Assigned Counsel | Appointed Counsel

The AOC was tasked by the Tennessee legislature with "conducting a study of the rising costs of indigent defense in the state and to develop a plan to reduce such costs. Such study shall examine, at a minimum, eligibility requirements, fee rates including sliding scale options, limits, verification processes, and utilization by judicial districts." This is the AOC's report from that study.

Author/Organization: Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts
Publication Date: 01/15/2011

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The American Bar Association (ABA) and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) are designing and implementing a pilot Public Defender Fellowship Program (PDFP) aimed at advancing best practices in indigent defense representation.

Author/Organization:
Publication Date: 07/19/2011

Review of the operations and policies of the Department of Assigned Counsel (DAC) in Pierce County, Washington, with a particular focus on indigency determinations, attorney appointments, investigations, training, and resources. Study team reports that many county officials lack a clear understanding of the organizational structure and function of the DAC. Empirical findings were made difficult by the absence of reliable statistical data, but the authors note that the majority of cases in Pierce County are handled by attorneys on the assigned counsel panel and that zealous pre-trial advocacy seems to be lacking in the county. Recommendations include, but are not limited to: determining procedures for establishing indigency, hiring more investigators and support staff, developing attorney training programs, and upgrading resources and facilities.

Author/Organization: National Legal Aid & Defender Association
Publication Date: 1981

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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These Standards tailor previously existing national standards – those for public defender or contract defender systems – to specifically address those systems employing an assigned counsel delivery model.  The standards apply equally to the administration of an assigned counsel, whether it is the only right to counsel system in place in the specific jurisdiction or if it serves as a secondary/conflict system.

Author/Organization: National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)
Publication Date: 1989

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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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

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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TX County Looks to Cut Indigent Defense Costs

BY Jon Mosher on Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 1:05 PM

Like so many counties across the nation, Montgomery County, Texas, is looking to cut its expenses. According to the Conroe Courier, a member of the local judiciary suggests looking to indigent defense to cut costs.  The county currently operates under an assigned counsel model for adult criminal cases, with judges approving attorney vouchers. Juvenile cases are handled under contract with three private attorneys at a $175,000 flat annual fee.