Public Defenders

615 ABA Journal Public Defenders articles.

Under newly introduced federal bill, public defenders would get same pay as prosecutors

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California, a former prosecutor and Democratic 2020 presidential contender, has introduced a bill that would eventually require pay parity for public defenders and prosecutors.

Public defender had PTSD from representing sex offenders, EEOC says in disability suit

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a lawsuit claiming that the Defender Association of Philadelphia discriminated against a public defender who experienced mental health issues partly from representing sex…

City attorney and public defender call for judge to step down after accusations of partiality
Updated: In an unusual show of solidarity, Seattle’s top prosecutor and public defender are asking the presiding municipal court judge to change his behavior and step down.
Public defenders ask to step down from Parkland shooting case
Two public defenders representing Nikolas Cruz—the suspect in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting that left 17 people dead and another 17 injured in 2018—unexpectedly requested to be removed from his case Wednesday.
Criminal defense attorney and judge settle suit over alleged retaliation involving recording

A Houston criminal defense attorney who recorded a Galveston County judge saying he “overworks” cases and lacks experience has settled his lawsuit against the judge.

In March 2018, Andrew Willey…

Many federal inmates in Brooklyn are largely without heat for a week; suit claims lack of lawyer access

Updated: The U.S. Justice Department said Sunday it will work with the Bureau of Prisons to investigate why a federal prison in Brooklyn had limited power and heat for the…

This public defender was juggling 195 felony cases at once; ‘the workload can be overwhelming’

Back in April 2017, Jack Talaska was working as a public defender in Lafayette, Louisiana, assigned to handle 194 felony cases. Workload studies indicate he needed to do the work…

Once again, judiciary pushes back date when funds will run out, says this is final extension
Updated: For the third time, the federal judiciary has pushed back the date it expects funds for federal court operations to run out. The funds are expected to be depleted on Jan. 31, according to a press release.
Federal judiciary says money won’t run out just yet

Updated: The federal judiciary will be able to keep paying its employees until about Jan. 25, thanks to efforts to defer and delay expenses for noncritical functions.

Courts and federal…

State and governor can’t be sued over public defender caseloads, 8th Circuit says

Missouri and its governor have immunity in a suit claiming indigent defendants in the state aren’t receiving meaningful representation in violation of the Sixth Amendment, a federal appeals court has…

Criminal defense lawyer arrested for alleged threats against attorneys

A Louisville, Kentucky, lawyer who won a murder acquittal for a client earlier this month has been arrested in connection with alleged threats against two lawyers in his own child…

Crowdfunding campaign brings books to Texas jail

Public defender Amalia Beckner saw need at the Harris County Jail in Houston, and worked for change on social media.

Judge orders detention of public defender for ‘acting like I’m some kind of idiot’

A Wisconsin judge ordered a short detention for an assistant public defender last Friday, saying he was in contempt for “acting like I’m some kind of idiot.”

Judge David Borowski…

ABA weighs in on California Supreme Court case affecting state’s new bail reform law
Updated: The American Bar Association filed an amicus brief Tuesday asking the California Supreme Court to affirm a decision critical of that state's bail schedule.
Story about overworked public defender is winner of ABA Journal/Ross Writing Contest

A federal law clerk in Wilmington, North Carolina, has won the 2018 ABA Journal/Ross Writing Contest for Legal Short Fiction for her story about an overworked federal public defender who…

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