ABA Journal

Public Defenders

655 ABA Journal Public Defenders articles.

Defendants waiting too long for public defenders are entitled to dismissal of charges, suit says

Eight Wisconsin plaintiffs who have waited weeks or even months for appointed lawyers have filed a class action lawsuit claiming a violation of their right to counsel under the federal and state constitutions.

Defense lawyers for convicted Parkland, Florida, school shooter cry as victims’ parents testify

Defense lawyers were unable to avoid shedding tears as parents testified this week about the loss of their children in the mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in February 2018.

How much do new public interest lawyers earn? Despite raises, pay is well below that of law firms, NALP says

Median salaries are growing for lawyers working in civil legal services and public interest organizations, but there are still “sobering distinctions” when compared to law firm pay, according to the National Association for Law Placement.

Families of criminal defendants are scammed by con artists watching Zoom hearings

Scammers posing as prosecutors and court personnel are watching Zoom hearings and collecting money from families of criminal defendants who want to win release of their loved ones.

Progressive San Francisco DA is recalled; he notes big spending by ‘right-wing billionaires’

Voters in San Francisco recalled progressive San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin on Tuesday.

‘We are done,’ federal judge says, declares mistrial after questioning defense claim

A federal judge in California appeared to lose patience last week with a federal public defender after questioning her claim about a shackled defendant.

Maine will hire its first public defenders to aid struggling indigent defense system

Maine, the last state without public defenders, will soon deploy five of them after Democratic Gov. Janet T. Mills signed a bill earlier this month to create a rural public defenders unit.

Oregon’s overburdened public defender system is ‘buckling before our eyes’

The public defender system in Oregon is so overburdened that several hundred defendants don’t have legal representation at any given time.

Panel attorneys who represent children, indigent adults in New York courts flee low pay

Panel attorneys who represent children and indigent adults in New York family and criminal courts haven’t had a fee hike in almost two decades.

Federal court officials can be sued for alleged failure to protect public defender from sex bias, 4th Circuit rules

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that a former assistant federal public defender in North Carolina can sue court officials for constitutional violations stemming from an alleged faulty investigation of sexual harassment.

JusticeText wins pitch competition at SXSW

JusticeText, a technology platform that assists public defenders with processing video and audio evidence, recently won a pitch competition at the annual South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. The creators of JusticeText were featured as 2022 Legal Rebels by the ABA Journal in February.

McConnell says SCOTUS nominee is backed by ‘soft-on-crime brigade’; Republicans plan to question her sentencing

Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee plan to address “a mishmash” of topics as they question U.S. Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson during her nomination hearing next week.

Defendants want new trials because of racist Facebook posts said to be written by their lawyer

Lawyers for at least two convicted men in Massachusetts are seeking new trials because of racist and offensive Facebook posts thought to have been written by their now-deceased defense lawyer.

Innovative nonprofit organization supports public defenders and their clients

A low-income defendant. An overworked public defender. An underresourced legal system and a cash-strapped local government. Most people wouldn’t look at this scenario and immediately think “opportunity,” but that’s what sets New York City lawyer Emily Galvin-Almanza apart—and explains her innovative approach to legal reform.

New Mexico has 1/3rd the number of public defenders necessary to meet caseload, study finds

The Law Offices of the Public Defender of the State of New Mexico only has one-third of the full-time attorneys it needs to handle its adult criminal and juvenile caseloads, according to a joint study by the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defense and Seattle-based accounting and consulting firm Moss Adams.

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