☰ In this section

The Champion

May 2003 , Page 36 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

New York court finds failure to raise rates of assigned counsel violates state constitution

By Susan J. Walsh

Read more Indigent Defense columns.

Just three days short of the third anniversary since The New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA) filed suit against the state of New York on behalf of indigent litigants in criminal and family courts in New York City, trial judge Lucindo Suarez declared that the “failure to increase the compensation rates for assigned counsel violates the constitutional and statutory right to meaningful and effective representation.”1 

In a 37-page opinion which annexed a chronology documenting the “pusillanimous posturing and procrastination of the executive and legislative branches” for failing to raise the rates from $40 and $25 per hour for in court and out of court time in 17 years, the court declared the portions of the statutes setting forth those rates unconstitutional as applied.2 It also directed payment in the amount of $90 per hour without distinction between in- and out-of-court work.3 

The decision, based on the testimony of 41 witnesses and 435 exhibits,

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.
Advertisement Advertise with Us

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us