People accused or suspected by the State of criminal acts need timely, quality representation. To provide it, lawyers need skill, resources, and time. But lawyers assigned to represent clients who lack funds to hire counsel in turn often lack the resources and time necessary to use their skills effectively. NYSDA addresses these essentials in many ways.
Backup Center staff provide information and case-specific assistance upon request. The Association presents or co-sponsors training to help lawyers provide quality representation. The Backup Center also provides written resources in a variety of forms. It offers technical assistance, including the Public Defense Case Management System, to help public defender programs meet standards and adhere to regulations. And the Association’s advocacy includes efforts to improve mandated representation in criminal matters statewide. NYSDA’s work on criminal defense representation often places it in partnership with other entities such as the New York State Indigent Legal Services Office and its Board, the New York State Bar Association Committee to Ensure the Quality of Mandated Representation, and many others. In addition, NYSDA has initiated Special Projects that aid criminal defense lawyers and their clients.
Visit the Criminal Defense Resources page for relevant materials and links of interest.