Portland attorney Steven Wax was appointed Thursday to an eighth four-year term as a U.S. federal public defender.

The appointment is effective Jan. 20, 2012.

Wax has been a federal public defender in Oregon since 1983. He is one of the longest-tenured federal defenders in the nation.

Federal defenders in Oregon handled 1,554 new cases in 2010. He has handled several high-profile federal cases, including the May 2004 case involving Aloha attorney Brandon Mayfield, who was held as a material witness in the Madrid train bombings that year. Mayfield was released several weeks later after fingerprint evidence used to detain him was found to be in error.

Mayfield eventually received a $2 million settlement from the federal government in the case.

Wax is one of two attorneys representing Portland's Mohamed Mohamud, who is accused of plotting to bomb the Nov. 26, 2010, Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Wax has been, among other things, an assistant district attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y., and an adjunct professor at Lewis and Clark College's Northwestern School of Law.

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