RESOLUTION OF THE PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION 
URGING THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA TO IMMEDIATELY REINSTATE PAYMENTS TO COURT APPOINTED COUNSEL AND ARBITRATORS 
AND URGING THE FIRST JUDICIAL DISTRICT TO TAKE ALL POSSIBLE
ACTIONS TO SEE TO THE REINSTATEMENT OF THE PAYMENT OF FEES TO COURT APPOINTED COUNSEL AND ARBITRATORS


WHEREAS, the City of Philadelphia has notified the First Judicial District that certain payments to vendors, including the payment of fees to Court-appointed counsel and arbitrators, have been suspended due to the impasse over the State Budget in Harrisburg;

WHEREAS, the First Judicial District published a notice in The Legal Intelligencer on July 27, 2009 to inform the Bar of this decision;

WHEREAS, in recent weeks, the City of Philadelphia has made arrangements for a $275 million loan which is to be used, in part, to make some outstanding payments to city employees and vendors who have been affected by the suspension of payments due from the First Judicial District;

WHEREAS, the Philadelphia Bar Association is concerned that the failure to make full payments to court appointed counsel has the potential to deny the Constitutionally based right to counsel in criminal cases;

WHEREAS, the failure to compensate Court Appointed Counsel has placed many attorneys in dire economic straits and many practitioners have been unable to meet their basic expenses as well as leaving them unable to meet important investigative functions, which are required in order to properly present cases;

WHEREAS, the failure to compensate court appointed counsel threatens the underpinnings of the Criminal Justice system and the right of individuals to have adequate representation;

WHEREAS, the suspension of payments to court appointed Family Court Attorneys has the potential to jeopardize the disposition of important matters and therefore slow the administration of justice and the adjudication of important Family Court cases;

WHEREAS, the suspension of payments to court appointed arbitrators has the potential to jeopardize the disposition of arbitration matters and therefore slow the administration of justice in civil cases;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Philadelphia Bar Association strongly urges the City of Philadelphia immediately to reinstate the payment of fees to Court appointed counsel and arbitrators, irrespective of whether the State Budget has or has not been enacted;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association strongly urges the First Judicial District to take all possible actions to see to the reinstatement of the payment of fees to Court appointed counsel and arbitrators;

AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association directs the Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association to take such steps as may be necessary or appropriate to effectuate this Resolution, including communication of the Association’s position to the Mayor, other members of City government, City Council, the Commonwealth and the general public.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: September 24, 2009