RESOLUTION TO URGE THE BOARD OF JUDGES TO IMPLEMENT PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR COURT-APPOINTED COUNSEL IN CRIMINAL CASES
WHEREAS, a high standard of performance is necessary and appropriate for the representation of indigent clients in criminal cases by court-appointed counsel;
WHEREAS, criminal convictions, including homicide convictions, continue to be overturned by the appellate courts because of ineffective assistance of court-appointed counsel;
WHEREAS, there is currently no system in place that ensures a continuously high standard of performance by court-appointed counsel once they have been qualified by the Screening Committee to receive appointments;
WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association has a continuing interest in ensuring that attorneys entrusted with court-appointed cases perform their duties to an acceptably high standard.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Governors supports these performance standards and hereby urges the Board of Judges to adopt the attached performance standards and amend the Philadelphia Rule of Criminal Procedure 406 to include these standards.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Governors authorizes the Criminal Justice section to communicate to the Board of Judges, on behalf of the Association, support of these performance standards and suggested amendments to Philadelphia Rule of Criminal Procedure 406.
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: SEPTEMBER 30, 2004