OPPOSITION TO FLAT FEE DIRECTIVE PROPOSED BY THE FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT'S ADMINISTRATIVE GOVERNING BOARD

WHEREAS, the Administrative Governing Board has issued a directive on counsel fees that modifies the Guaranteed Fee System;

WHEREAS, the directive provides a flat fee system for payment in Municipal Court cases and delinquency cases in Family Court, which would reduce compensation for preparation, investigation, litigation and disposition;

WHEREAS, the proposed flat fee system contravenes the American Bar Association Standards for Criminal Justice--Providing Defense Services (3rd Edition, 1992) calling for prompt compensation at a reasonable hourly rate, for reimbursement for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses, and that assigned counsel be paid for all hours necessary to provide quality legal representation;

WHEREAS, the flat fee system in criminal cases violates due process and imposes a chilling effect on a defendant's Sixth Amendment right to effective representation;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association hereby opposes the flat fee provisions of the Administrative Governing Board directive on counsel fees for Municipal Court cases and delinquency cases in Family Court and urges the adoption of the American Bar Association Standards for Criminal Justice above;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chancellor is empowered to take any and all action on behalf of the Philadelphia Bar Association that may be necessary and appropriate to implement the terms of this resolution.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: March 27, 1997