Appointment of Counsel for Indigent Defendants in Criminal Cases

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Appointment of Counsel for Indigent Defendants in Criminal Cases

   The following rule is adopted by the County and District Courts of the Sixth Judicial District for the appointment of indigent counsel for individuals charged with crimes of misdemeanors and felonies after January 1, 2015. This rule shall not apply to criminal proceedings in which the court appoints the Public Defender or the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy.

  1. GENERAL.
  1. Appointments of private attorneys shall be made on an impartial and equitable basis.
  1. The appointments shall be distributed among the attorneys on a rotation system except as provided in Section III.
  1. Cases shall be assigned to attorneys of sufficient experience, skill, and competence to render effective assistance of counsel to defendants.
  1. Complex cases shall be assigned to attorneys with sufficient levels of experience and competence to provide adequate representation.
  1. Less experienced attorneys should be assigned cases which are within their capabilities, but should be given the opportunity to expand their experience under supervision.
  1. COURT-APPOINTED ATTORNEY LIST.
  1. Each County and District Court shall maintain a court-appointed attorney list from which attorneys shall be appointed to represent indigent defendants.
  1. Attorneys may contact the County and District Court in each County and request the Clerks thereof to place them on, or remove them from, the court-appointed list.
  1. The Clerks shall make the court-appointed attorney list available upon request.
  1. METHOD OF SELECTION FROM COURT-APPOINTED LIST.
  1. The court will generally attempt to appoint attorneys from the court-appointed attorney list on a rotational basis, subject to the court’s sole discretion to make exceptions due to:
  1. the nature and complexity of the case;
  1. an attorney’s experience;
  1. the nature and disposition of the defendant;
  1. a language consideration;
  1. a conflict of interest;
  1. the availability of an attorney, taking into consideration an immediate need to address issues involved in the case;
  1. geographical considerations; and
  1. other relevant factors that may be involved in a specific case.
  1. If the court in its sole discretion varies from the rotation basis, it may appoint any qualified attorney, whether or not the attorney is on the court-appointed attorney list.
  1. REMOVAL AND REINSTATMENT FROM APPOINTMENT LIST.
  1. Judges will monitor attorney performance on a continuing basis to ensure the competency of attorneys on the list. An attorney may be removed from the appointment list by a majority vote of County and District Court judges.
  1. If an attorney is under consideration for removal from the list, written notification will be given indicating the concerns with his or her performance giving rise to consideration for removal, and be given the opportunity to respond in writing or in person before a final decision is made.
  1. An attorney who has been removed from the list may be considered for reinstatement by a majority vote of the judges, after the deficiencies contained in the notice have been resolved.

Approved February 19, 2015.