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Lawyer develops expertise in mental illness

Virginia Beach public defender Annette Miller helps those with mental health issues.

Miller has worked in the public defender’s office since 1995. In the past five years, she tells The Virginian-Pilot, she has likely handled more than 200 criminal cases involving seriously mentally ill defendants.

The city of Virginia Beach recognized her in 2000 with a Human Rights Award for her work on manuals for representing mentally ill defendants and for families of those who are mentally ill and in jail.

Regarded as one of the area’s strongest advocates for the mentally ill, Miller has declined to pursue a more lucrative career in private practice because many of her clients are indigent or otherwise unable to afford attorneys fees.

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