Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Fee hikes an option for SPD - WISCONSIN LAW JOURNAL

BY: Jack Zemlicka
Staff Photo by Kevin Harnack

The Wisconsin Law Journal describes that "[o]ne of the longstanding barriers to giving private bar attorneys a raise for taking State Public Defender appointments has been cost."

With that in mind, attorneys say that increasing SPD fees to clients may be an option.


If the time comes that payment rates are raised, Madison attorney Erik R. Guenther said the agency will also need to reevaluate attorney assignments and potentially give clients more say in who represents them.

The Hurley, Burish & Stanton attorney has advocated for an increase in the $40 private bar rate before the Legislature, but doesn’t think increasing client payments is the right approach at this point.

“My concern, whether rates increase or not, is that the individual who has the most at stake doesn’t have any say in who their lawyer ends up being,” Guenther said.

Jack Zemlicka can be reached at jack.zemlicka@wislawjournal.com.

(The full article is available here.)