Marla R. McCowan Named CDRC Manager

The State Appellate Defender Office is pleased to announce that Marla R. McCowan has been chosen as Manager of the Criminal Defense Resource Center, SADO’s training and support division. The CDRC develops and administers statewide training projects funded by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards, operates SADO’s web site for criminal defense attorneys (, and publishes the very popular Defender Books series. Ms. McCowan succeeds Dawn VanHoek, who became SADO Director in March, 2011.

Ms. McCowan has been a Assistant Defender at SADO since 1998, and will retain a portion of her caseload responsibilities while managing the CDRC. She previously served as Staff Attorney/Pro Se Clerk in the United States District Court for Michigan’s Eastern District, and has authored numerous editions of the Defender Habeas Book. An experienced educator, Ms. McCowan has served as an Adjunct Professor in Appellate Practice Clinics at both Wayne State University Law School and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. She also represented the Defendant-Appellee in Renico v Lett, a case recently heard in the United States Supreme Court.

Contact: Human Resources & Office Manager