Georgia consent decree requires competent counsel for children and adults

The right to counsel for children and adults in four counties in Georgia should soon be much closer to meeting minimum constitutional demands. The structural changes will come about as the result of a class action lawsuit challenging the effectiveness

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Maryland Supreme Court orders attorneys at bail hearings

Pleading the Sixth: On September 25, 2013, the Maryland Supreme Court reaffirmed its earlier holding that the right to counsel applies to all bail hearings before a commissioner. In effect, this undoes legislative attempts – created in the wake of an

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Florida Supreme Court grants public defenders the right to declare case overload

Pleading the Sixth: On May 23, 2013, the Florida Supreme Court granted the 11th Circuit Public Defender (Miami-Dade County) the right to refuse new cases due to case overload. Importantly, the Court makes the case that Strickland is an inadequate

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Michigan Court of Appeals allows class action lawsuit to proceed

Pleading the Sixth: On April 3, 2013, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s ruling denying the state’s motion to dismiss the American Civil Liberties Union’s class action lawsuit alleging systemic deficiencies to the delivery of constitutionally mandated

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