Breaking News

MA Supreme Court Dismisses 21,000 Drug Convictions Following Chemist Misconduct, Paper Chase (Jurist), Apr. 21, 2017

Public Defenders Score New Caseload Caps, State Funding, US News & World Report, Apr. 20, 2017

NY Surprises with Broad New Sealing Law, Collateral Consequences Resource Center, Apr. 19, 2017

Supreme Court Rules Colorado Exoneration Act Violates Due Process, Paper Chase (Jurist), Apr. 19, 2017

Thousands of Low-Profile Cases Could Turn on Police Body Camera Footage, Gotham Gazette, Apr. 19, 2017

To Reform Indigent Defense, Bring the Market, National Review, Apr. 19, 2017


Historic Agreement on Justice Equality with State Funding of Public Defense Improvements.  Over 200 organizations and counties in the Justice Equality campaign applauded the Governor and Legislative Leaders for a budget with state funding for public defense. “We commend Speaker Heastie, Governor Cuomo, and the Senate for forging an agreement that preserves the independence and improves the quality of the public defense system while reducing the burden on local taxpayers,” said NYSDA Executive Director Jonathan Gradess, “This transformational reform provides a foundation of justice equality in our public defense system and conforms to national standards by maintaining independent oversight by the Office of Indigent Legal Services.” 

“Poor Black and Latino New Yorkers are now on track to receive quality public defense representation throughout the legal process, thanks to the agreement for the state to provide funds to all counties for public defense program improvements,” said Assemblyman N. Nick Perry, Chairman, NYS Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus.

William Leahy, Director of the NYS Office of Indigent Legal Services said “We are at once thrilled and humbled to know that the FY 2017-2018 state budget authorizes our Office and Board to prepare plans for every New York county, plans that replicate the pathbreaking right to counsel reforms in assigned criminal defense cases that are already being established in the five counties involved in the Hurrell-Harring settlement agreement. We are grateful to Governor Cuomo, Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Flanagan and their staffs; to Assemblywoman Fahy and Senator DeFrancisco who have championed the cause of equal justice in the Legislature; to Jonathan Gradess and his NYSDA colleagues; to Mark Williams and the Chief Defenders Association of New York; to Steve Acquario and all NYSAC members and staff; to NYSBA’s President Claire Gutekunst and staff, to all the local, state and national organizations who supported the vital principles of equal justice and public defense independence; to former ILSB Chair Jonathan Lippman, current Chair Janet DiFiore and members of the Board; and to many others too numerous to name.”

NYSDA Budget Restorations. Thanks to the NYS Assembly and Senate for approving legislative additions to the Executive Budget providing funding for NYSDA’s Backup Center and Veterans Defense Program, both of which service over 6,000 public defense attorneys with legal assistance, research, training and support.

NYSDA Veterans Defense Program Releases 2016 Annual Report. In 2016, the VDP assisted 308 veterans and trained 622 public defenders representing veterans in New York State’s criminal and family court systems. In the 164 cases where the VDP attorneys provided direct representation or substantial legal assistance, an encouraging 62% of veteran clients received treatment.


Successful Families Matter Conference. The Families Matter: Parent Defense in New York conference held on October 14-15, 2016 in Albany drew nearly 170 participants and received high evaluation marks. Materials from the conference are available by contacting Family Court Staff Attorney Lucy McCarthy at the Backup Center. 518-465-3524. While the conference is over, NYSDA continues to provide backup services to public defense lawyers working in Family Court. Find other materials at Family Defense Resources here on the webpage, and for direct defender services, contact Lucy as noted above.




Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal