August 2015 Bar Bulletin
County Seeking Public Defense Applicants
The King County Department of Public Defense (DPD) is currently seeking applications from qualified attorneys to join its panel of assigned counsel - attorneys contracted to represent clients in several different areas of law.
The DPD, headed by Public Defender Lorinda Youngcourt, is establishing a new panel to ensure quality representation for clients in all of its practice areas. The DPD is also in the process of establishing a new set of policies and guidelines that will help to foster consistent practices among its assigned counsel, clarify the department's billing processes, and lay out other expectations and requirements for legal representation.
The department assigns cases to attorneys on the panel when there is a conflict with all four of its divisions. About 10 percent of its cases go to members of the panel. The department assigns attorneys to represent clients in cases involving felonies, misdemeanors, juvenile offenses and dependencies.
DPD began accepting applications for its new panel on August 3 and hopes to establish the new panel by September 21. To apply for the panel, visit DPD's website at www.kingcounty.gov/public-defense and go to the tab that says "Assigned Counsel," where you will find an application form. Or call DPD's office at 206-296-7662 to have a form sent to you.
All attorneys who wish to be on the panel - even those already on the panel - must submit an application to the DPD to be considered for appointment. CLE trainings will be available to all panel members and at some point the department will establish a mandatory training program for those who wish to remain on the panel.
Visit DPD's website to read the new set of policies governing assigned counsel. You can find a document called "Assigned Counsel Policies" also under the "Assigned Counsel" tab.
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