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Creative Justice in Missouri: Public defender's office orders Governor to represent impoverished client

cyberianpan

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Creative Justice in Missouri: Public defender's office orders Governor to represent impoverished client

Meet your lawyer: The Governor of Missouri - BBC News
One impoverished client currently facing assault charges in Missouri acquired a very powerful new lawyer this week: Governor Jay Nixon.

In a letter addressed to the governor, the Missouri State Public Defender's office director Michael Barrett
...
And so, Barrett decided to invoke a power he has never used before, to "delegate the legal representation of any person to any member of the state bar of Missouri". Barrett has assigned a case to the Governor, saying Nixon is "the one attorney in the state who not only created this problem, but is in a unique position to address it".

..."This action comes even after the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice found that poor black children are being systematically deprived of their rights in Missouri due in large part to the lack of public defenders," Barrett wrote.

While the majority-Republican legislature of Missouri has approved additional funding for Barrett's office, Nixon used his executive authority to withhold it in 2014. The governor also vetoed a bill that would have capped the public defender's caseloads.
Well played ... I wonder is his approach procedurally sound...

I recall the shrieks of rage in Government Buildings every time there was an attempt to bring the Minister for SW/SP or Health before the courts to explain why vulnerable teens were being released to the streets ...lets see what happens here

cyp
 


O'Sullivan Bere

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Meet your lawyer: The Governor of Missouri - BBC News


Well played ... I wonder is his approach procedurally sound...

I recall the shrieks of rage in Government Buildings every time there was an attempt to bring the Minister for SW/SP or Health before the courts to explain why vulnerable teens were being released to the streets ...lets see what happens here

cyp
IMO he's a member of the state bar in good standing (which means he hasn't voluntarily selected to go into inactive status and isn't under suspension or disbarment, so he can practice law) and it's also within the powers of a judicial system to assign cases to members of the bar of a court, e.g.,
Madden v. DELRAN TP. :: 1992 :: Supreme Court of New Jersey Decisions
As the case notes in a footnote (it's a NJ state court decision only), there's differing POVs in states about whether or not compensation is required, but the dispute usually isn't over the judicial power to assign a case to an attorney, which is an officer of the court. From your link, it seems in Missouri that the power is also delegated to the Missouri State Public Defender's office director to make such an appointment.

And so, Barrett decided to invoke a power he has never used before, to "delegate the legal representation of any person to any member of the state bar of Missouri".
Great move by the director too. It's BS to overload and/or underfund public defenders in a posture to trim government and save costs. It's an essential function with constitutional implications to unduly overload and underfund them. Hell I hope he ships piles of files to the governor by assignment and anyone else with a law licence involved in the wrongdoing until they do the right thing.
 
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RodShaft

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Assigning a case to a lawyer is one thing. I doubt that the lawyer has to accept the case.

I assume he won't, and will criticise the action as publicity seeking. Publicity will have been gotten. And life moves on.
 

Trainwreck

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Meet your lawyer: The Governor of Missouri - BBC News


Well played ... I wonder is his approach procedurally sound...

I recall the shrieks of rage in Government Buildings every time there was an attempt to bring the Minister for SW/SP or Health before the courts to explain why vulnerable teens were being released to the streets ...lets see what happens here

cyp
Presumably, the Public Prosecutor provided the grounds for the Governor to recuse himself, making the explicit accusation that the defendant was a victim of the Governor's actions, or inaction.


Either the PP wasn't bothered about that, only wanting to get the publicity, or he is an extremely poor lawyer.
 


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