Archive March 2022

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Why We Celebrate Gideon Day

This work is tough. But you will never be alone. With over 30,000 members, NAPD is the place for you to learn, share, and ask questions about public defense. It’s the community that will help you become the best professional you can be. You—lawyer, social worker, paralegal, investigator, or core staff—safeguard liberty. Just as Gideon’s fate turned on his attorney’s knowledge and skills, your clients’ fates turn on yours.

Concerts for Indigent Defense livestream, March 18 at 7pm EDT

Concerts for Indigent Defense the phenomenon of musicians and their communities standing together in support of the constitutional right of every person accused of a crime in America to be represented by a lawyer.   Concerts for Indigent Defense are not fundraisers; they are awareness-raisers, about how this constitutional right is badly neglected every day in states across the country.

City of Tahlequah v. Bond and Rivas-Villegas v. Cortesluna: Officers entitled to qualified immunity in excessive force cases

The U.S. Supreme Court opened its October 2021 Term by holding that police officers were entitled to qualified immunity in two cases involving claims of excessive force.The officers were entitled to qualified immunity because there was no Supreme Court case which clearly established that their conduct was unlawful.

A Deeper Look at Our State’s ‘Legal Deserts’

When I visited Davenport that day, the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) had already been talking about this problem - the problem of insufficient numbers of practitioners in rural communities and the resulting access-to-justice gap - for many years: The Washington Young Lawyers Committee had been working on a summit to address the issue.

Garland v. Ming Dai: Federal appellate court need not accept noncitizen’s testimony as “true” in immigration appeals

A federal appellate court in immigration appeals need not accept a noncitizen’s testimony as “true” in the absence of an explicit adverse credibility determination by the immigration judge or Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 1 in Garland v. Ming Dai.  

U.S. v. Cooley: Tribal police officer can temporarily detain non-Native American on reservation for violation of state or federal law

A tribal police officer can temporarily detain a non-Native American person traveling through a reservation for potential violation of state or federal law, the U.S. Supreme Court held June 1 in United States v. Cooley.

Public Defender Independence

Independence is an aspiration for public defenders. It is the ability to advocate for clients without interference by government overseers. Two of the biggest obstacles to independence are a lack of funding and excessive cases. However, even when those are addressed, public defenders face scrutiny from funding authorities who may disapprove of advocacy for systemic change on behalf of clients.

Sanchez v. Mayorkas: Noncitizen with temporary protected status cannot become permanent resident if entered country illegally

The conferral of Temporary Protected Status on a noncitizen does not enable them to obtain lawful permanent resident status if they entered the country unlawfully, the U.S. Supreme Court held June 7 in Sanchez v. Mayorkas

NAPD Celebrates Women's History Month

This year’s national theme is Providing Healing, Promoting Hope. As women of the public defense movement, that is indeed what we do. We walk to the front line of injustice and face down the odds to make things happen - creating change, galvanizing growth, transforming justice. 

Greer v. U.S.: Court sets standard for plain error relief under Rehaif

People seeking plain error relief for “Rehaif claims” must show they did not know they were convicted felons and that there is a reasonable probability the result of their proceedings would have been different, the U.S. Supreme Court held June 14 in Greer v. United States.