Heather Rogers

Santa Cruz County Public Defender
Home 2103 North Pacific Avenue Santa Cruz CA 95060
Photo of Heather Rogers


Heather Rogers (she/her) has been a public defender for 20 years in the state and federal courts. Heather has handled cases at every stage of litigation, from arraignment through trial and appeal. She has represented clients accused of offenses from delinquency to homicide, defended detainees incarcerated at Guantánamo Naval Base in Guantanamo, Cuba, and argued cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Heather is honored to serve as the first Public Defender of Santa Cruz County, her birthplace and home. Before her appointment, Heather served as a public defender at Biggam, Christensen & Minsloff, the defense firm that previously provided public defense services for Santa Cruz County. Heather is a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College, lecturer in Legal Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and frequent trainer at regional and national trial skills programs. Heather has also taught at California Western School of Law and Monterey College of Law. Heather clerked for the Honorable M. Margaret McKeown on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals before starting her career in public defense at Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc. Heather also served as a public defender in Monterey County and at the Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of California before coming home to Santa Cruz. Heather has an A.B. in English Language & Literature from the University of Chicago and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. Heather lives in the Aptos mountains with her husband, children, and pets. In her free time, Heather enjoys traveling, hiking, and snowboarding.


Recent Teaching History