Defender

On August 16, 2007, a public defense attorney in Portage County, Ohio was appointed to represent a client on the very day the client's case was set to go to trial by jury.  The attorney asked for a delay to investigate and prepare, but the judge only gave him an extended 2 1/2 hour lunch break.  Unable to proceed with the trial, the attorney was arrested, convicted, and sentenced by the judge for contempt of court.

This Resolution issued, commending the public defense attorney for defending his client's right to effective assistance of counsel, and condemning the judge's actions.

Author/Organization: American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD)
Publication Date: 08/25/2007

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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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In 2008, the Office of the Public Defender for the 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida, providing indigent defense services for Miami-Dade County, was engaged in litigation regarding excessive caseloads.  This Resolution was issued in connection with that litigation.

Author/Organization: American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD)
Publication Date: 06/05/2008

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In 2008, the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy and the Louisville and Jefferson County Public Defender Corporation were engaged in litigation regarding excessive caseloads in their indigent defense systems.  The ACCD issued this Resolution in connection with that litigation.

Author/Organization: American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD)
Publication Date: 07/22/2008

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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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On August 24, 2007, the American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD) approved a resolution endorsing a report of the ACCD's Caseload Task Force, reaffirming the validity of public defender caseload limit recommendations first set out in 1973 by the National Advisory Commission (NAC) on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals. 

By this letter, the ACCD conveyed its policy positions to the American Bar Association, Standing Committee on Legal Aid & Indigent Defense (ABA-SCLAID).

Author/Organization: American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD)
Publication Date: 02/08/2008

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United States Attorney General Eric Holder met with the American Council of Chief Defenders (ACCD) at their ACCD Spring Conference in 2009.  This is the transcript of his prepared remarks at that conference.

Author/Organization: Department of Justice (DOJ)
Publication Date: 06/24/2009

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Gideon Alert: National Association of Counties calls for improved public defense services

BY David Carroll on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 1:42 PM

On January 19, 2011, the National Association of Counties (NACo) called upon the United States Department of Justice to assist rural counties in overcoming systemic deficiencies that prevent them from meeting the states’ obligation to provide constitutionally-mandated indigent defense services.  Founded in 1935, NACo is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States and provides essential services to America’s 3,068 counties.  In their press release, NACo recommends funding pilot public defender programs to serve multi-county jurisdictions, while reminding counties of NACo’s policy that public defenders be active participants in all criminal justice planning at the local level.

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

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