Court appointed attorneys have been granted a reprieve. The City of Philadelphia has withdrawn its plan for a private law firm to handle indigent and dependent cases which cannot be handled by the Defender Association. The private law firm would have handled cases in which the Defender Association has a conflict. Presumably, court appointed counsel would only be used in cases of three or more defendants. The result of the contract would have been a severe reduction in court appointments to individual lawyers.
Honorable Dennis M. O’Brien
On Tuesday, the City Council Committee on Law and Government will hold public hearings on a package of bills which would require City Council oversight for any contract for indigent representation. The bills are sponsored by City Councilperson Dennis M. O’Brien, who addressed the Criminal Justice Section last week.
For more information about the bills or about testifying, contact Miriam M. Enriquez, Esquire of Councilperson O’Brien’s office at 215-686-3440 or firstname.lastname@example.org.