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(NYLJ/Rick Kopstein)

At New York County Defender Services, we read with disappointment the inaccurate claims made by several city bar organizations and others regarding the suitability of using institutional defenders to represent indigent homicide defendants (“City Bar Groups Wary of Proposed 18B Change,” NYLJ, Oct. 21, 2006). Their purported concern seemingly centers on an alleged lack of qualified attorneys at a provider like NYCDS. This concern is demonstrably and factually baseless. It also fails to appreciate the qualitative distinction between solo practitioners, no matter how skilled, and equally superb attorneys functioning as part of a cohesive organization devoted exclusively to indigent defense and its many demands.

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