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Nevada Supreme Court Justice Cherry Receives NACDL Champion of Indigent Defense Award (NACDL News)
By Ivan J. Dominguez
NACDL News columns.
At its fall board meeting in Las Vegas, Nev., NACDL presented Nevada Supreme Court Justice Michael Cherry with its 2011 Champion of Indigent Defense Award. It is the first time since the award was initially presented in 2002 that a judge has received the honor.
Justice Cherry chairs the Supreme Court of Nevada’s Indigent Defense Commission, which examined how Nevada’s justice system treats criminal defendants who cannot afford to hire their own attorneys.
As part of its work, the Indigent Defense Commission recommended performance standards for criminal defense attorneys, which were approved by the Supreme Court in 2009. The performance standards specify that attorneys take certain steps in handling cases of indigent defendants, including regular contact with their clients and comprehensive investigations of the allegations.
The Indigent Defense Commission also studied whether caseload limits should be set for public defenders in Nevada. The Commission’s Rural Sub
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