Jonathan Pressment and David Siegal in the New York Law Journal: Closely Divided Panel Upholds City's Plan to Revise 18-B Plan


New York City did not overstep its authority when it decided to contract with institutional legal service providers to represent indigent criminal defendants in conflict cases instead of assigning those cases to private practitioners under Article 18-B of the County Law, a closely divided appeals court has ruled.

The 3-2 ruling by the Appellate Division, First Department, in New York County Lawyers Association v. Bloomberg, 107216/10, handed down March 15, dealt a blow to a coalition of bar groups, which had argued that under Article 18-B, the city needed their consent to change its policy for assigning conflict counsel for poor criminal defendants...

The bar groups said they were "disappointed" with the ruling.

"We are going to be in consultation with our client and considering all our options," Jonathan D. Pressment and David M. Siegal of Haynes and Boone, counsel to the county bar groups, said in a joint statement.

"We are disappointed in the majority decision, which we believe is based on a fundamental misreading of the statute and the scope and nature of the plan which the city is seeking to implement," said Zoë E. Jasper of Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke, counsel to the New York Criminal Bar Association.

Excerpt from The New York Law Journal, March 16, 2012. To view the full article, click here (subscription required).

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