A new round of litigation is seeking to address the inadequacies of Missouri’s public defender system. A class-action lawsuit has been filed in Cole County Circuit Court, alleging that the use of public defender “waiting lists” is unconstitutional. The suit ...Read More »
Missouri’s public defenders have argued for years that they have too many cases for too few attorneys but have never been able to prove it. A newly released study of the defender system, they say, could be the long-sought key to reducing their caseload.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.
Gov. Jay Nixon appointed St. Louis lawyer Nancy M. Watkins to the Public Defender Commission. Watkins, 52, practices labor and education law as an of counsel lawyer for Schuchat, Cook & Werner (click here to read her bio). She received ...Read More »
Evans & Dixon senior associate Talmage Newton IV meets with a client at the St. Louis city workhouse. Newton is representing the client as part of his volunteer work for the Missouri Public Defender System. He's also handling two federal public defense cases for which he can be paid $110 an hour.Read More »
The Missouri House sent legislation to the governor providing the Missouri Public Defender Commission with more ability to control its caseload. Sen. Jack Goodman’s bill would allow the state’s Public Defender Commission to implement a maximum caseload standard. Goodman, R-Mt. ...Read More »
A House committee passed without opposition measures meant to combat a heavy caseload in the state’s public defender system. Sen. Jack Goodman’s legislation, among other things, would allow the Missouri Public Defender Commission to seek out methods of controlling their ...Read More »
An appeals court has struck down a rule allowing the Missouri Public Defender Commission to stop taking certain cases to reduce its offices’ workloads. The demise of the rule places additional importance on a bill pending in the Missouri Legislature ...Read More »