Date: 01/26/2009

Alternate Defense Counsel Briefing


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01:55 PM -- Office of Alternate Defense Counsel Briefing

Lindy Frolich, Director, Office of Alternate Defense Counsel (OADC) , introduced Bert Nieslanik, her deputy director. Ms. Frolich distributed an information packet to the committee (Attachment D). She explained that the OADC provides legal services to indigent persons who are accused of crimes in situations where the public defender has a conflict. The Office of the State Auditor conducted statewide performance audits on the OADC in 2003 and 2006, which have helped make the office function more efficiently. Ms. Frolich discussed post-conviction cases handled by the OADC. Post-conviction cases generally come to her office when a defendant is accusing the public defender of ineffective assistance of counsel. In those cases, the Office of the State Public Defender has a conflict of interest and OADC steps in to handle the appellate work.


02:04 PM

Ms. Frolich pointed out that the OADC must take every case assigned to it and mentioned that her office constantly tries to find more efficient methods for handling cases. She talked about training, communication, evaluation, streamlining discovery reproduction procedures, and new technology. The OADC contracts with approximately 400 private criminal defense lawyers who work in ever judicial district at a designated state rate.

02:09 PM

Ms. Frolich stated that the biggest cost factor for the OADC is the death penalty. The OADC is currently representing three defendants in death penalty cases. Ms. Frolich responded to questions from the committee about the charges for reproducing discovery. Charges are not standard from district to district. Discovery costs average approximately $350,000 per year. The OADC and the State Public Defender often do joint training in order to share resources.