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The Champion

July 2003 , Page 46 

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Delaware County, PA, Board of Judges accepts improved assigned counsel plan

By Kate Jones

NACDL member Arthur Donato has been working tirelessly for the past four years to encourage adoption of an assigned counsel plan with adequate hourly fees and standards and prevent a fixed fee contract system for conflict cases in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. The NACDL Indigent Defense Committee supported his efforts by providing information about contract systems and participating in a meeting with county officials along with Marea Beeman from The Spangenberg Group.

In early March, the Board of Judges in Delaware County accepted the proposed assigned counsel plan, which includes rotating appointments from a panel of lawyers screened by the Bar Association; four appointment levels (misdemeanors, felonies, homicides, and capital cases); compensation at $40/hour for travel time, $50/hour out-of-court time, and $60/hour in-court time; waivable caps at $1000 for misdemeanors, $2500 for felonies, $5000 for homicides, and $10,000 for capital cases; recommendat

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