Public defenders in Alameda County, Calif., stopped taking many out-of-custody misdemeanor and probation violation cases Monday, citing the expected loss of 14 attorneys through layoffs on Sept. 4. Public Defender Diane Bellas' actions reflect the dire choices public defenders around the U.S. face as government budgets shrink. Across the bay in San Francisco, Public Defender Jeff Adachi said his office started declining complex, time-intensive cases in March and has since referred about 20 defendants to private counsel.
Citing Cuts, Public Defenders Refuse New Cases
August 5, 2009