GUIDELINE 3.1 – THE LEGAL REPRESENTATION PLAN
The legal representation plan for each jurisdiction should include: measures to formalize the process by which attorneys are assigned to represent capital defendants. To accomplish this goal, the plan should designate a body (appointing authority) within the jurisdiction which will be responsible for performing all duties in connection with the appointment of counsel as set forth by these Guidelines. This Guideline envisions two equally acceptable approaches for formalizing the process of appointment:
a. The authority to recruit and select competent attorneys to provide representation in capital cases may be centralized in the defender office or assigned counsel program of the jurisdiction. The defender office or assigned counsel program should adopt standards and procedures for the appointment of counsel in capital cases consistent with these Guidelines, and perform all duties in connection with the appointment process as set forth in these Guidelines.
b. In jurisdictions where it is not feasible to centralize the tasks of recruiting and selecting competent counsel for capital cases in a defender office or assigned counsel program, the legal representation plan should provide for a special appointments committee to consist of no fewer than five attorneys who:
i. are members of the bar admitted to practice in the jurisdiction;
ii. have practiced law in the field of criminal defense for not less than five years;
iii. have demonstrated knowledge of the specialized nature of practice involved in capital cases;
iv. are knowledgeable about criminal defense practitioners in the jurisdiction; and
v. are dedicated to quality legal representation in capital cases.
The committee should adopt standards and procedures for the appointment of counsel in capital cases, consistent with these Guidelines, and perform all duties in connection with the appointment process.