LPDB Trial Court Performance Standards For Delinquency Representation

December 12, 2011

The Louisiana Public Defender Board Trial Court Performance Standards for Attorneys Representing Children in Delinquency Proceedings are intended to encourage public defenders, assistant public defenders and appointed counsel to perform to a high standard of representation and to promote professionalism in the representation of indigent defendants.

The standards are intended to alert defense counsel to courses of action that may be necessary, advisable, or appropriate, and thereby to assist attorneys in deciding upon the particular actions that must be taken in each case to ensure that the client receives the best representation possible. The standards are also intended to provide a measure by which the performance of individual attorneys and district public defender offices may be evaluated, and to assist in training and supervising attorneys.

The language of these standards is general, implying flexibility of action which is appropriate to the situation. Use of judgment in deciding upon a particular course of action is reflected by the phrases "should consider" and "where appropriate." In those instances where a particular action is absolutely essential to providing quality representation, the standards use the words "should" or "shall." Even where the standards use the words "should" or "shall," in certain situations the lawyers' best-informed professional judgment and discretion may indicate otherwise.

The standards were approved by the Louisiana Public Defender Board and were promulgated by the Office of the Governor, as required by the Administrative Procedures Act, in September 2011.

To read the LPDB Trial Court Performance Standards for Attorneys Representing Children in Delinquency Proceedings, click HERE

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