Public Defenders

598 ABA Journal Public Defenders articles.

Afternoon Briefs: Bail reform ‘as big as Brown v. Board of Education;’ how some rich kids get college aid

Commissioners in Harris County, Texas, have agreed to reform a cash bail system that had kept many indigent misdemeanor defendants in jail pending trial. A federal appeals court

Lawyer held in contempt for recording defendant’s mouth being taped shut on judge’s orders

A public defender in Louisiana has been found in contempt of court for taking out his cellphone and recording a talkative defendant’s mouth being taped shut on a judge’s orders.

He’s 31, he’s a lawyer, and he’s still getting stopped by the police
Late one afternoon in March 2018, I had just left work to meet a friend in Brooklyn when cops stopped me on the street. I had just graduated from law school, so I knew enough to keep my mouth shut. I invoked my rights, but it didn't matter. They still tried to get me to admit to something I didn't do.
Police officers illegally use information from arrests that have been sealed, lawsuit says
When a man named J.J. was arrested in the Bronx in 2016, the public defenders assigned to represent him assumed he’d get a good plea deal. After all, it appeared to be a low-level case. J.J. had been a passenger in his friend’s car when police had pulled them over for allegedly failing to signal a turn; the officers then searched the vehicle and found an unlicensed gun inside.
Afternoon Briefs: Unlicensed PD’s clients stick with plea deals; lawyer a no-show at sentencing

Defendants whose plea bargains were handled by an unlicensed public defender in Madison County, Illinois, apparently aren’t interested in a do-over. All but one of the defendants whose cases…

Public defender is gored while taking selfie at running of the bulls

A public defender from California thought the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, had ended when he decided to take a video selfie after participating in the opening bull…

As California lawmakers cut criminal sentences, some district attorneys push back using plea deals

After the jury deadlocked in Victor Hugo Sanchez’s murder trial in February, San Diego prosecutors offered him a deal: plead guilty to manslaughter and spend just 11 years in state…

Public defender accused of working without a law license in over 100 cases

A public defender in New Orleans is under investigation for allegedly practicing law without a license in more than 100 cases.

The staff lawyer, Ashley Crawford, was pulled from cases…

Deputy PD accused of ax attack on his family partly blames financial worries

A deputy public defender in California told police that he attacked his family with a splitting maul partly because of financial worries after he learned his wife had about $10,000…

Judge accused of trying to cover up chronic tardiness and absenteeism

An Atlanta judge who was chronically late and persistently absent compounded her problems when she tried to cover it up, according to allegations in an ethics complaint filed last Wednesday.

Federal judge blocks ICE from making civil immigration arrests at courthouses

On Thursday, a federal judge in Boston granted a preliminary injunction that blocks U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement from making civil arrests at state courthouses in Massachusetts.

U.S. District Judge…

Public defender fired after judge discovers she never passed bar exam

An assistant public defender who gave advice and made “critical decisions” on about 80 cases has been fired after a judge discovered she did not have a law license.


‘Anti-defense bill’ would put public defenders at risk of jail and hamper their work, critics say

Critics say legislation passed by the Louisiana House of Representatives would put public defenders in an ethical quandary and put them at risk of jail time.

Dane Ciolino, a law…

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…

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