Public Defender Association of Pennsylvania Harrisburg, September 12, 2012 (Copyright 2012


The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania should take action to meet its constitutional obligations of protecting the rights of indigent persons by providing effective counsel in criminal, juvenile, dependency, and mental health proceedings.

What to DO?

Aren’t these supposed to be balanced?

The Chief Public Defenders should be full time where the District Attorney is full time. Indigent Defense Attorneys’ salaries should be commensurate Full-time public defenders should not engage in private practice, exceptions are for:
 Part-time public defenders.  Assigned conflict counsel.  Contract counsel for the indigent.

◦ Other important stuff

Pennsylvania District Attorney Association

Pennsylvania Public Defender Association

Adequate Funding of a Central Office for the Public Defender Association dedicated

solely to the interests of indigent defense in Pennsylvania.

Not a Theoretical Need, the Basic First Step

By Spring 2014, dedicated, adequate funding for the Public Defender Association of PA to support a central office should be established by . . .  Legislative funding  Grant funding – sought jointly with a research university  Bake Sales (Just kidding.)

350000 300000 250000

Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association

150000 100000 50000 0

Pennsylvania Public Defenders Association


If we don’t do this, who will?

400000 350000 300000 250000 200000 150000 100000 50000 0 The Pennsylvania District Attorney


Institute Pennsylvania Public Defenders Association


 Develop a system for collection of resource & case data useful for indigent defense policy makers.
 Existing Resources.  Case types and numbers.  Caseload/Workload.  Identify resources best supplied at a regional or statewide level to achieve economies of scale.

• Coordinating & maintaining statewide training resources for public defenders

900000 800000 700000 600000 $892,150 The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Institute

400000 300000 200000 100000 0

Pennsylvania Public Defenders Association


Caseloads for indigent defense attorneys should be held to standards consistent with the provision of quality defense services.
Taking into account:
 Direct client representation  Administrative responsibilities  Professional development  Continuing legal education requirements

 Before

boatloads of money are spent on a new state agency
us Prove Our Worth, or at least let us pave the way with Pennsylvania specific data

 Let

Within three years after its establishment the Public Defender Association of Pennsylvania Central Office shall provide a report to the legislature which will provide detail by county of . . .

 Customary resources made available by each county to meet public defender mission requirements.  Comparison to prosecutorial resources in the same jurisdiction.  Public defender caseload & conflict counsel caseload  Types of cases requiring significant “out of the office” resources with identification of what the necessary resources are for such cases.

The utility of centrally pooling of scientific or other expert resources. The efficacy of statewide centralization of mitigation aspects of death penalty representation. Central appellate counsel to conduct appeals from the trial level courts to the appellate courts. Recommendations for improvement.

The Happy Ending . . .
Justice breaks out, freedom reigns and we are all out of jobs. Prosecutors find new employment at the car wash.