Nevada Supreme Court Takes Up Public Defender Issues

Back on January 4th, sweeping changed were mandated for th way indigent defendants are provided legal counsel.

Those changes included a more rigorous process for determining whether a dedendant should be allowed public counsel. It also excluded judges from being able to appoint defense attorneys, and ordered the creation of a statewide commission overseeing the public defense system.

The order also adopted performance standards for public defenders. However, the order stopped short of setting caseload standards for public defenders. Right now, the average caseload for a public defender in Washoe County is 327-cases. However, the National Legal Aid and Defender Association has set the reccomended caseload at 150 cases.