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Public Defender

Feb 14, 2023

Judge issues final ruling in defender wait list suit

Wait lists for criminal defendants who need a public defender are a thing of the past — and a judge’s order aims to keep it that way.

Jun 3, 2019

Jackson County defenders air caseload concerns

Nearly 1,000 criminal defendants in Jackson County have been told they must wait indefinitely before they may be assigned a public defender, the Jackson County district defender testified May 30 during a conference aimed at addressing defender caseloads. Ruth Petsch, who heads the public defender’s office in Jackson County, acknowledged in sometimes tearful testimony during […]

May 21, 2019

State scrambles to rejoin public-defender caseload suit

The state of Missouri is fighting hard to rejoin litigation it spent more than two years shaking off.

Mar 18, 2019

Public Defender may get partial solution to caseload problem: Wesley Bell

Stephen Reynolds is waiting – and watching. One year ago, Reynolds, the District Defender in St. Louis County, convinced then-Presiding Judge Douglas Beach to recognize that his assistant public defenders were overloaded and to order possible remedies. Long-time Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch challenged that judicial order all the way up to the Missouri Supreme Court. […]

Dec 31, 2018

Defender case transferred to Supreme Court

A case in which St. Louis County public defenders sought — and were granted — relief for heavy caseloads now is headed to the Missouri Supreme Court.

Oct 17, 2018

Byrn denies defenders’ request for new judge

A judge has denied the Jackson County district defender’s request that a new judge hear her office’s concerns about public-defender caseloads.

Oct 12, 2018

Torrence outsources disqualification motion

Jackson County Presiding Judge John Torrence has asked another judge to consider the Jackson County District Defender’s motion to disqualify Torrence from presiding over her case seeking relief for attorney caseloads.

Sep 12, 2018

Defender pushes back on ‘default’ admonition

The Missouri Supreme Court recently declined to intervene in a disciplinary case against a public defender, despite allegations that the admonition was entered without due process.

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