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Refusing to provide ineffective assistance of counsel, at the threat of a contempt conviction

Feb 19, 2010 Refusing to provide ineffective assistance of counsel, at the threat of a contempt conviction

It appears that various public defender offices and public defender leaders range from on one end of the spectrum doing public defender work as a calling, working very long hours, and coming to the aid of colleagues anytime they stand up to a judge for what is right; to the other end of the spectrum seeing the work as just a job, not working more hours than they see the pay justifying, preferring to get along with prosecutors and judges as much as they get along with them at happy hour and the golf course, and scratching their heads when a colleague puts his or her job and liberty on the line to stand up to a judge.

Kudos to Public Defender Revolution’s author for standing up to a judge by refusing the judge’s order to proceed to trial without a postponement, where proceeding without a postponement would have been ineffective assistance of counsel. Kudos to PDR not only for so standing up, but for figuring out a way to do so effectively, including through finding, engaging, and working with a lawyer to represent PDR, found through PDR’s state criminal defense association.

Thanks to @skellywright for posting on PDR’s blog entry.

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