Many criminal law practitioners and academics have promoted “holistic advocacy” as a way to improve the institutional quality of indigent criminal defense services. Although holistic advocacy may greatly enhance a public defender’s practice, it has practical, professional, and ethical limitations as an institutional model. This article explores these limitations. I begin this article by presenting the holistic advocacy model and its benefits. I then examine the potential hazards of holistic advocacy as an institutional model in light of a public defender’s unique client responsibilities. Collateral consequences are examined in particular, to illustrate how holistic advocacy can offer many benefits, but also raise potential problems if overemphasized institutionally. Finally, I conclude that while holistic advocacy may help to decalcify entrenched and sometimes myopic “traditional” defense practices, the holistic advocacy model should be implemented with caution, and a traditional trial practice model should remain the institutional priority.
DOJ guidance for mentally impaired detainees in immigration removal proceedings should be amended to provide counsel at earlier signs of incompetence.
Mandatory arbitration for guestworkers, a uniquely vulnerable group, will result in class inequality and worse conditions for all workers.
Voting rights advocates should explore section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act as a vehicle to combat voter intimidation.
An evidentiary privilege to protect workers' confidential communications from disclosure in federal and state court proceedings would support unions.