Legal News

Lawsuit Alleges Utah’s Violation of Right to a Lawyer
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

Summary: Two men facing criminal charges in Washington County, Utah, are suing for better representation.

Two men who feel inadequately represented are taking on Utah’s legal system. They filed a lawsuit in federal court against the state of Utah and Washington County, which questions how adequately they’ve covered our Sixth Amendment right to counsel, Fox 13 reports.

The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees criminal defendants receive a lawyer whether they can afford it or not. William Cox and Edward Paulus, who both face criminal charges, claim Utah has failed to give them adequate representation.

  
What
Where


“Hampered by a lack of experience, excessive workloads, inadequate compensation, the lack of support services, and the absence of meaningful administrative oversight and technical assistance, indigent defense counsel do not or are unable to perform even the most basic tasks necessary to provide adequate representation to their clients under the current funding and supervision system. They do not or are unable to act as an effective adversarial check upon the prosecution function based on these shortcomings,” the lawsuit states.

Cox is under trial for allegedly working as a securities agent without a license. Though his trial is set for February, the county failed to renew his public defender’s contract, “forcing/coercing” another attorney to take on new contracts, including his.

“The attorney is not prepared to go to trial for Mr. Paulus’ case,” the suit states, noting he is responsible for 350 cases, and perhaps double that after they add new contracts.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




Utah is one of two states that provide no funding for indigent defense. Washington County budgeted $760,688 for indigent defense, while budgeting $2,816,540 for prosecution.

This leads to minor cases resulting in long jail time, children being taken from the parents and wrongful imprisonment, the case claims. The delays in trial and unnecessary time spent in a jail has become an issue noticed by others as well.



The Sixth Amendment Center studied Utah’s public defense system, and a October 26, 2015, report noted that the Washington County contracts with private lawyer expect each to handle one-sixth the district caseload, whatever the number of cases, and are paid $4,363 per month. After the overhead costs, that leaves about $526 per month. Utah indigent defenders receive about $400 per felony case, spending less than 10 hours per case, while private defense lawyers receive over $400 per hour.

The study further found that more people accused by misdemeanors in Utah are processed without a lawyer than those who did — 62 percent statewide.

Source: Fox 13

Lead photo credit: Jason Morrison/FreeImages



 

RELEVANT JOBS

Legal Assistant / Secretary

USA-WA-Seattle

Salary $55,000 - $75,000 a year Job Type Full-time Number of hires for this role 1 ...

Apply now

Associate Attorney

USA-SC-Spartanburg

Gibbes Burton, LLC is seeking full-time attorneys with 2-5 years of experience to work on complex ci...

Apply now

Associate Attorney

USA-WA-Everett

Associate Attorney Requirements: We are a solo general practice firm specializing in family law, ...

Apply now

Litigation Paralegal

USA-FL-Tallahassee

Summary Law firm with litigation emphasis seeks assistant for lawyer / litigation team. The ideal...

Apply now

BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

BCG Attorney Search In-House Counsel

USA-CA-Los Angeles

BCG Attorney Search In-House Counsel We are a Legal Employment Company located in California with o...

Apply Now

FDA Regulatory Attorney

USA-MA-Boston

Boston office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks FDA regulatory attorney with 3-4 ye...

Apply Now

Foreclosure/Bankruptcy Associate Attorney

USA-CA-Temecula

Temecula office of our client seeks associate attorney with preferably 2 years of experience working...

Apply Now

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top