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La Salle attorney Doug Kramarsic joins the La Salle County public defender’s office on Monday, filling a vacancy created when longtime assistant Ed Kuleck announced his departure. Kramarsic is a former prosecutor who will maintain a solo law practice while assisting public defender Tim Cappellini with the felony caseload.
OTTAWA — One of the landmark cases Doug Kramarsic enjoyed reading at law school was Gideon vs. Wainwright, the decision that required courts to appoint public defenders to the needy. This Monday, Kramarsic gets to put his longtime interest in defending the poor into practice. Kramarsic, 31, joins the La Salle County public defender’s office in the felony division. He will continue to maintain a solo law practice in La Salle. “(Gideon) was always a case that stuck in my mind, a case that really interested me even from law school” he said. “That’s what planted the seed in my head about serving the public. I always knew in my mind I wanted to be a defense attorney.” As previously reported, longtime assistant public defender Ed Kuleck is retiring from the PD’s office, but will continue to run an Ottawa law practice. Kuleck was a juvenile law specialist whose place will be taken by assistant PD Jim Reilly, leaving a vacancy in the five-lawyer office. “Doug is a good lawyer — very conscientious,” Kuleck said. “He should have no trouble handling the caseload.” Kramarsic graduated from Southern Illinois University in 2004 and then earned his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 2007. After law school, he served 2½ years in the La Salle County state’s attorney’s office before striking out on his own in 2010. He lives in Oglesby with his wife Lindsay and their two children. Kramarsic said people have expressed curiosity as to how he could jump from prosecution to the defense. “People see you as the devil’s advocate, but the law is the same, regardless,” he said. “Whether you’re putting people in jail or keeping them out of jail, the law is the law. It’s not my job to decide guilt or innocence; it’s my job to present the law and the facts in a way that I can zealously defend my client.”