Nothing is safe while the legislature is in session. I don’t accept any state court appointed cases. They are too much work for too little money. And if you needed a reason to stop taking court appointments, read on.
The legislature – motto – “Do we really have to pay criminal lawyers to defend criminals?” – has done it again. In spite of that pesky Gideon case. While the FACDL lobbyists were sleeping, the legislature has created two registries for lawyers who choose to accept court appointed cases. Effective July 1, 2012, the first registry is a limited registry. The limited registry lawyers agree they will not exceed the cap under any circumstances. The limited registry lawyers will get first dibs on the cases from the clerk. Here’s what they pay (if you call it pay – it will work out to less than minimum wage if you put the work in that needs to be done)
3rd degree felony $750
2nd degree felony $1000
1st degree felony $1500
RICO and capital cases are still Makemson eligibile.
Then, there’s the general registry. Those lawyers can ask for Makemson. The clerk will appoint a lawyer from the general registry only if there’s nobody available from the limited registry.
I wish that all lawyers would stop accepting court appointments. The system would come crushing to a halt. The legislature would be forced to pay a reasonable wage to court appointed lawyers. Unfortunately, we all know there are a handful of hacks that will accept the measly pittance offered by the legislature. There will be no incentive to try cases. Only plea them out at arraignment. Doing no work at all. It is sickening.
I don’t know which is worse. The legislature or the lawyers who help perpetuate the injustice.