View Full Version : ARTICLE: Missouri court considers public defenders' right to refuse cases

11-04-2009, 11:26 AM
Missouri court considers when to name public defenders
The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY | State public defenders who contend that excessive caseloads compromise their ability to represent their clients urged the Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday to allow them to reject requests to represent some defendants.

The Public Defender Commission has adopted rules allowing overburdened public defenders to reject clients who have previously hired a lawyer and in certain other cases. The policies are designed to relieve public defenders whose caseloads far exceed professional standards.

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I think this is a very worrying development. Although I agree that over-burdened PDs won't do a very good job for their clients, surely the answer is to appoint more and not to take the right away from an entire group of people.