What can I do if my court appointed attorney has been avoiding me? 5 Answers as of April 29, 2011

I have court appointed defense attorney who has failed to maintain contact with me for the past 10 months. My trial begins in days. However, i have not seen or heard from him in almost 2 weeks. we have not had any pretrial conferences. I have left several detailed messages with his secretary. However, neither him or her have ever contacted me back with the answers to questions i have previously asked. I know it's 4 business days now until my trial begins. what can i do? This is a serious criminal charge and my supposed legal representer is proving that he can not offer me suitable representation by the mere fact that he has denied me my right to correspond with him in reference to my case. So, I need to know what i can i possibly do at this point?

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Palumbo and Kosofsky
Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
You can retain private counsel. You can also discharge your attorney and represent yourself in court but should have a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/9/2011
Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
First let me say that I believe that no one should ever use Legal Aid or an assigned attorney for any serious case. They are overworked and underpaid and although some are competent, many are not as qualified or experienced as private attorneys and they often do not return phone calls or talk to the family. He should at least return your phone calls and prepare you for trial, especially if you are going to testify. You have not done enough to get what you deserve in this case. Simply calling him is not going to be enough with a public defender. You should call every day, demand that he return your call, and threaten to call the BAr Association Legal Aid office...or Assigned Counsel Plan for 18b assigned lawyers. This will get his attention. You can always move the court for another attorney but the next one might be even worse. If all he has done is not return your calls and he is otherwise a competent, experienced, and well respected attorney then work it out with him. He only needs a few hours to prepare your testimony and he may be prepared for trial and is just too busy to return your calls. The people who make the most trouble for their lawyer get the worst service because they will not work hard for someone who is rude, demanding, or critical, but you can still politely insist on an office visit or write him a letter.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/29/2011
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
This response is general information only and does not establish an attorney client relationship. However, you can apply to the court to have a different court appointed attorney represent you.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/29/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
Unfortunately, you need to ask for a new court appointed lawyer who will give you what you need. You will need to lay out exactly what you said in this email and more and explain why you need an additional month's time to properly prepare for trial with a new lawyer and then hope for the best. Many Judges will not grant such a request because it's so close to trial and it looks like an excuse for not immediately going to trial, but under these circumstances, I think it's time to make the request.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/27/2011
Rothstein Law PLLC
Rothstein Law PLLC | Eric Rothstein
You've probably waited too long to ask for a new attorney because judges hate last minutes requests. You can try though. If you can afford to retain an attorney, that's a good option. I a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense so feel free to contact me if you wish to retain counsel.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 4/27/2011
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