Assigned Counsel Plan
News and announcements.
New Case Management System
The Assigned Counsel Plan’s new Case Management and Vouchering System, better known as ACP CASES, will “go live” on August 2, 2023, at 9:00 a.m. The new system will help the Assigned Counsel Plan Team better understand the work being done by the panel members in representing their clients charged with criminal offenses in the courts of the City of New York. It will also streamline the process for voucher submission and approval so that panel members can be paid expeditiously for their work.
UPDATE: There is currently a delay in migrating vouchers created in the old system to ACP CASES. Therefore, those vouchers are temporarily unavailable for processing. No vouchers have been lost or destroyed. This delay has not affected processing vouchers created in the new system (on and after August 2). Attorneys are encouraged to submit new vouchers promptly. We appreciate your patience as the system rollout is completed.
New Compensation Rate for Assigned Counsel Panel Attorney Effective April 1, 2023
Assigned Counsel Plan attorneys are now compensated at the rate of $158.00 per hour for their representation of clients on any type of criminal case.
New Panel Attorneys Sought for the Criminal Defense Panels
The Assigned Counsel Plan is currently seeking new panel attorneys for the Misdemeanor, Felony, Homicide, and Criminal Appeals panels. Please visit our “About” page for more information on how to apply for panel membership in either the First Department (the Bronx and Manhattan) or the Second Department (Kings, Queens and Richmond counties.)
Assigned Counsel Program Standards
June 20, 2019 ILS Releases Assigned Counsel Standards ACP Standards - Black Letter ACP Standards - Black Letter With Commentaries Director Leahy's Transmittal Memo
Background Well-designed, properly-maintained, and adequately-funded assigned counsel programs play a vital role in ensuring justice. Even where public defender, conflict defenders, or legal aid societies act as the primary providers, representation of some individuals eligible for mandated representation presents conflicts of interest for institutional providers, requiring assignment of those cases to private attorneys. The availability of private lawyers for assignment also acts as a safety valve when the caseloads of institutional providers threaten to prevent quality representation. And involvement of the private bar can increase awareness of and advocacy for public defense funding needs.
County Law § 722 provides no details as to the proper structure of assigned counsel programs. Consequently, Counties and Bar Associations have created and maintained plans with little guidance resulting in a patchwork of assigned counsel systems across the state, including some with structures not sanctioned by the statute or any other authority and some employing procedures that fail to conform to best practices.
Assigned Counsel Program Standards Committee Initially formed in 2015, the Assigned Counsel Program Standards Committee developed the uniform set of statewide Assigned Counsel Program standards (above) that will aid officials who administer assigned counsel plans and ensure that public defense clients represented through an assigned counsel plan receive quality representation. The Committee included the following members:
Matthew Alpern , Director of Quality Enhancement for Criminal Defense Trials, NYS Office of Indigent Legal Services Angela Burton , Director of Quality Enhancement for Parent Representation, NYS Office of Indigent Legal Services Robert N. Convissar , Administrator, Erie County Bar Association Aid to Indigent Prisoners Society, Inc. Mardi Crawford , Staff Attorney, New York State Defenders Association Sara Davis , Administrator, Oswego County Assigned Counsel Plan Barbara DiFiore , Administrator, Assigned Counsel Plan, Appellate Division Second Department Kathleen Dougherty , Executive Director, Onondaga County Bar Association Assigned Counsel Program, Inc. Cynthia Feathers , Director of Quality Enhancement for Appellate and Post-Conviction Representation, NYS Office of Indigent Legal Services Mark Funk , Monroe County Conflict Defender & Assigned Counsel Administrator Risa Gerson , Former Director of Quality Enhancement for Appellate and Post-Conviction Representation, NYS Office of Indigent Legal Services Lloyd Hoskins , Administrator, Cayuga County Assigned Counsel for the Indigent Program Julia Hughes , Program Coordinator, Tompkins County Assigned Counsel Program Robert Lonski , Fmr. Administrator, Erie County Bar Association Aid to Indigent Prisoners Society, Inc. Joanne Macri , Statewide Chief Implementation Attorney, NYS Office of Indigent Legal Services Justin Meyer , Administrator, Clinton County Assigned Counsel Program Teresa Mulliken , Administrator, Delaware County Assigned Counsel Plan Karen Needleman , Administrator, Assigned Counsel Plan, Legal Aid Society of Westchester County Robert Nigro , Administrator, Nassau County Assigned Counsel Defender Plan Joseph Pelych , Steuben County Conflict Defender & Assigned Counsel Administrator Larry Rosen , Administrator, Albany County Assigned Counsel Plan Andre Van Buren , Chairperson, Assigned Counsel Committee, Delaware County Bar Association Harriet Weinberger , Director, Office of Attorneys for Children, Supreme Court Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department
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