HOW TO APPLY TO BECOME A PANEL ATTORNEY:
Download and complete the appropriate panel application. Submit a completed application and corresponding attachments: Certificate of Good Standing, Malpractice Insurance Binder, and at least 4 CLE Certificates in the area of law you are joining, to the SCACP office directly or by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please Note: Panel attorneys are not employed by the Suffolk County Assigned Counsel Plan, but rather are independent contractors of the SCACP.
Important Application Submission Instructions:
1. Download the PDF to your computer.
2. Open the PDF using Adobe Acrobat Reader, not your internet browser (right click -> open with). Click here to get Adobe Reader.
3. Fill out the form in Adobe Reader, when finished - click "file -> save as", and save it to a place you will remember.
4. Attach the newly saved PDF to your email and send completed forms to: email@example.com
1. All applicants must reside and/or maintain an office in Suffolk County
2. All attorneys are screened by committees consisting of lawyers well respected in the area of Criminal and/or Family law. Candidates are screened in person after a careful review of the candidate’s qualifications. A majority vote of the screening committee is required for placement on the panel.
3. Attorneys to the Felony, Murder and/or Family Court-Law Guardian Panels must have the specified minimum number of years of experience within that particular area of the law. While the remaining panels do not have such minimum requirements, it is recommended that attorneys seeking appointment to those panels have at lease one year experience practicing law.
4. An attorney may not be placed on more than one criminal trial list. The only exception to this rule is that qualified Murder Panel applicants may be included in the Felony Panel.
5. The various panels are divided between the Courts located in the eastern and western towns of Suffolk County. An attorney may be placed on either the east end or west end, relative to the location of their residence and/or office
6. All 18b attorneys are required to complete 4 CLE credits in the appropriate area of law on an annual basis. Compliance of each attorney is monitored by the Plan Administrator.
All indigent defendants in Suffolk County charged with Murder are represented by private attorneys assigned under the Assigned Counsel Defender Plan. Pursuant to the Plan, the Legal Aid Society handles no murder cases. Attorneys interested in participating on the Murder Panel must submit a resume with their application and be screened by a joint committee of the Suffolk County Bar Association and Suffolk County Criminal Bar Association consisting of four appointed members and the Administrator. A majority vote is required to place an attorney on the Murder Panel.
An attorney must meet the minimum qualifications set out for the Felony Panel below and must also impress the panel with his or her experience and ability to handle a case of such significance. Unlike the Felony Panel, murder assignments are not given out on a strictly rotational basis. Private attorneys who qualify are placed on a list which is
transmitted to each County Court and Supreme Court Judge sitting in a criminal part. The judges can then choose an attorney from the list to represent an indigent defendant charged with murder. In cases which initiate in the District
Court, the Administrator’s office is called upon to make an assignment of an attorney from the Murder Panel.