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May 24, 2011

"Padilla and The Delivery of Integrated Criminal Defense"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new paper by Professor Ron Wright.  Here is the abstract:

The traditional starting point for the Sixth Amendment jurisprudence is the individual defense attorney, acting alone.  Padilla v. Kentucky, however, replaced the image of the lawyer as a heroic and individualistic figure with a focus on the lawyer’s responsibility to consult others and to create an effective defense team.  This evolving conception of the lawyer as a team manager is a long-term trend that applies throughout the legal profession.

Public defender organizations already experiment with various methods for delivering the best service to clients with potential immigration issues mixed in with their criminal law issues.  Some of those methods contracted out the immigration work to specialists outside the organization; others brought the immigration expertise inside the organization, either through placing experts in a single state-level position, or by disseminating immigration experts in local offices.

The Padilla holding gives some impetus to the insider strategy.  It increases the costs to a defender organization if one of its lawyers fails to recognize a straightforward immigration issue.  As a result, Padilla tilts the field towards larger defender organizations with greater specialization of function and more coordination of effort among attorneys -- in short, toward a more bureaucratic criminal defense.

May 24, 2011 at 10:49 AM | Permalink


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