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Caseload Limits for Indigent Defense Standards Delayed Until January 1, 2015

As part of the new Standards for Indigent Defense, caseload limits were to take effect on September 1, 2013, while the rest of the standards took effect on October 1, 2012. However, the state supreme court has now delayed the implementation of caseload limits until January 1, 2015, to provide time for the Washington State Office of Public Defense to conduct a "statewide attorney time study" and to develop a model misdemeanor case weighting policy that is consistent with the indigent defense standards adopted by the court. Washington State Supreme Court Order No. 25700-A-1016, 04/08/2013.

Under the caseload limits in Standard 3.4, full-time public defenders should not have caseloads exceeding 300 or 400 misdemeanor cases per year, depending on whether the jurisdiction has developed a "numerical case weighting" system, described in Standard 3.6.

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Photo of Bob Meinig

About Bob Meinig

Bob wrote extensively on the state Open Public Meetings Act, municipal incorporation and annexation, and a wide variety of other legal topics. He is now retired.