At times, there are cases where there may be more than one defendant, or where the Public Defender’s office already represents another party to a case. An attorney cannot represent more than one party to a case, regardless of whether the individual is the defendant or a witness. This is referred to as a ‘conflict’. When this occurs, the Courts may appoint an alternate public defender to represent the defendant. An alternate public defender is an attorney who is contracted by the county to take cases that the Public Defender’s Office cannot.