A 1992 Colorado Statute provided that in misdemeanor cases an individual's application for assigned counsel "shall be deferred until after the prosecuting attorney has spoken with the defendant."[Colo. Rev. Stat. §16-7-301(4)] .The statute also assigned prosecutors the responsibility of advising the defendant of their right to retain counsel or seek court appointed counsel. Alleging these provisions violated an accused's rights under the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, NACDL, working with the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar and the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, supported a lawsuit to challenge the practice. The firm of Morrison & Foerster LLP represented the petitioners pro bono. While the litigation was pending the Colorado legislature repealed the offending provision, mooting the litigation and removing the barrier to a defendant's right to counsel.View Complaint
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