"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

More on the Impoverished Defense Bar

Ken has an interesting take on new, absurdly detailed "guidelines" issued by the Virginia Indigent Defense Commission. Especially on point is Ken's comment that these guidelines, and the additional burdens they attempt to impose on court-appointed lawyers, are a tool by true believer types to force court-appointed lawyers to stop taking cases so the General Assembly will be "forced" to increase funding for court-appointed cases.

I for one second Ken's view that the solution may lie with increasing the cap to an across-the-board $2,500, with the actual fee granted based on documented hours on a time sheet. The trial judge could also waive the cap upon good cause shown and at the court's discretion.

The only question I have about such a system is how to control for, how should I put it, "inflation" of hours claimed. I sense that some lawyers would claim the max on each case unless the time sheets were carefully reviewed by the court.

(By the way, glad to see Ken back on the blog; I did not remove the link to CrimLaw hoping that we would hear more from him).

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