Memo to AFPDs in the 8th Circuit

For reasons that must remain obscure (because I am a chicken shit), I think Assistant Federal Public Defenders in the 8th Circuit should take the rest of the day off with pay. Go have a beer or three on Uncle Sam.

You deserve it.


PS If anyone asks, tell ’em Kopf gave you administrative leave!

8 responses

  1. Far too many of the Federal Defenders are L-A-Z-Y. The courts already went through their attrition–now it’s time for the Defenders to DO THEIR SHARE!!!

    Defenders in the 8th might be OK, although they’re not as efficient as they coudl be., They run boutique law offices in places like Massachusetts and Los Angeles, so you’re better than them, but the goal should be to work at maximum efficiency like they do in Texas-Western and Texas-Southern. Sequestration is fixing the Defenders something good, as they’ve been getting in the way of JUSTICE for far too long.

    You say they deserve a beer, or THREE!? Baloney! They blame judges for their low caseloads, not themselves. They say that the judges in those districts hold detention hearings so they just HAVE to prepare (as opposed to waiving the hearing and sending the client to jail where he belongs and saving everyone else some time and money). Or they say they HAVE to drive too far to the jail, as opposed to just getting on the phone and talking with the client. Or they say their caseload per attorney MUST track with the AUSAs’, as if Defenders are on the level of a US ATTORNEY rather than what they are–another Judiciary unit who has to pull its weight just like clerks and chambers staff ALREADY DO. If they want to be compared to US Attorneys, then go be in DOJ. If they’re int he Judiciary, then BE INT EH JUDICIARY!!!

    Defenders, and CJA lawyers, act like they need to run every sort of investigation imaginable, as if they’re doctors trying to avoid a malpractice suit (or in this case, an ineffectiveness of coursnel claim). Yet nobody wants to pay the bill for that sort of thing. Congress has given the opportunity with sequestration–now it’s time for the Judiciary to deal with Defenders and get control of them once and for all!!!

  2. J.J.,

    Thanks for your comment. I think we should simply agree to disagree on whether FPDs are lazy. Honestly, that has not been my experience, but I admit that my experience has mostly been limited to the Eighth Circuit.

    All the best.


  3. Wow. Just… wow.

    Every FPD I know is busting their ass. They have WAY more cases than I do as a private/CJA attorney and their resources have been cut. Every time I go to a national federal defender training event, I leave impressed with the dedication and zeal of my colleagues.

    I have no way of knowing who you are, J.J., what you do, where you’re from or why you have such a negative opinion of federal defenders, but I suggest that you not paint ALL of us — most of whom you do not and will never know — with the same ugly brush.

  4. Susan,

    Your experience is similar to mine. Indeed, most of the time when I think an AFPD is presenting me with a loser argument, I end up thinking I am glad I did not reject the argument out of hand. Like the hard working AUSAs they confront, the AFPDs are dedicated public servants who earn every bit of the money our Uncle pays them (when he is not firing or furloughing them in an insane attempt to prove, as far as I can tell, absolutely nothing).

    All the best.


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