The Shedding of Legal Aid Society Cases to 18-B Panel Attorneys after Arraignment


We have already documented the manner of the Legal Aid Society’s shedding of cases at arraignment. This chapter examines post-arraignment case shedding, which occurred when judges substituted 18-B Panel attorneys after the Society’s attorneys failed to appear or to undertake essential lawyering tasks. Substitution occurred despite the fact that the Society had arraigned a defendant and assumed responsibility for all subsequent representation. It also occurred when new appointments in non-conflict of interest cases were made in Supreme Court.

We first measure the extent to which the Legal Aid Society maintained representation in cases referred to it “for all purposes” at arraignment, and the extent to which it accepted new non-conflict cases that later required the appointment of counsel. Next, we examine two mechanisms – related to the representation provided by Society staff attorneys – that led to the replacement of the Society’s attorneys by 18-B Panel attorneys. Finally, we evaluate the Society’s explanation for the substitution of Society staff attorneys by Panel attorneys.

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