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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 83314 Find in a Library
Title: Social Organization of Legal Services to Indigent Defendants
Journal: American Bar Foundation Research Journal  Volume:1981  Issue:4  Dated:(Fall 1981)  Pages:1023-1048
Author(s): J A Gilboy
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 26
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article draws together materials portraying appointed counsel services in various jurisdictions to illustrate the role of court organization in shaping legal services to indigent defendants.
Abstract: Many criminal courts are bifurcated into preliminary hearing and trial courts. Legal representation of indigents is frequently organized to parallel these stages. As a result, indigent defendants receive defense services from a succession of different lawyers at different stages of their cases. This occurs in three ways. First, some defendants legally eligible for appointed counsel at the inception of their cases have counsel appointed for them only at the trial court after initially employing their own counsel at the preliminary hearing. The dual court system encourages such one-stage representation by private lawyers by facilitating their withdrawal between stages of a case. Second, indigents may also have different private lawyers appointed to represent them at different stages because judges, interested in efficiently running their court calls, desire that particular lawyers represent indigents in their courtrooms. Finally, defender offices often assign different lawyers to different stages as a result of both the demands by judges that defenders be assigned exclusively to their courtrooms and the costs of delivering continuous legal services in a tiered judicial system. For indigent defendants, the sequential system of representation may adversely affect the quality of case preparation and undermine a sound attorney-client relationship. A total of 106 case notes are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Court appointed counsel; Defense services; Indigents; Legal aid services
Note: This is the first article from a larger study of appointed counsel services.
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