Brief of Amicus Curiae The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Contemnor-Appellant.
Argument: The Circuit Court's application of the Illinois rules deprives indigent clients of their fundamental right to conflict-free counsel solely on the basis of financial status in violation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the federal and state Constitutions. The right to conflict-free counsel is a fundamental constitutional right. Fundamental constitutional rights may not be denied bases on an inability to pay. The failure to apply similar conflict of interest standards to clients of privately retained attorneys and clients of the Cook County Public Defender's office deprives the Public Defender's clients of their fundamental right to conflict-free counsel. African-American and Latino individuals are likely to bear the brunt of the constitutional violation at issue here.