ABA Files Amicus Brief on Lawyer Duty for Competent Representation in Missouri Public Defender Commission Case
CHICAGO, May 13, 2011 – The American Bar Association today filed an amicus curiae brief in a case before the Supreme Court of Missouri, asking that the court consider lawyers’ ethical and professional obligations to their clients when resolving whether the state’s public defender office can limit the office’s availability to accept new cases. The brief filed in State Ex Rel. Missouri Public Defender Commission, J. Marty Robinson & Rod Hackathorn v. The Hon. John S. Waters and the Honorable Mark Orr, asserts that appropriate weight must be given to the ethical and professional obligations set forth in the Rules Regulating the Missouri Bar and the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, under which all lawyers — including public defenders — must provide diligent and competent representation to each of their clients, and cannot take on new representations, or must withdraw from existing representations, if a new representation would result in a violation of those rules.
A copy of the ABA brief is available here.
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