Public Defense Reform

Gideon Alert: Poor performance costs Washington defender $2.9 million; inexperience, high caseloads, and "trying one's best" are no excuse

BY David Carroll on Friday, May 14, 2010 at 11:05 AM

On May 14, 2010, the Wenatchee World reported that a Chelan County public defender has agreed to pay a $2.9 million dollar settlement to a former client for admittedly providing ineffective assistance of counsel that led to the client’s wrongful imprisonment

Gideon Alert: Texas' Dallas County struggles with undue political & judicial interference

BY David Carroll on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 2:08 PM

An article in the Dallas Morning News  on May 12, 2010 discusses an impasse in the Dallas courts between the executive and judicial branches of government over how to make the courts more efficient.  At iss

Venango County retained NLADA in 2001 to conduct a standards-based assessment of its public defender system. This report details the findings of that assessment.  The public defense system fails to meet national standards, including the ABA Ten Principles, and the public defender office itself falls far short of nationally recognized performance guidelines. NLADA was impressed with the desire on the part of county, court and other criminal justice officials in Venango County to address the issues raised in the report.  Their desire to correct indigent defense issues extended beyond a simple attempt to stem a lawsuit (threatened by the ACLU and NACDL). Unfortunately, Venango County, while truly aiming to resolve its ongoing constitutional crisis, has in the years since the 2001 assessment continued to find itself completely incapable of meeting the state's obligations which have been delegated to it.

Author/Organization: National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)
Publication Date: 06/2002

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.

FLAG THIS CONTENT

NLADA assessment of the right to counsel in seven Montana counties. Submitted in White v. Martz, a class-action lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Montana. That litigation led to wholesale legislative changes in 2005, creating a new statewide public defender system in Montana. With its legislative effort, Montana became the first state to intentionally incorporate each of the ABA Ten Principles into the Public Defender Act.

Author/Organization: National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)
Publication Date: 08/04/2004

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.

FLAG THIS CONTENT

Gideon Alert: New York's highest court allows NYCLU lawsuit to proceed

BY David Carroll on Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 11:24 AM

On May 6, 2010, New York’s highest court ruled that the class action lawsuit brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) on behalf of indigent persons in five counties is an allegation “not for ineffective assistance under Strickl

Modifying the Order of the Appellate Division by reinstating the complaint and remitting for consideration of issues.

Author/Organization: New York Court of Appeals
Publication Date: 05/06/2010

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.

FLAG THIS CONTENT

Gideon Alert: Maryland public defender independence increased

BY David Carroll on Tuesday, May 4, 2010 at 5:00 PM

On May 4, 2010, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law Senate Bill 97 increasing independence for the state public defender agency.  The legislation expands the Public Defender Board from three members all appointed by the Governor to a thirteen-member board selected by divers

Gideon Alert: 11 minute justice in South Carolina misdemeanor courts

BY David Carroll on Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 6:19 PM

In 2007, the State of South Carolina took a major step forward in assuring the promise of Gideon v.

The Louisiana legislature passed the Louisiana Public Defender Act of 2007, ensuring that “all indigent criminal defendants who are eligible to have appointed counsel at public expense receive effective assistance of counsel at each critical stage of the proceeding” and “that the right to counsel is delivered by qualified and competent counsel in a manner that is fair and consistent throughout the state.” This report finds that the intention of the Louisiana legislature has yet to take root in Louisiana’s 15th Judicial District. There remains critical work to be done on the local level in fully implementing the significant reforms already achieved.

Author/Organization: National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA)
Publication Date: 06/2010

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.

FLAG THIS CONTENT

Gideon Alert: Michigan Supreme Court unanimously allows ACLU lawsuit to proceed

BY David Carroll on Friday, April 30, 2010 at 1:09 PM

In a major victory for the right of poor criminal defendants to seek justice from our courts, today the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously issued an order allowing the American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit (