Prompt Appointment

Gideon Alert: New Orleans DA questions appointed counsel for those who make bail

BY David Carroll on Wednesday, November 9, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Bail is often posted by someone else on behalf of a defendant.  Another person may have all sorts of reasons for wanting to get the defendant out of jail.  For example, parents of an adult defendant may find themselves serving as caretaker for the defendant’s children while the defendant is in jail, or a defendant’s in-laws may want the defendant to get back to work to support the family.  But these people may not have a similar or any incentive to hire a lawyer to defend the charge against the defendant.  The assets of others cannot be considered in determining whether the defendant is indigent and entitled to a public lawyer, because others cannot be compelled to hire a lawyer for the defendant.  

A memo from the Washoe County District Attorney and County Manager's Office to the County Commission in advance of its August 9, 2011 meeting.  The memo recommends the County Commission approve the proposed contract for public defense services with Washoe Legal Services. Under the contract, the civil legal aid office would provide representation for an annual flat fee to indigent criminal defendants in the County's early case resolution (ECR) program.

Author/Organization: Washoe County District Attorney & County Manager's Office
Publication Date: 07/28/2011

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Gideon Alert: Nevada DA seeks way around court-ordered performance guidelines

BY David Carroll on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 12:44 PM

On August 9th, 2011, the Washoe County (Reno) District Attorney will ask the County Board to contract with Washoe Legal Services (WLS) to provide representation to criminal defendants in a reinstituted early case resolution (ECR) program.  The proposed contract is for WLS to handle every ECR case for a single flat fee of $80,000 with no extra funds set aside for investigations.   

This letter regarding Washoe County's early case resolution (ECR) program was sent in response to Washoe assistant DA Helzer's letter to David Carroll, NLADA. 

Author/Organization: David Carroll, NLADA
Publication Date: 04/29/2008

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John Helzer, assistance county district attorney for Washoe County (Reno) Nevada, wrote to David Carroll in response to Mr. Carroll's letter of April 18, 2008 to the Nevada Supreme Court regarding Washoe County's early case resolution (ECR) program.

Author/Organization: John Helzer, Washoe County DA's Office
Publication Date: 04/21/2008

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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David Carroll's letter to the Justices of the Nevada Supreme Court argues their recent administrative docket order (ADKT411) established clear performance guidelines for public defense attorneys, thereby requiring an adjustment of Washoe County's so-called early case resolution (ECR) program to meet the Court's guidelines.

Author/Organization: David Carroll, NLADA
Publication Date: 04/18/2008

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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NY Chief Judge Sets Goal to Provide Counsel at Arraignments

BY David Carroll on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 12:29 PM

“While there are pending legal and constitutional challenges” to systemic indigent defense deficiencies in New York that will play themselves out, there remains “an independent and compelling moral obligation for every participant in the criminal justice system to work together” to end the practice of arraigning and jailing indigent defendants who are not represented by counsel, announced New York’s Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman on May 2, 2011 during his annual Law Day address.  Calling the practice “a fundamental failure that can no longer be tolerated in a modern, principled society governed by the rule of law,” he vowed that by next year’s Law Day “the norm in our great State will be that defendants are represented by counsel at arraignment, and that anything less than that will be aberrational in nature.”

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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Gideon Alert: Lawsuit challenges Colorado law refusing appointment of counsel until after clients meet with DA

BY David Carroll on Sunday, December 12, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Colorado is the only state in the country that statutorily requires indigent defendants in misdemeanor cases to consult with prosecutors about plea deals before they can receive their constitutional right to counsel.  Colo. Rev. Stat. § 16-7-301(4) states that, in misdemeanor cases, the “application for appointment of counsel and the payment of the application fee shall be deferred until after the prosecuting attorney has spoken with the defendant.”  The prosecutor is statutorily obligated “to tell the defendant any offer that can be made based on the facts as known by the prosecuting attorney at that time.”

On July 1, 2008, the Colorado State Court Administrator and the State Public Defender jointly requested a formal opinion from the state Attorney General on the constitutionality of the law requiring misdemeanor defendants to delay appointment of counsel until after speaking with a prosecutor about a plea deal.  Attorney General response included.

Author/Organization: Colorado State Court Administrator and the State Public Defender
Publication Date: 07/01/2008

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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