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Pierce County Criminal Protocols

On March 31, 2008, the Pierce County Superior Court criminal practice underwent an overhaul from a case management standpoint. Because of a backlog of criminal cases, judges and attorneys developed protocols to attempt to reduce this backlog. The protocols are available online and those who practice in Pierce County must become familiar with the changes.

In addition to moving cases along toward resolution, one of the goals was to make all court dates meaningful. In the past, not much occurred at the pre-trial conference or omnibus hearing. This, in turn, caused cases to lag that should otherwise be resolved. To address these issues, omnibus hearings are now held on the record and obligations are required of both the prosecutor and the defense. Importantly, the new protocols require the prosecutor to provide all discovery under its control and make a meaningful offer to resolve the case. Concurrently, the defense must indicate that the attorney has met with the client, has received and reviewed a plea offer from the state and that all discovery has been provided. The belief is that if required to go on the record regarding a case’s status, cases will, indeed, move toward resolution on an expedited, although appropriate, pace. Additionally, the new plea policies require that all plea paperwork be submitted to the court before a plea date will be scheduled to make certain that all necessary parts of the plea paperwork are accurate, so as not to waste court time when a plea is scheduled to occur. In order to make trial dates meaningful, the court will continue to set trial dates at arraignment within speedy trial, but at the omnibus hearing, a firm trial date will be set with guidelines for A, B, and C class felonies. Finally, in order to complete this process, the superior court judges are increasing their availability to try criminal cases.

The stated goal is to reduce the backlog of criminal cases. As a result, the court is being very strict with respect to trial continuances that fall outside the protocols established as well as for older cases that have been lagging. Accordingly, please be advised that the new Pierce County Criminal Law Protocols are in effect, and one should become familiar with what is required so as not to run into any difficulties when scheduling hearings, and, more importantly, trial dates.


Success Stories

  • If he said he was going to do something he did it. He has integrity.

    “Wayne Fricke is a terrific lawyer who knows the law. The following are only several of many ways Mr. Fricke supported me during my time of crisis: 1. Explained the charges against me in a manner that ...”

    - Former Client
  • He always exceeds expectations.

    “Mr. Fricke has been our family lawyer for about 5 years. He has done an amazing job representing my family and I. He always exceeds expectations and informs us on everything going on.”

    - Jen
  • He, at no time, treated me as though I was guilty.

    “I was accused of domestic violence and need a Lawyer to defend me. Not knowing who to hire I started with Mr. K.W. This lawyer did not seem to believe in my innocence and I was looking at 3 to 5 ...”

    - Craig
  • Mr. Fricke had his office call me weekly for updates.

    “A few years ago, I was involved in a car accident. Due to my injuries, I hired an attorney who seemingly disappeared. I was in crisis after calling the court and finding out my case had been dismissed ...”

    - Sharyl
  • He is always honest and straight forward.

    “I hired Lance Hester to help me with 2 different legal matters. One was a felony criminal case and the other was a family law issue. In the felony criminal case this individual had everything to lose ...”

    - Former Client

Proven Results

  • Reduced Sentence Drug Crime
  • Case Dismissed Multiple Counts of Child Exploitation
  • Case Dismissed Domestic Violence
  • Four Felony Charges Dismissed Four Felony Counts
  • Reduced Sentence Drug Distribution
  • Vacated Conviction 4th Degree Assault
  • Case Dismissed Possession of Stolen Property
  • Two Restraining Orders Granted Anti-harassment Orders
  • Federal Court Success Federal Probation Violation
  • Case Dismissed Rape

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