The public defender system and state bar are gearing up in case private lawyers start getting assigned on a massive scale to handle public defender overflow cases.Read More »
Missouri Bar President Skip Walther finalized a task force this week that will ponder solutions to ongoing resource problems for all parts of the criminal justice system. Two past bar presidents, several prosecutors and public defenders and one former lawmaker ...Read More »
The Missouri Supreme Court struck down rules the Missouri Public Defender Commission enacted in 2008 that allow public defenders to refuse certain types of cases.
But, as public defenders read the decision, opinion author Judge Michael A. Wolff shoved open the door to a new option. Public defender offices can't refuse some cases and take others, but particularly burdened offices might be able to refuse to take any new cases.
At the urging of a new Missouri Bar governor, the Missouri State Public Defender System may try to recoup some of the $70,000 the system raised to pay for a comprehensive study of its caseload problems. The governor, Marie Kenyon, ...Read More »
Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation that would have given public defenders greater control over their caseloads. Under the provisions of the bill, the director of the public defender system could notify the court that the public defender is unavailable. ...Read More »