Active Supervision is a Hallmark of a Client- Centered Public Defense System
Active supervision is a hallmark of a client-centered public defense system: NAPD adopts comprehensive policy statement on providing active supervision
NAPD has adopted a policy detailing the critical importance of active public defense supervision. According to the Policy, all public defense systems – full-time, assigned counsel, contract – must actively supervise performance to ensure clients are properly represented.
The traditional markers of meaningful representation, including developing client relationships, appropriate investigation, accessing expert assistance, routine suppression motions and evidentiary hearings, trials by jurors in the community, and defense-generated sentencing plans are significant indicators of a well-managed public defender, assigned counsel, and contract delivery model. These result from well-managed public defense systems.
Supervision should be systematic and supported by policies that clearly describe responsibilities of the supervisor and the staff. The supervision must be done for all attorneys and staff representing clients, including contract and assigned counsel delivery models. The supervision must be accompanied by robust training, data collection and data review and reporting.
“Active supervision helps defenders help clients. Public defense providers must provide appropriate and consistent supervision of all lawyers, and other public defense staff,” said NAPD Steering Committee Chair Derwyn Bunton, “to ensure competent representation of each client according to national performance standards and ethical rules. This is the most comprehensive discussion about the responsibilities of public defense supervision. We urge all defender leaders to implement the provisions of this policy in their organizations.”
The NAPD Policy on active supervision of the representation of clients is found HERE