Florida Justices Consider Public Defender Dispute
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Supreme Court is considering whether overburdened public defenders can shed some felony cases.
The justices heard oral argument on the issue Thursday.
Miami's public defender is appealing a lower court ruling that his office could not refuse to accept clients to alleviate a crushing workload.
Public defenders represent criminal defendants who cannot afford a private lawyer.
Miami-based Public Defender Carlos Martinez wanted to stop accepting thousands of lesser third-degree felony cases such as auto theft, forgery and battery.
Martinez said he was unable to hire more lawyers because of a series of budget cuts in recent years.
A trial judge agreed with him in 2008 and shifted some cases to another state legal office for indigents, but the 3rd District Court of Appeal reversed that decision.
- Florida Justices to Hear Serial Killer's Appeal
- Florida Justices Refuse to Stay Gore's Execution
- Florida Justices Affirm Senate Redistricting Do-over
- Florida Justices Hear Homestead Exemption Argument
- Florida Justices Drop Complaint Against Former Judge
- Florida Justices Deny Appeal For Trooper's Killer
- Public Defender Workload
- Public Defender Nearly Arrested
- Public Defender Retires, Heads for Afghanistan
- Jeb Bush Says He'd Consider Vice Presidency