Topic Archive: Role of Counsel / Scope of Representation

Contract Counsel

Broken Contracts: Reimagining High-Quality Representation of Youth in Contract and Appointed Counsel Systems A Report and Toolkit Though juvenile courts process more than 850,000 juvenile delinquency cases every year, no comprehensive data exists regarding how many young people are represented by public defenders or contract, appointed, or assigned counsel. While talented lawyers practice in each…

DOJ Statement of Interest on Juvenile Access to Counsel

NJDC applauds the Federal Government’s filing (on March 13, 2015) of a landmark Statement of Interest (SOI) in an ongoing Georgia case that takes a strong stance on the right to effective access to counsel for juveniles and the need for procedural safeguards against an uninformed waiver of that right. In the SOI filed in…

Special Initiative: Rural, Remote, and Underserved Areas

Defining what it means to be a “rural” defender is no easy task: what “rural” looks like in rural California is different than what rural looks like in rural Nebraska, which is different than what rural looks like in rural Mississippi. NJDC’s foundational work on juvenile indigent defense issues in rural, remote and underserved areas…

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,…

In re William B.

In October 2007, the Nevada Supreme Court requested NJDC’s participation as amicus in a case centered on the constitutionality of Nevada’s presumptive transfer statute. NJDC’s brief, signed on to by 23 other organizations, addressed several critical constitutional and public policy issues, including the well-established developmental differences between youth and adult offenders, the problems posed by…

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…

Role of Counsel / Scope of Representation

The role of juvenile defense counsel is a distinct one of expressed interest advocacy. Ethical and professional obligations, as well as other practice standards dictate that the lawyer’s duty in delinquency proceedings is to represent the client’s stated interest, and not what counsel, the judge, or the client’s parents believe to be in the child’s…

In re Gault

  This decision was the turning point for the rights of juveniles in U.S. Courts. It was the first time that the Supreme Court held that children facing delinquency prosecution have many of the same legal rights as adults in criminal court, including the right to an attorney, the right to remain silent, the right…

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…

Community Building

A strong national community of dedicated juvenile defenders is essential. Building and supporting such a community is one of the pillars of NJDC’s work. Attorneys who represent indigent youth charged with delinquent behavior often practice in rural or remote areas, or are solo practitioners who may find themselves disconnected from the trends and developments in juvenile defense,…