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(NPR)   Good news - we fired all the public defenders. Bad news - we replaced them with private attorneys that cost taxpayers more   (npr.org) divider line 83
    More: Fail, public defenders, Weekend Edition, legal representation, federal government  
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2542 clicks; posted to Politics » on 24 Aug 2013 at 2:51 PM (45 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-24 10:00:43 AM
Listened to this this morning.... nobody ever said that Government was "smart".

I mean, ok, if your plan was to replace public defenders with "Judge, Jury, Executioner" style justice, then, that is fine, but, since we still have at least parts of the Constitution intact, that isn't an option... you'd think they could be a LITTLE more forward thinking about these things.   "Sequestration" is ok... if who you are sequestering are not essential to the law or are replaceable more inexpensively that who you sequestered.
 
2013-08-24 10:25:45 AM
They're also not as good, especially at the Federal level. A survey of federal judges conducted recently showed that federal judges put the federal public defender up there as some of the very best attorneys that judges see in front of them, with panel attorneys (the private attorneys hired when there are no public defenders available) much lower down in skill.  Especially in the Federal system, the economies of scale are such that public defenders have more resources to spare than private attorneys, their attorneys are more experienced, better qualified, and usually much more motivated. I just finished an internship at the Federal Public Defender's office, and I had to sit in on a  brutal conversations where the head attorney said that if no fix was found, half the people in the room might be looking at layoffs.

This has been destroying the federal judiciary, a  co-equal branch of the government. And it stomps on people's Constitutional right to effective counsel.

It makes me furious.
 
2013-08-24 11:05:01 AM
Thanks a lot, Obama. :-\
 
2013-08-24 11:05:36 AM

Rincewind53: This has been destroying the federal judiciary, a  co-equal branch of the government. And it stomps on people's Constitutional right to effective counsel.

It makes me furious.


It should. This plus the overuse of certain ADR tools in consumer transactions have severely limited the average citizen's access to the judicial system (or, at least, effective access). People should be outraged over this shiat and they're not - it's like Andrew Jackson's insane crusade all over again.
 
2013-08-24 11:08:51 AM
In other words, every time the government privatizes anything.  Wait until it happens with the Postal Service, public schools, social security, and finally, the military.
 
2013-08-24 11:12:41 AM
You do realize that the only court with a constitutional right to exist is the sumpreme court... right?
 
2013-08-24 11:18:23 AM
I had a public attorney and she was a farking moron. I had to tell her what to say to the judge. Maybe there are some smart ones, I dunno. Markie Post seemed pretty sharp. Well she had nice cans anyway.
 
2013-08-24 11:20:17 AM

Mugato: I had a public attorney and she was a farking moron. I had to tell her what to say to the judge. Maybe there are some smart ones, I dunno. Markie Post seemed pretty sharp. Well she had nice cans anyway.


Was that a state/county/city case or a federal case? As  Rincewind53noted, the federal PDs are incredibly skilled (matches my own anecdotal evidence).
 
2013-08-24 11:26:30 AM

FlyingLizardOfDoom: You do realize that the only court with a constitutional right to exist is the sumpreme court... right?


I never know whether people who post stuff this stupid are trolling, joking, or serious.  So I never know what to respond.  I suppose "read the farking Bill of Rights" and see if there isn't an amendment there which, although not specifically creating lesser courts, assumes their existence and legitimacy" might do, but then again, I may simply be wasting energy.  If so, I apologize.
 
2013-08-24 11:26:35 AM
Look people.  There's a simple solution to this problem: just send the bill to the public defender's clients.  Who cares that it's technically unconstitutional?  What are the odds that someone using a public defender will have the time or money to contest it anyway?
 
2013-08-24 11:34:00 AM

dahmers love zombie: FlyingLizardOfDoom: You do realize that the only court with a constitutional right to exist is the sumpreme court... right?

I never know whether people who post stuff this stupid are trolling, joking, or serious.  So I never know what to respond.  I suppose "read the farking Bill of Rights" and see if there isn't an amendment there which, although not specifically creating lesser courts, assumes their existence and legitimacy" might do, but then again, I may simply be wasting energy.  If so, I apologize.


It's a piece of misleading but technically true information.The only court explicitly named in Article III of the Constitution as existing is the Supreme Court; however, the (arguably and likely intentionally) misleading statement neglects to discuss the courts that Congress is authorized to create by Article III, such as the District and Circuit Courts. Again, technically true but intellectually disingenuous.
 
2013-08-24 11:35:16 AM

Solon Isonomia: Mugato: I had a public attorney and she was a farking moron. I had to tell her what to say to the judge. Maybe there are some smart ones, I dunno. Markie Post seemed pretty sharp. Well she had nice cans anyway.

Was that a state/county/city case or a federal case? As  Rincewind53noted, the federal PDs are incredibly skilled (matches my own anecdotal evidence).


City. I had to point out a way to get me off. Legally.  I don't know, it just seems that the good defence attorneys work for mobsters or something.
 
2013-08-24 11:35:18 AM

Karac: Look people.  There's a simple solution to this problem: just send the bill to the public defender's clients.  Who cares that it's technically unconstitutional?  What are the odds that someone using a public defender will have the time or money to contest it anyway?


Some of those arrangements could be considered a violation of  Gideon.
 
2013-08-24 11:37:21 AM
People never seem to understand how expensive an outside investigator is.  I was a PI for a few years, a relatively simple investigation into a civil case can quickly run into $5000-$10,000 range.

/Did one investigation into a DUI Vehicular Homicide case for a civil suit brought by the surviving victims, my out of pocket expenses were $3800 before I got paid for my time.
 
2013-08-24 11:38:58 AM
Yeah, but the owner or partners are making a killing in profits.  Teabaggers rejoice!
 
2013-08-24 11:42:03 AM

Mugato: Solon Isonomia: Mugato: I had a public attorney and she was a farking moron. I had to tell her what to say to the judge. Maybe there are some smart ones, I dunno. Markie Post seemed pretty sharp. Well she had nice cans anyway.

Was that a state/county/city case or a federal case? As  Rincewind53noted, the federal PDs are incredibly skilled (matches my own anecdotal evidence).

City. I had to point out a way to get me off. Legally.  I don't know, it just seems that the good defence attorneys work for mobsters or something.


You had a state/county level PD then - the quality of those run the range from "awesome" to "malpractice," mostly since there is no nationwide standard and enough of the state level appellate judiciaries seem to think it's okay for PDs to be held to a lower standard. Even the best states are having a problem maintaining their PD programs due to decreased revenue, not to mention the very real problem of quality attorneys being unable to work as a PD due to the insane salary differentials with private practice.
 
2013-08-24 11:43:19 AM

clancifer: Yeah, but the owner or partners are making a killing in profits.  Teabaggers rejoice!


Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
 
2013-08-24 01:18:25 PM

Solon Isonomia: dahmers love zombie: FlyingLizardOfDoom: You do realize that the only court with a constitutional right to exist is the sumpreme court... right?

I never know whether people who post stuff this stupid are trolling, joking, or serious.  So I never know what to respond.  I suppose "read the farking Bill of Rights" and see if there isn't an amendment there which, although not specifically creating lesser courts, assumes their existence and legitimacy" might do, but then again, I may simply be wasting energy.  If so, I apologize.

It's a piece of misleading but technically true information.The only court explicitly named in Article III of the Constitution as existing is the Supreme Court; however, the (arguably and likely intentionally) misleading statement neglects to discuss the courts that Congress is authorized to create by Article III, such as the District and Circuit Courts. Again, technically true but intellectually disingenuous.


Ok, well, we should defund the entire USAF since it's not in the Constitution either.  And while we're at it, we should eliminate 8 of the SCOTUS justices since the Constitution doesn't specify how many justices shall sit on the court.
 
2013-08-24 01:21:42 PM

Solon Isonomia: Mugato: Solon Isonomia: Mugato: I had a public attorney and she was a farking moron. I had to tell her what to say to the judge. Maybe there are some smart ones, I dunno. Markie Post seemed pretty sharp. Well she had nice cans anyway.

Was that a state/county/city case or a federal case? As  Rincewind53noted, the federal PDs are incredibly skilled (matches my own anecdotal evidence).

City. I had to point out a way to get me off. Legally.  I don't know, it just seems that the good defence attorneys work for mobsters or something.

You had a state/county level PD then - the quality of those run the range from "awesome" to "malpractice," mostly since there is no nationwide standard and enough of the state level appellate judiciaries seem to think it's okay for PDs to be held to a lower standard. Even the best states are having a problem maintaining their PD programs due to decreased revenue, not to mention the very real problem of quality attorneys being unable to work as a PD due to the insane salary differentials with private practice.


I was looking at my county's jobs page and they listed an opening from Public Defender position.  The salary listed was just a shade over $40,000/year.  I mean, it's OK money for a job in general, but it seems very low for someone coming out of law school likely with tons of debt.
 
2013-08-24 01:35:21 PM

clancifer: Yeah, but the owner or partners are making a killing in profits.  Teabaggers rejoice!


Probably not. The state doesn't likely pay the same hourly rate that is customarily charged for other kinds of legal work. So, they may be making a profit, but it's probably not lucrative.
 
2013-08-24 01:40:12 PM

Solon Isonomia: clancifer: Yeah, but the owner or partners are making a killing in profits.  Teabaggers rejoice!

Winner, winner, chicken dinner!


Shut up, Guy Fieri.
 
2013-08-24 01:44:35 PM
Also, I will add this bothers me tremendously. It's not that I don't think attorneys in private practice can provide adequate services, but indigent defense work is basically a calling for attorneys willing to do some very difficult work for pay that is well below private practice and is often thankless. Our criminal justice system will suffer if it does not have a vigorous indigent defense system.
 
2013-08-24 01:51:58 PM

doyner: Solon Isonomia: dahmers love zombie: FlyingLizardOfDoom: You do realize that the only court with a constitutional right to exist is the sumpreme court... right?

I never know whether people who post stuff this stupid are trolling, joking, or serious.  So I never know what to respond.  I suppose "read the farking Bill of Rights" and see if there isn't an amendment there which, although not specifically creating lesser courts, assumes their existence and legitimacy" might do, but then again, I may simply be wasting energy.  If so, I apologize.

It's a piece of misleading but technically true information.The only court explicitly named in Article III of the Constitution as existing is the Supreme Court; however, the (arguably and likely intentionally) misleading statement neglects to discuss the courts that Congress is authorized to create by Article III, such as the District and Circuit Courts. Again, technically true but intellectually disingenuous.

Ok, well, we should defund the entire USAF since it's not in the Constitution either.  And while we're at it, we should eliminate 8 of the SCOTUS justices since the Constitution doesn't specify how many justices shall sit on the court.


Can I pick which 8 are fired?
 
2013-08-24 01:57:15 PM

Snarcoleptic_Hoosier: doyner: Solon Isonomia: dahmers love zombie: FlyingLizardOfDoom: You do realize that the only court with a constitutional right to exist is the sumpreme court... right?

I never know whether people who post stuff this stupid are trolling, joking, or serious.  So I never know what to respond.  I suppose "read the farking Bill of Rights" and see if there isn't an amendment there which, although not specifically creating lesser courts, assumes their existence and legitimacy" might do, but then again, I may simply be wasting energy.  If so, I apologize.

It's a piece of misleading but technically true information.The only court explicitly named in Article III of the Constitution as existing is the Supreme Court; however, the (arguably and likely intentionally) misleading statement neglects to discuss the courts that Congress is authorized to create by Article III, such as the District and Circuit Courts. Again, technically true but intellectually disingenuous.

Ok, well, we should defund the entire USAF since it's not in the Constitution either.  And while we're at it, we should eliminate 8 of the SCOTUS justices since the Constitution doesn't specify how many justices shall sit on the court.

Can I pick which 8 are fired?


It would have to be all but Roberts since a Chief Justice is mentioned in Article III.
 
2013-08-24 02:03:08 PM
*Section 3 article I.  Sorry.
 
2013-08-24 02:03:40 PM
So the gov doesn't pay the lawyers what they are used to in private practice?   Welcome to the woe of medicine.
 
2013-08-24 02:05:32 PM

Solon Isonomia: dahmers love zombie: FlyingLizardOfDoom: You do realize that the only court with a constitutional right to exist is the sumpreme court... right?

I never know whether people who post stuff this stupid are trolling, joking, or serious.  So I never know what to respond.  I suppose "read the farking Bill of Rights" and see if there isn't an amendment there which, although not specifically creating lesser courts, assumes their existence and legitimacy" might do, but then again, I may simply be wasting energy.  If so, I apologize.

It's a piece of misleading but technically true information.The only court explicitly named in Article III of the Constitution as existing is the Supreme Court; however, the (arguably and likely intentionally) misleading statement neglects to discuss the courts that Congress is authorized to create by Article III, such as the District and Circuit Courts. Again, technically true but intellectually disingenuous.


The sixth amendment also makes reference to the right to a fair and speedy trial in the district in which the crime was committed.  That seems to require the existence of district courts, as well as require a court system capable of providing the 'speedy' part.  Reducing the court system to a single court would create such a backlog as to obviously violate the right to a speedy trial.
 
2013-08-24 02:44:13 PM

TuteTibiImperes: Solon Isonomia: dahmers love zombie: FlyingLizardOfDoom: You do realize that the only court with a constitutional right to exist is the sumpreme court... right?

I never know whether people who post stuff this stupid are trolling, joking, or serious.  So I never know what to respond.  I suppose "read the farking Bill of Rights" and see if there isn't an amendment there which, although not specifically creating lesser courts, assumes their existence and legitimacy" might do, but then again, I may simply be wasting energy.  If so, I apologize.

It's a piece of misleading but technically true information.The only court explicitly named in Article III of the Constitution as existing is the Supreme Court; however, the (arguably and likely intentionally) misleading statement neglects to discuss the courts that Congress is authorized to create by Article III, such as the District and Circuit Courts. Again, technically true but intellectually disingenuous.

The sixth amendment also makes reference to the right to a fair and speedy trial in the district in which the crime was committed.  That seems to require the existence of district courts, as well as require a court system capable of providing the 'speedy' part.   Reducing the court system to a single court would create such a backlog as to obviously violate the right to a speedy trial.


You also have to take into account that the default in our system is innocent until proven guilty.  If you do not have the courts available to prove someone guilty reasonably quickly, everyone gets to be innocent.  America would turn into Thunderdome.
 
2013-08-24 03:02:06 PM
Can we all just f*cking agree that cutting X% from any budget without actually looking at what you're cutting is incredibly f*cking stupid and usually reserved for third world sh*tholes?

I'm so sick of this cutting off our noses to spite our FREEDOM FROM SOCIALISMS! Or whatever the f*ck it is we're doing.
 
2013-08-24 03:02:15 PM
It sure would be nice if there was some sort of legislative body which could expedite some sort of response to this situation where the cost of a cut is larger than the savings from the cut. I mean there could even be a committee that was tasked with looking into that sort of thing and making recommendations back to the body as a whole.
 
2013-08-24 03:09:02 PM

RedPhoenix122: In other words, every time the government privatizes anything.  Wait until it happens with the Postal Service, public schools, social security, and finally, the military.


Yep, usually the people championing privatization of a government service are the ones who are getting a piece of the action. Otherwise the quality of the service never gets any better when it gets privatized.
 
2013-08-24 03:16:10 PM

Fjornir: It sure would be nice if there was some sort of legislative body which could expedite some sort of response to this situation where the cost of a cut is larger than the savings from the cut. I mean there could even be a committee that was tasked with looking into that sort of thing and making recommendations back to the body as a whole.


i43.tinypic.com



Do you really think those ^ people know how to use a calculator?
 
2013-08-24 03:21:45 PM

Fjornir: It sure would be nice if there was some sort of legislative body which could expedite some sort of response to this situation where the cost of a cut is larger than the savings from the cut. I mean there could even be a committee that was tasked with looking into that sort of thing and making recommendations back to the body as a whole.


Pffft, you with your logical examination of evidence and drawing reasonable conclusions. You some kind of liberal egghead intellectual? Real Americans budget with their gut.
 
2013-08-24 03:21:58 PM

TuteTibiImperes: I was looking at my county's jobs page and they listed an opening from Public Defender position.  The salary listed was just a shade over $40,000/year.  I mean, it's OK money for a job in general, but it seems very low for someone coming out of law school likely with tons of debt.


Those jobs are pretty much the "I couldn't get hired out of law school, so this beats Starbucks, I guess" jobs.

Sucks to be you if you need one of the lawyers who settles for that.
 
2013-08-24 03:27:55 PM

doyner: Solon Isonomia: dahmers love zombie: FlyingLizardOfDoom: You do realize that the only court with a constitutional right to exist is the sumpreme court... right?

I never know whether people who post stuff this stupid are trolling, joking, or serious.  So I never know what to respond.  I suppose "read the farking Bill of Rights" and see if there isn't an amendment there which, although not specifically creating lesser courts, assumes their existence and legitimacy" might do, but then again, I may simply be wasting energy.  If so, I apologize.

It's a piece of misleading but technically true information.The only court explicitly named in Article III of the Constitution as existing is the Supreme Court; however, the (arguably and likely intentionally) misleading statement neglects to discuss the courts that Congress is authorized to create by Article III, such as the District and Circuit Courts. Again, technically true but intellectually disingenuous.

Ok, well, we should defund the entire USAF since it's not in the Constitution either.  And while we're at it, we should eliminate 8 of the SCOTUS justices since the Constitution doesn't specify how many justices shall sit on the court.


i'm pretty sure you could replace the 9 justices with Hodor at this point and get a more competent court.
 
2013-08-24 03:28:08 PM

BMFPitt: TuteTibiImperes: I was looking at my county's jobs page and they listed an opening from Public Defender position.  The salary listed was just a shade over $40,000/year.  I mean, it's OK money for a job in general, but it seems very low for someone coming out of law school likely with tons of debt.

Those jobs are pretty much the "I couldn't get hired out of law school, so this beats Starbucks, I guess" jobs.

Sucks to be you if you need one of the lawyers who settles for that.


I know that at least once upon a time, public defender work was part time.
 
2013-08-24 03:31:48 PM
Dafatone:

I know that at least once upon a time, public defender work was part time.

Once upon a time, we weren't charging everybody and their grandmothers with multiple felonies punishable by decades in prison for offenses that required no more than a cop to come by and say "hey you kids, knock it off before I call your parents"
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-08-24 03:39:55 PM
Isn't the whole point of outsourcing in government to send public money to your supporters?
 
2013-08-24 03:39:56 PM
Don't worry. I'm sure the Supreme Court will help out by overturning Gideon v. Wainwright.
 
2013-08-24 03:40:10 PM

Dafatone: BMFPitt: TuteTibiImperes: I was looking at my county's jobs page and they listed an opening from Public Defender position.  The salary listed was just a shade over $40,000/year.  I mean, it's OK money for a job in general, but it seems very low for someone coming out of law school likely with tons of debt.

Those jobs are pretty much the "I couldn't get hired out of law school, so this beats Starbucks, I guess" jobs.

Sucks to be you if you need one of the lawyers who settles for that.

I know that at least once upon a time, public defender work was part time.


And once upon the time, we called it a court of law, not the feeding trough for the private correctional industry.
 
2013-08-24 03:42:45 PM
NewportBarGuy:[i43.tinypic.com image 693x353]


Do you really think those ^ people know how to use a calculator?


Who the f*ck are those people?
 
2013-08-24 03:44:36 PM
This is an amazing documentary that more people should see. http://www.hbo.com/documentaries/gideons-army/index.html
 
2013-08-24 03:46:47 PM

Fjornir: Who the f*ck are those people?


113th United States Congress?
 
2013-08-24 03:47:54 PM

vpb: Isn't the whole point of outsourcing in government to send public money to your supporters?


Yes.
 
2013-08-24 03:48:43 PM

RedPhoenix122: In other words, every time the government privatizes anything.  Wait until it happens with the Postal Service, public schools, social security, and finally, the military.


wait?
 
2013-08-24 03:51:17 PM
I would only support this if all the public defenders were this guy.

s.mcstatic.com
 
2013-08-24 03:54:32 PM

NewportBarGuy: 113th United States Congress?


Yeah? Which caucus or whatever? I'm not recognizing many faces but I am farking bad with faces and read most of my news besides so I often don't see the faces of our Congress.
 
2013-08-24 03:56:59 PM

buzzcut73: Dafatone:

I know that at least once upon a time, public defender work was part time.

Once upon a time, we weren't charging everybody and their grandmothers with multiple felonies punishable by decades in prison for offenses that required no more than a cop to come by and say "hey you kids, knock it off before I call your parents"


Back in the good old days you could just lynch the black kids when they annoyed you. Now you have to go through the formal channels.
 
2013-08-24 03:58:44 PM

NewportBarGuy: Can we all just f*cking agree that cutting X% from any budget without actually looking at what you're cutting is incredibly f*cking stupid and usually reserved for third world sh*tholes?

I'm so sick of this cutting off our noses to spite our FREEDOM FROM SOCIALISMS! Or whatever the f*ck it is we're doing.


Will be waiting for the eventual GAO report on precisely how much the swallowing of this `poison pill' approach to governing cost.  FAA/USDA got to shift costs (you can fly, pretty much on time, but the money for runway repair/refurbishment that went to staunching public anger? Good farking luck on landing//Meat inspectors are on the job so none would be biatching about shortages/big price increases, but the agency is still working out what to rob to pay for that sop to still screams from even the most ardent TPer).  Overall, the evaporation of funding has been going on quietly - the worst of the worst potential `agitations' suppressed by breaking the sequestration rules.

Just the cost of implementation of the train wreck will be interesting to quantify:  (for fellow wonkers  to peruse:   http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42050.pdf  )

Considering that these cuts will continue to increase year by year (first 85bil. could have been nearly retired by cutting oil co. subsidies) I'll be watching the next hearings on the debt ceiling with interest (and popcorn) to see what the next `government bad - because we won't govern' theater produces.
 
2013-08-24 04:02:56 PM

Lost Thought 00: buzzcut73: Dafatone:

I know that at least once upon a time, public defender work was part time.

Once upon a time, we weren't charging everybody and their grandmothers with multiple felonies punishable by decades in prison for offenses that required no more than a cop to come by and say "hey you kids, knock it off before I call your parents"

Back in the good old days you could just lynch the black kids when they annoyed you. Now you have to go through the formal channels.


What the hell are you talking about? I was talking about stupid stuff like possession of beer underage, vandalism and being a general pain in the ass when you're talking about kids, and for adults I was talking about stupid shiat adults do that really isn't hurting anybody but we have to charge a felony because TOUGH ON CRIME!!
 
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