Alameda County, Calif.’s public defenders on Monday stopped taking many out-of-custody misdemeanor and probation violation cases, citing the expected loss of 14 attorneys through layoffs on Sept. 4.

Public Defender Diane Bellas confirmed in an e-mail that her attorneys have started declaring conflicts of interest “based on overload.” The move is part of a “transition plan,” she said. Bellas told county leaders that could shift more than 10,000 cases to a panel of private attorneys over the next year.

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