Oregon, doing criminal defense. After a year and a half of solo practice Mr. Perez started a partnership with Mark Rader and Steve Stoddard. He continued with Stoddard and Perez, PC, until June, 2013, when he joined the Public Defender of Marion County. Mr. Perez has represented hundreds of clients charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses.

Whitney Perez

Deputy Public Defender Whitney Perez attended college at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in December, 2002. Ms. Perez went on to attend law school at Lewis and Clark College, where she graduated in May, 2007. In conjunction with her law degree she also obtained a Certificate in Criminal Law and Procedure. Following graduation she went to work for the law office of Rader, Stoddard, and Perez in Ontario, Oregon.  There she practiced in the areas of criminal defense, habeas, post-conviction relief, and juvenile delinquency and dependency. She was admitted to the Oregon Bar in September of 2007. Ms. Perez joined the staff at the Public Defender of Marion County in June, 2009.

Sara Foroshani

Deputy Public Defender Sara Foroshani was born and raised in Southern California. She attended University of California, Irvine (UCI) from 2001 to 2006. While attending UCI, Sara mentored at-risk high school students through a campus organization, was a radio d.j., and wrote for the New University. During the winter term of 2006, Sara was provided an opportunity to study abroad in Siena, Italy, where she also volunteered at a senior living facility. Upon her return to the States in the spring of 2006, she completed her studies and received a dual bachelor’s degree, with majors in Political Science & International Studies and a minor in Ethnomusicolgy.

After three years working in the private corporate sector, Sara moved to Oregon to attend Lewis & Clark Law School. During her time at Lewis & Clark Law, Sara was on the board of the Minority Law School Association, was student representative for diversity in the student government, clerked for various non-profits and government agencies, attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2011 in South Africa to represent the small island developing states, and mentored minority college students. Sara was also published in the Georgetown Journal of International Law. Upon graduation in May of 2012, Sara was made a member of the Cornelius Honor Society.

Sara was admitted into the Oregon State Bar in 2013. At that time, she accepted a judicial clerkship at Multnomah County Courthouse where she worked under Judge Kelly Skye who handled both criminal and civil matters. During this clerkship experience, Sara saw first hand the criminal justice system and decided to make public defense her career choice. Sara then joined Public Defenders of Marion County, Inc. in October of 2014.

Publications: Leveraging Climate Change Benefits through the World Trade Organization: Are Fossil Fuel Subsidies Actionable?, 3 Georgetown Journal of International Law 43 (2012), Spring 2012).

Julia A. Hyde

Deputy Public Defender Julia A. Hyde received her B.A. from Mills College in 2003. She graduated from Golden Gate University School of Law in 2011 and received certificates with honors in both criminal law and litigation. During law school, she received awards for top grades in courses including Trial Advocacy, Appellate Advocacy, and Professional Responsibility.

Ms. Hyde was a judicial extern in the San Francisco Superior Court’s Criminal Division, and spent two years as a law clerk for both the San Francisco Public Defender and Alameda County Public Defender’s offices.

Ms. Hyde was licensed to practice in California in 2011, and subsequently licensed to practice law in Oregon. She worked as a Deputy Public Defender in Tulare County, California from 2012 to 2014. A native Oregonian, she moved back to the Northwest to join the Marion County Public Defender in March 2014.

Ms. Hyde has extensive trial experience, and has represented over 1,000 indigent clients in felony and misdemeanor criminal cases, juvenile delinquency proceedings, contempt charges, and commitment cases.

Amanda Harmon

Deputy Public Defender Amanda Harmon began her criminal defense career by winning “best attorney” at her high school’s regional Mock Trial tournament in Seattle, Washington. She developed her passion for indigent defense by working with incarcerated youth at Echo Glen Children’s Center as a volunteer in their Canine Connections program, rehabilitating youth offenders through a service dog training project. Amanda graduated magna cum laude from the University of Oregon, majoring in Political Science and minoring in both English and Economics in 3 years of study. She continued to work with at-risk youth as a Residential Counselor for a non-profit youth rehabilitation program in Eugene before attending Willamette University College of Law. As a law student, Amanda was active in Moot Court Board, winning the Bruce Spaulding Civil Trial Competition, the National Appellate Competition, and the Don Turner Criminal Trial Competition. She was selected for membership in the National Order of the Barristers based on her performance in trial and appellate competitions. In her third year of law school, Amanda also clerked for the Oregon State Department of Justice, representing the state’s interests in court at parental rights proceedings in Linn, Benton, Polk, Yamhill and Marion counties. Amanda graduated with her Doctor of Jurisprudence and passed the Oregon State Bar exam in 2013. After a brief volunteer position with the Yamhill County District Attorney’s office, Amanda joined the PDMC team in May, 2014 to continue her passion of working with clients to protect their legal rights and advocate on their behalf in criminal cases.

Emily Apel

Deputy Public Defender Emily Apel graduated cum laude from Bucknell University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She went on to earn a Master of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from Syracuse University. Before attending law school, Ms. Apel had a decade-long career as a television news anchor and reporter for network affiliates in Oregon, Maine, and California. Ms. Apel received her J.D. from Willamette University College of Law in 2013. While in law schoolMs. Apel represented refugees seeking asylum and contributed to a published report on human trafficking in Oregon. After being admitted to the Oregon State Bar, Ms. Apel worked as an attorney at the Umpqua Valley Public Defender. She joined the Public Defender of Marion County in 2016.

Rick Bojorquez

Investigator Rick Bojorquez joined the Public Defender of Marion County staff in 2014. Rick brings to the investigative staff 22 years of experience as a Deputy Sheriff in the State of Oregon with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. He worked as a drug investigation detective for 6 years and earned the State of Oregon Narcotics Officer of the Year award in 2010. Rick enjoys photography and gives back to his community by coaching Little League baseball, something he has been doing for over 30 years. Rick further enjoys training two German Shepherds, Cinco and Nikita, who are frequent visitors to our office.

Timothy Newell

Investigator Timothy was born and raised in the Willamette Valley and graduated from Oregon State University. He has been active in coaching and athletic training before working in business prior to pursuing his law enforcement career. He was a Deputy Sheriff with Lane County Sheriff’s Department as well as a police officer for the Keizer Police Department before returning to business and becoming a private investigator. He has investigated everything from simple property crimes to murder cases. Timothy joined the Public Defender’s office in 2013 after running a successful firm for himself.

Susan Schoaps

Investigator Susan Schoaps joined the Public Defender in 2016. An Army Brat, her family is from North Carolina although she was born in Tacoma, Washington. She grew up in North Carolina, Hawaii, Kentucky, Colorado and California before settling down in Salem. She has extensive investigative experience, including 7 years with the Federal Public Defender in Portland. She has been a trainer and presenter on investigative issues with the North American Securities Administrators Association and the National White Collar Crime Center. She became a Certified Fraud Examiner in 2002. She enjoys theatre, scuba diving and horseback riding.

Support Staff

Office Manager:
Cathy Case Hoffman

Receptionist:
Yendy Rodriguez

Legal Assistants:
Jennifer Humbert, Miriam Lara, Adrian E. Saenz

Discovery Clerk:
Denise Duran