Thursday, March 10, 2011
Performance Guidelines for Non-Capital Criminal Defense Representation
I am happy to serve on the State Bar's Standing Committee on Legal Services to the Poor in Criminal Matters. That committee has developed and just released a digestible but comprehensive guide to criminal practice in Texas state court from the time of initial representation in trial-level proceedings to the exhaustion of direct review before the Court of Criminal Appeals. The guidelines seek to encourage defense attorneys to perform to a high standard of representation and to promote professionalism in the representation of indigent defendants. The committee previously published Guidelines and Standards for Texas Capital Counsel and is on the verge of releasing a brochure for distribution statewide, to provide information to defendants considering representing themselves in misdemeanor criminal cases.