It isn’t unusual for an indigent client to be wary about how invested their court-appointed federal public defender is on a case, but a recent change in court staffing may result in additional layers of complications for some defendants.

On Jan. 9, two days after ending a four-year career as an assistant federal public defender in the Western District of Virginia in Abingdon, an unidentified employee was hired as a law clerk for U.S. District Senior Judge James P. Jones—without a heads up to her former employer in the same district.

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