Category Archives: Public Defender

Cop House Lawyers Ordered In Chicago

This could be the begining of a major change.  As few outside the criminal justice system know, in the US most people without resources do not get to talk to a lawyer until shortly before they see a judge. That … Continue reading

Posted in Bail, Chasm with Communities, Criminal Law, Defender Programs, Policing, Public Defender, Research and Evalation

Thoughts on the Medical Consent Process and Implications for the Relationship Between Courts, Legal Advocates and Clients

Yesterday, I had a bone marrow biopsy, as part of my ongoing medical care dealing with bone marrow cancer.  That biopsy is not my favorite thing, but let me tell you, as often at Hopkins, you are reminded just what … Continue reading

Posted in Attorney-Client, Criminal Law, Defender Programs, Judicial Ethics, Legal Ethics, Medical System Comparision, Personal, Public Defender, Transparency | 2 Comments

Jim Greiner’s Comment on the Inherent Conflict Respresented by Funding Public Defenders by Fees Charged Defendant’s and My Response

Jim Greiner has submitted a brilliant and challenging comment on my recent post about the funding of 41% of the New Orleans Public Defender from court fines, fees and assessments.  It is worth very serious consideration.  Here is the full … Continue reading

Posted in Attorney-Client, Bail, Budget Issues, Chasm with Communities, Commentators, Court Management, Criminal Law, Defender Programs, Political Support, Poverty, Public Defender | 4 Comments

Research Suggests “In Court, Your Face Could Determine Your Fate”

NPR picks up on recent research about the relationship between facial appearance and sentencing. (Full study here.) Individuals who are deemed to have untrustworthy faces are significantly more likely to be on death row compared with other people convicted of … Continue reading

Posted in Criminal Law, Public Defender, Research and Evalation | 5 Comments

Counsel Who Won Bail Affordability Case Guest Blogs on “Human Beings in cages because they can not afford to pay money bail”

This is an important post by Alec Karakatsanis, of Equal Justice Under Law, counsel in a recent victory in a case dealing with unaffordable cash bail.  The lawsuit was brought by Equal Justice Under Law and ArchCity Defenders, a non-profit … Continue reading

Posted in Bail, Chasm with Communities, Court Fees and Costs, Public Defender, Reentry | 1 Comment

Interdisciplinary Education Comes to Medicine — What About Law?

A recent NYT blog highlights how medical education trains its varied professionals, doctors, nurses, physicians assistants, in totally isolated silos, even though today they almost always actually practice in integrated teams. But, there are now some changes described in the … Continue reading

Posted in Law Schools, Medical System Comparision, Public Defender, Systematic Change | 1 Comment

What Does it Mean that DOJ Has Filed a Statement of Interest in NY Right to Quality Counsel Case?

As folks should know by now, the US DOJ has filed a “Statement of Interest” in the ongoing New York State case about the quality of indigent defense services. While taking no formal position on the merits of the case, … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Criminal Law, Dept. of Justice, Public Defender

“Gideon Voucher” Experiment Offers Client Choice

Adam Liptak has a fascinating piece in today’s New York Times that includes discussion of an experimental “Gideon Voucher” system to be tried in Comal County, Tex with funding from the Texas Indigent Defense Commission. The article contrasts it to … Continue reading

Posted in Defender Programs, Funding, Mixed Model, Public Defender, Systematic Change | 1 Comment

Greater DOJ Inlolvement in Defense Services Issues Gets Attention

The intervention by the Department of Justice in the quality of indigent defense services — very much a first from this administration — is getting deserved praise.  NPR had a story: . . . an unprecedented recent court filing from … Continue reading

Posted in Dept. of Justice, Funding, Public Defender

Memories of a Mentor, and Honoring a Prosecutor

On the 50th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainright, I keep thinking about one of my mentors, Brownlow (Browny) Speer, who died a few weeks ago. Browny was Chief Appellate Attorney of first the Massachusetts Defenders Committee, and then its successor, … Continue reading

Posted in Access to Justice Generally, Criminal Law, Legal Ethics, Public Defender, Vocation

Webinar on Fedeal Funding Resources for Public Defenders

The webinar description (Strengthening Indigent Defense: Understanding State and Federal Resources, posted by the National Criminal Justice Association) says it all: This webinar (now online) will showcase the Justice Department’s efforts to encourage jurisdictions to bring all system stakeholders together … Continue reading

Posted in Funding, Public Defender

ABA Sets Up Juvenile Collateral Consequences Site

This site is  nice clean example of using technology to alert people to problems that they might otherwise ignore.  It is designed to let juveniles think about the possible consequences of juvenile pleas that go beyond the obvious. I also … Continue reading

Posted in Legal Aid, Public Defender