Administration | Structure

Is one model of delivering right to counsel services inherently superior?

BY Jon Mosher on Friday, January 28, 2011 at 5:05 PM

From time to time, NLADA will publish a more in-depth explanation of a particular topic, concept, or standard. Today, we have posted one such article: Understanding the debate about full-time public defender offices or appointment of private attorneys.

No one public defense delivery model is inherently better than another.  In fact, almost every jurisdiction, whether organized by state or county, uses a mixture of delivery systems to provide all of the representation that is required.  There are three basic forms of delivering indigent defense representation:

Author/Organization: Phyllis E. Mann
Publication Date: 01/28/2011

In 2008, the Board of Commissioners of Cook County was threatening to (and ultimately did) fire the chief Public Defender for the Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender, which provides indigent defense services in Chicago and Cook County, Illinois.  Because it was perceived that the Public Defender was threatened with firing due to his efforts to comply with national standards for indigent defense systems and services, this Resolution was issued. 

Author/Organization: American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD)
Publication Date: 05/02/2008

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The Best Practices Committee of the American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD) prepared this report to assist administrators of systems that provide representation to indigent defendants by assigning private attorneys.  Recognizing that the American Bar Association's (ABA) Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System (2002) is a concise summary of best practices for indigent defense systems, the report discusses how these principles apply to assigned counsel systems. 

Author/Organization: American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD)
Publication Date: 09/13/2010

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In 2003, the American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD) addressed the ethical duties of chief executive officers in indigent defense systems when faced with excessive caseloads. This is the Ethics Opinion issued, which concludes: "A chief executive of an agency providing public defense services is ethically prohibited from accepting a number of cases which exceeds the capacity of the agency's attorneys to provide competent, quality representation in every case."

Author/Organization: American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD)
Publication Date: 04/2003

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In October 2008, the Rural Sub-Committee of the Nevada Supreme Court Task Force on Indigent Defense formally filed this report with the Nevada Supreme Court.  The report concludes that the members of the rural sub-committee (judges, defense attorneys, county managers, and others) “firmly and unanimously believes that it the responsibility of the State of Nevada to fully fund indigent defense throughout the state, in accordance with Gideon, in order to ensure that each citizen of Nevada, regardless of where they live, is afforded the full equal protection of the law when accessed of a crime.

Author/Organization: Nevada Supreme Court Indigent Defense Commission Rural Sub-Committee
Publication Date: 10/2008

Items contained in the NLADA Library do not and are not meant to constitute advice of any kind. Content in the NLADA Library is contributed by users. If you believe this material infringes your or any other person’s copyright or if you feel that the material is inappropriate, please report this to NLADA Staff by clicking below.

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