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Contract Counsel: A Different Way to Defend the Poor
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District of kansas, chief judge eric f. melgren | clerk of court skyler b. o'hara, search form.
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Court Appointed Counsel in Civil Actions
The District of Kansas Local Rule 83.5.3 (f) addresses procedures to be followed by court-appointed counsel who represent indigent parties in civil cases. Counsel must follow these procedures if they wish to seek reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenditures which counsel are reasonably compelled to incur, which the client is not able to pay, and which are not otherwise recoverable in the action (including settlement).
To qualify for reimbursement, all expenditures must be approved in advance by the court.
To seek advance approval for expenses
- Use Authority to Reimburse Court Appointed Counsel (Civil) form.
- Complete items 1 through 9 on the form.
- Submit form to Clerk's Office.
- Clerk's Office will share with presiding judge, and, if the requested amount exceeds $3,000, the Chief Judge.
- Counsel will be contacted by the presiding judge or Chief Judge if more information or clarification is needed.
- If the request is approved, counsel will be notified that they are authorized to incur the expenses.
- The form will be returned to counsel for retention until termination of the case.
After the case is closed
- On the original form, counsel should complete items 11 through 13.
- Submit the form to the Clerk's Office.
- The Clerk's Office will share the form with the presiding judge for approval of payment.
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Standards for the Administration of Assigned Counsel Systems (1989)
You are here, introduction to the 1989 edition:.
The National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) is a private, nonprofit, national membership organization dedicated to the provision of quality legal services to poor people in both criminal and civil cases.
Since 1911, NLADA has worked to ensure that poor people have the same access to quality legal services as those who can afford to retain counsel, and since 1958 has specifically included poor persons accused of crime in that goal. Yet, access to quality legal assistance is still denied to many persons in our criminal justice system. While governments have a constitutional duty to provide counsel to poor persons charged with criminal offenses, the poor frequently receive inadequate representation from their government-supplied lawyers. In other words, there are two systems of justice: one for the poor and one for those who can afford to hire counsel.
Assigned counsel – that is, private attorneys appointed in individual cases – is the primary method for delivery of defense services in about 50% of the counties in the United States. Defense services are also provided through defender offices and contracts with law firms or private organizations. While there are national standards governing the delivery of defense services by defender offices and contract systems, the only standards for assigned counsel systems are those contained in general defense services standards or employed in a few local jurisdictions. In most assigned counsel jurisdictions, the absence of standards has resulted in an absence of structure, quality control, training and support services. In fact, some assigned counsel “systems” amount to no more than an ad hoc assignment of attorneys by individual judges.
It is to remedy these deficiencies – and thereby improve the quality of representation provided by assigned counsel – that NLADA is promulgating these Standards.
These Standards represent what NLADA believes to be the ideal system for providing representation through assigned counsel. While financial, administrative and other considerations may prevent some jurisdictions using assigned counsel from immediately achieving this ideal, the Standards provide a model for improving representation of those who cannot afford to retain private counsel, and a goal that assigned counsel systems should work to achieve.
The "black letter" text of these standards is available here for free. NLADA members have access to the full versions of standards, including commentary, related standards, and legal sources. Printed versions of standards are also available in our store.
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More Indigent Defense Standards
Section 1: Scope
Standard 1 Scope
Section 2: Policies
Standard 2.1 Provision of Quality Representation
Standard 2.2 Independence from Judiciary and Funding Source
Standard 2.3 Financial Eligibility
Standard 2.4 Contribution and Recoupment
Standard 2.5 Early Representation
Standard 2.6 Duration and Continuity of Representation
Standard 2.7 Waiver Safeguards
Standard 2.8 Standby Counsel
Standard 2.9 Standards for Performance of Counsel
Section 3: Structure
Standard 3.1 Establishment of Legal Representation Plan
Standard 3.1.A Assigned Counsel in All Eligible Cases
Standard 3.1.B Mixed Delivery System Including Assigned Counsel
Standard 3.1.C Assigned Counsel for Conflicts Only
Standard 3.2.1 Creation of Board
Standard 3.2.2 Functions of Board
Standard 3.3.1 Position of Administrator
Standard 3.3.2 Qualifications of Administrator
Standard 3.3.3 Employment Status and Pay of Administrator
Standard 3.3.4 Functions of Administrator
Standard 3.4 Budget and Funding
Standard 3.5.1 Insurance for Board and Administrators
Standard 3.5.2 Insurance for Program Attorneys
Standard 3.6 Office Space, Equipment, Supplies
Section 4: Responsibilities
Standard 4.1 Establishment and General Operation of Assigned Counsel Roster
Standard 4.1.1 Qualifications of Attorneys
Standard 4.1.2 Workloads of Attorneys
Standard 4.1.3 Publicizing the Program
Standard 4.2 Orientation
Standard 4.3.1 Entry-Level Training
Standard 4.3.2 In-Service Training
Standard 4.4 Supervision of Attorneys
Standard 4.4.1 Mentoring
Standard 4.4.2 Monitoring
Standard 4.5 Disciplinary Policies and Procedures
Standard 4.5.1 Penalties Less than Removal
Standard 4.5.2 Removal from Program Roster(s)
Standard 4.5.3 Reinstatement After Removal
Standard 4.6 Support Services
Standard 4.7.1 Assigned Counsel Fees
Standard 4.7.2 Method of Compensation
Standard 4.7.3 Payment of Expenses
Standard 4.7.4 Only Authorized Compensation
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As the costs of providing counsel to poor defendants in criminal cases takes an increasingly heavy toll on public resources, many communities have turned to contract systems to provide a service that has traditionally been offered by ad hoc assigned counsel and public defenders. While contracting, like other forms of privatization, is popularly associated with cost reductions, there have been few rigorous studies that demonstrate the superior efficiency of any particular indigent defense program type including contracting. Moreover, the results of studies of program effectiveness or quality are contradictory and inconclusive. This article draws upon theories of privatization, first, to provide a framework for comparing contract programs with assigned counsel and public defender systems, and, second, to begin to stipulate the conditions under which contracting might prove an acceptable means of providing counsel to the poor.
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assigned counsel , a lawyer or lawyers appointed by the state to provide representation for indigent persons. Assigned counsel generally are private lawyers designated by the courts to handle particular cases; in some countries, particularly the United States, public defenders permanently employed by the government perform this function.
The right to counsel varies considerably from country to country. Until the late 19th century, access to counsel was almost entirely predicated upon an individual’s ability to pay. If a person could afford a lawyer, he was entitled to one; if he was poor, he usually went unrepresented, except at times in capital cases. In the late 19th century, bar organizations and social-welfare groups banded together to supply legal aid to the indigent. By the mid-20th century, the governments of most European countries were participating in these programs in some fashion, in either their administration or funding or in both.
Most countries have recognized the right of the indigent to have counsel in criminal cases, particularly for the most serious types of offenses. Although Great Britain provided legal aid earlier (1949) than the United States, the United States was at the forefront in providing assigned counsel. Beginning in 1963 in Gideon v. Wainwright , the United States Supreme Court issued a series of decisions that upheld the rights of indigent persons accused of felonies to have counsel during trial and appeal and even during police interrogation. Although this right was not extended to cover misdemeanours, some jurisdictions and many public defender offices give coverage in such cases. Owing to an increase in prisoners on death row and a diminished emphasis on pro bono work in law firms, at the beginning of the 21st century, many prisoners sentenced to death in the United States lacked lawyers during the appeals process. For example, it was estimated that two-fifths of death-row inmates in Alabama were without counsel as statutory deadlines for filing appeals approached.
In civil-law countries and in England, the provision of assigned counsel has been more limited. For example, in France anyone accused of a crime beyond a minor misdemeanour must have counsel at the preliminary hearing and the trial, but this right has not been extended to cover police interrogation. Japan requires counsel only for cases in which punishment may exceed a three-year prison term. In Russia there must be a defense counsel in any case in which a public prosecutor participates or any case in which the accused is incapable of handling his defense.
Many countries do not remunerate lawyers assigned to defend the poor in criminal cases. In the United States the compensation is often considerably lower than what the attorney could receive from a private client. In consequence, although many public defenders and assigned attorneys are capable lawyers, they are often young and lacking in experience. In England, where the majority of lawyers volunteer to take cases involving indigent defendants, an accused person has a somewhat better chance of obtaining experienced counsel in a criminal proceeding.
In civil cases there is an even greater disparity between countries as far as rights to counsel and the resultant quality of counsel are concerned. In England state aid has been granted in divorce and certain kinds of litigation since 1949. Not until 1966 did the United States begin to deal with the problem of civil litigation, and then it did so only in a limited fashion. The poor were given the right to sue for divorce without paying filing fees and court costs; the right to counsel in such cases was also indicated. Although rights were not originally extended to other areas of civil litigation, legal aid is now provided for some eviction and bankruptcy cases.
In civil-law countries (e.g., France and Italy) the system of providing counsel for the indigent in civil cases is usually well organized but tends to employ young, inexperienced lawyers who usually serve without pay. In Germany , where the Federal Constitutional Court has upheld the right of the poor to counsel in civil actions, the compensation is adequate to be attractive to experienced attorneys. Lawyers are appointed by the court and paid by the government.
The North Dakota Legal Counsel for Indigents Commission prepared a model ... defender services and assigned counsel services, provide a sound model for
3 (f) addresses procedures to be followed by court-appointed counsel who represent indigent parties in civil cases. Counsel must follow these procedures if they
Assigned counsel – that is, private attorneys appointed in individual cases – is ... the Standards provide a model for improving representation of those who
Learn about court-appointed attorneys and public defenders. ... An assigned counsel is defined as a lawyer appointed by the court as a
public defender programs. The assigned counsel model involves the assignment of indigent criminal cases to private attorneys on either a systematic or an ad.
give a first co-defendant a government-employed lawyer but assign the second co-de- ... counsel model to provide the bulk of its representational needs
contract programs with assigned counsel and public defender systems, and, second, ... There have been few studies that model the.
The assigned counsel model is the most prevalent system that counties use to appoint counsel for indigent criminal defendants in Texas. It involves the.
assigned counsel, a lawyer or lawyers appointed by the state to provide representation for indigent persons. Assigned counsel generally are private lawyers
assigned counsel systems perform in comparison to public defenders? ... Model results will be explicated and the article will conclude by.