NATIONAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE COLLEGE FACULTY
Bob Pepin started his 39-year criminal defense career as a work study intern with the Public Defender’s office in Boulder, Colorado during his first year of law school. He tried a case to a jury that summer and was hooked.
By then, his tour as an army infantryman in West Berlin, its infamous Wall still imprisoning an entire population, had sharpened Bob’s sense of how jealously our freedoms, our Constitutions, must be protected. He considers criminal defense in general, and public defense in particular, to be deeply patriotic commitments.
Bob was a Deputy Colorado State Public Defender for eleven years. The head of an office for 5 of those years, he was extensively involved in training new defenders and was added to the NCDC faculty in 1991. His state defender trial experience included the wildly polarizing first significant Colorado Make My Day Case and capital work.
Bob was in private practice for six years; focusing on criminal defense and serving as co-editor of the Criminal Law Column of the Colorado Lawyer, on the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar (CCDB) board of directors, and as president of the CCDB. In 1998 Bob joined the team that successfully stopped El Paso County from sentencing Lucas Salmon to death.
In 2000 Bob joined the Colorado Federal Public Defender as a trial attorney. Over the years he has trained attorneys in workshops and clinical programs across the country, lectured extensively on jury selection, cross and direct examination, evidence, opening statements, closing arguments, and various aspects of federal and state criminal practice. He is the 2020 recipient of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar’s Jonathon Olom Award presented “…for remarkable personal sacrifice made without regard to personal gain in the defense of the accused…”
Bob retired June, 2019 and moved to Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula where he spends his time hiking, fishing, and writing for his own entertainment. Bob is still training at trial advocacy programs and doing some legal work. He and his wife, Sharlene, also a defender, have a daughter and son, neither of whom intend to permanently weather the gray skies of the Pacific Northwest, no matter how green the forests or mighty the rivers.
Recent Teaching History