Fla. High Court Says Public Defenders Can Shed Caseload

Law360, New York (May 23, 2013, 4:23 PM EDT) -- The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that public defenders can seek permission to stop taking new cases if their offices have neither the budget nor the staff to effectively represent defendants, quashing an appeals court's decision blocking overburdened public defenders from getting relief.

Florida's high court said Miami-Dade County public defenders sufficiently proved that their excessive caseloads, which can reach as high as 400 cases a year per attorney, created conflicts of interest and denied indigent defendants their constitutional right to counsel. As such, the high...
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