Suffolk 18B.org
Introduction
The Family Law Committee of the Suffolk
County Psychological Association
(SCPA) and Touro Law Center are
providing consultations for attorneys,
whose practice is in the area of family
law, including matrimonial issues.
Click
here to find out more...

Welcome to the Website of the Suffolk County Assigned Counsel
Defender Plan.

Both constitutional and statutory law require New York to provide
counsel to certain individuals financially unable to obtain counsel.  In
Suffolk County, “mandated representation” is provided under the Suffolk
County Assigned Counsel Defender Plan, which was devised by the
Suffolk County Bar Association and the Suffolk County Criminal  Bar
Association pursuant to County Law Article 18-B.

County Law Article 18-B authorizes Suffolk County  to choose one or a
combination of several options for providing representation to eligible
clients, including  public defender office; a private legal aid bureau or
society or, in Family Court matters, any corporation or voluntary
association or organization permitted to practice law under Judiciary
Law § 495(7); or the assignment of private practitioners pursuant to an
assigned counsel plan. County Law § 722.

The objective of the Suffolk County Assigned Counsel Defender Plan is
to ensure high quality legal services for every individual represented
under the plan. The county is entitled to consider costs as a relevant
factor in devising its representation plan, but it cannot ignore its
constitutional, statutory and moral duty to provide quality counsel to
those who cannot afford representation.

The Plan's intent is to provide representation to indigent defendants and
provide remuneration to counsel.  The fee award provision is not
intended to completely eliminate the pro bono aspect of a lawyer's role in
representing indigent defendants, but to compensate the attorneys who
accept such assignments at reasonable hourly rates.  

This website provides information regarding the 18B program, including
our policies, requirements, samples and procedures for compensation,
as well as links to other helpful websites.

If you are interested in becoming a member of our 18B program, please
download the application and return it to our office.

Thank you to all of our participating panelists.

David H. Besso
Administrator
COMPENSATION RATE GUIDELINES FOR
COURT-APPOINTED NON-LAWYER
PROFESSIONALS

Click
here to read about the guidelines.
PAROLE ASSIGNMENTS
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT PAROLE
ASSIGNMENTS ARE  MADE THROUGH
OUR OFFICE.  NO ONE SHOULD ACCEPT
SUCH ASSIGNMENTS UNLESS
CONTACTED  DIRECTLY BY THE 18B
ADMINISTRATOR.    
MENTAL HYGIENE TRAINING
COURSE FOR ARTICLE 10
APPEALS

The State of New York Mental
Hygiene Service held a training
course for 18B counsel to
become certified to handle
Article 10 appeals.  The training
video and materials are
available online for interested
attorneys who were unable to
attend the training course.  if
you are interested in this Article
10 Appeals Training, please call
my office for the link, user name
and password to access the
information.
CONGRATULATIONS to Murder
Panelist, Steven Fondulis, Esq.,
on the acquittal in his recent  
murder case held before the
Honorable James C. Hudson
The Legislature passed a bill adding
legal aid bureaus and societies and other
private entities providing services under
County Law 722 to the list of entities that
cannot be charged for searching records
of the DMV or for copies of DMV
documents.  THE LAW ALREADY
EXEMPTS PUBLIC DEFENDER OFFICES
FROM PAYING THOSE FEES.
© Suffolk County Bar Association
COUNSEL AT FIRST APPEARANCE PROGRAM

Effective Monday, November 3rd, the Assigned Counsel Defender
Plan of Suffolk County is beginning its “Counsel at First
Appearance” program.

A grant has been approved from The NYS Office of Indigent Legal
Services to improve the quality of services provided pursuant to
Article 18-B of the county law.  The purpose of the grant addresses
the deprivation of counsel at first appearance.

In the Hurrell-Harring v. New York, 15 NY3d8 (2010) case (recently
settled), the Court recognized that indigent defendants were not
represented at arraignments and were kept in custody with little or
no contact with their attorneys.  This program seeks to address that
issue.  Therefore, in addition to the Felony calendars currently in
place, we have placed a rotation of “Counsel at First Appearance”
attorneys in D-11.  These attorneys will represent defendants who
are appearing before a judge for the first time, regardless of
eligibility for assigned counsel.  The 18b attorneys presently on the
existing calendars will be assigned defendants that have been
found eligible for 18b representation only and are to report to the
Court on their calendared date.  At no time will the Counsel at First
Appearance attorney be substituted for the attorney of the day.

In order for 18b attorneys to fulfill their obligations, please contact
the Counsel at First Appearance attorney on your calendared date
to discuss if any defendants appearing for the first time are being
held for the 3/5 day minimum.  You MUST represent these in-
custody defendants for that interim period.
Links
County Court
ANNOUNCEMENTS