Is it possible to get a new public defender for court? 6 Answers as of September 17, 2010

My brother is upset with his public defender and says that he is not doing his job in his case. Do they have to get him another one if he asks them?

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Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
He can ask the judge if he has good cause that would convince the judge.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/17/2010
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
No the Public defender does not have to assign an other attorney to your brothers case. If your brother wants a different attorney the best way to get the one he likes is to hire private counsel. Contact me f you want to look into this.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/17/2010
Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law
Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law | Alanna D. Coopersmith
I suppose there is no harm in asking a manager in the public defenders office. But they're not required to grant the request.

There is something called a "Marsden motion" that your son can make in his case to the judge. He would have to demonstrate that his lawyer is incompetent or that communications have totally broken down. I would think twice about making a Marsden motion, though. The motion will likely be denied (they almost always are), he will be stuck with the same attorney, only now relations will be more awkward and intense.

It can be frustrating having a public defender in that they are extremely busy and it sometimes takes them a while to familiarize themselves with your case. But my experience is that most public defenders are very good, care, and have good court sense.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/17/2010
Law Offices of Juan Dotson
Law Offices of Juan Dotson | Juan Dotson
No. Your brother must articulate with specificity why his attorney is not doing his job on the case (has not interviewed witnesses, made certain motions, not visited him in jail, etc). If his public defender is removed from the case, the court or the Public Defender's office would your brother another deputy public defender.

Your brothers time and energy may be better spent by hiring a private attorney. All attorneys will ask for their fee upfront.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/17/2010
Law Office of Joe Dane
Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
he procedure is slow. He must make a Marsden motion to ask that the public defender be relieved and a new attorney appointed.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/16/2010
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