National

Trial-level right to counsel systems and the ethical obligations of indigent defense attorneys

BY on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 4:52 PM

"Ethical Obligations of Indigent Defense Attorneys to Their Clients" provides a basic introduction to the provision of indigent defense services in courts throughout the country and the ethical obligations of the attorney who provide these services.

This Article, published at 75 Mo.L.Rev. 715, is a basic introduction to the provision of indigent defense services in state courts throughout the country and the ethical obligations of the attorneys who provide those services.  First, the Article briefly quantifies what currently exists in our right to counsel systems -- what we know, and what we do not know.  The Article then discusses the rules that generally govern the ethics of representation provided by indigent defense attorneys.  Third, the Article examines the measures by which attorneys can know whether they are fulfilling and will continue to fulfill their ethical obligations.  Finally, the Article discusses the responsibilities of the broader justice system to ensure ethical representation of indigent defendants and why that goal is rarely achieved. 

Author/Organization: Phyllis E. Mann
Publication Date: 2010

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AG Holder addresses juvenile representation before National Association of Counties convention

BY Jon Mosher on Thursday, March 10, 2011 at 4:02 PM

On March 7, US Attorney General Eric Holder addressed the National Association of Counties at its legislative conference in Washington DC, focusing his remarks on the failure of state and local juvenile justice policies to address the underlying causes of delinquent behavior by children.  Often, the methods our justice systems maintain to punish youthful offenders – especially those accused of lesser offenses – result in increasingly poor behavior.  As a result, he argues, our communities are less safe, not more.

Watch the BJA Webinar on the Right to Counsel

BY Jon Mosher on Wednesday, March 9, 2011 at 5:03 PM

For those who missed the March 8 webinar, "The Right to Counsel: Standards & Solutions in a Downturned Economy," fret not ... We have posted the webinar onto our website, and you can watch it in its entirety here.  The webinar was presented by NLADA's research director David Carroll, on behalf of the USDOJ/BJA's National Training and Technical Assistance Center.

On March 8, NLADA research director David Carroll conducted a national webinar on behalf of, the DOJ/BJA’s National Training and Technical Assistance Center (NTTAC). While state policymakers work to construct indigent defense systems that meet basic foundational national standards, prudent use of taxpayer dollars requires that they concurrently decrease the need for public defense attorneys by removing non-violent, low-level felonies and misdemeanors from the formal justice system through diversion and/or reclassification of crimes to infractions where it is safe, reasonable and prudent to do so. The presentation explores the state of the right to counsel in America, offers insight into current national standards, and presents practical solutions to public defense problems that threaten our courts' abilities to produce verdicts that are fair, correct, swift and final. The hour-long webinar includes a 40-min presentation followed by 20 mins of questions and answers.

Author/Organization: David Carroll, NLADA
Publication Date: 03/08/2011

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The Crime Report studies the impact of holistic representation on defender clients

BY Jon Mosher on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at 3:59 PM

On March 8, the Crime Report ran a well-rounded article on holistic representation: “Can the ‘Holistic Approach’ Solve The Crisis in Public Defense?”  We don’t have much to add, other than to suggest the article is worth checking out.

These appellate standards are divided into two parts. Part I sets out specific criteria for assuring the quality of legal representation in appellate matters. These include the structural requirements necessary to ensure quality, as well as attorney performance objects that define quality representation on behalf of the client. Part II sets out specific criteria for assuring the efficiency of legal representation in appellate matters. These include effective management procedures and office policies, as well as attorney procedures for the preparation of appellate briefs and other client-centered operations.

Author/Organization: National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)
Publication Date: 1980

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The ABA’s Providing Defense Services (1992), Standard 5-1.5 calls for access to ongoing training for public defense attorneys.  The preface to the NLADA defender training standards also states: “Continuous improvement and training are critical to competence.” And as NLADA’s Performance Guidelines for Criminal Defense Representation (1995) define specific criteria for attorney competence, these Defender Training and Development Standards establish guidelines for the creation and implementation of ongoing training programs for defender systems against those performance criteria.

Author/Organization: National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)
Publication Date: 1997

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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

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These Guidelines are intended to help local and state govern¬ments and agencies which choose to establish contract defense programs and which choose to award contracts on a competitive basis to do so constitutionally, and to help insure that efficient contract programs operate well for the government, the courts and the citizens they serve.Contracts written, negotiated and entered into in accordance with these Guidelines and with consideration of the issues these Guidelines raise should, by their terms, help ensure that high quality service will be provided to those defendants unable to afford counsel. Such contracts should also provide to the criminal justice system effective defense services which comport with government's other interests in efficiency, economy and accountability.

Author/Organization: National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)
Publication Date: 1984

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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