Topic Archive: Ethics / Professional Responsibility

In re Jefferson

NJDC co-authored and signed onto as amicus a brief filed by the Southern Juvenile Defender Center in this case regarding a juvenile defender who was held in contempt for making comments related to her ability to advocate for her client. The brief highlighted the importance of zealous advocacy in juvenile court, and warned that allowing sanctions,…

Ethics/Professional Responsibility

Juvenile defense counsel have the same ethical and professional obligations and duties of defense counsel representing adults in criminal court, including the duty to represent the client’s stated interest, and not what counsel, the judge, or the client’s parents believe to be in the client’s—or child’s—best interests. According to the National Juvenile Defense Standards, Standard…

Role of Juvenile Defense Counsel in Delinquency Court

This policy paper describes the critical and specialized role of the juvenile defender and reflects best practices as defined by the field—front-line defenders, social workers, academics, and other juvenile justice advocates working in our nation’s juvenile delinquency courts every day. The goal of Role of  Juvenile Counsel in Delinquency Court is to educate judges, prosecutors, probation officers, and other…

State Assessments

A cornerstone of the National Juvenile Defender Center’s work is to understand how juvenile defense is delivered around the country and to support excellence in the provision of those services. As part of that work, NJDC conducts state-specific assessments of youth access to, and the quality of, juvenile defense counsel when they come in contact…