1989 Guideline 4.1

GUIDELINE 4.1 – SELECTION OF COUNSEL

A. The legal representation plan should provide for a systematic and publicized method for distributing assignments in capital cases as widely as possible among qualified members of the bar.

B. The appointing authority should develop procedures to be used in establishing two rosters of attorneys who are competent and available to represent indigent capital defendants. The first roster should contain the names of attorneys eligible for appointment as lead defense counsel for trial, appeal or postconviction pursuant to the qualification requirements specified in Guideline 5.1; the second roster should contain the names of attorneys eligible for appointment as assistant defense counsel for trial, appeal or postconviction pursuant to the qualification requirements specified in the same Guideline.

C. The appointing authority should review applications from attorneys concerning their placement on the roster of eligible attorneys from which assignments are made, as discussed in subsection (b). The review of an application should include a thorough investigation of the attorney's background, experience, and training, and an assessment of whether the attorney is competent to provide quality legal representation to the client pursuant to the qualification requirements specified in Guideline 5.1 and the performance standards established pursuant to Guidelines 11.1 and 11.2. An attorney's name should be placed on either roster upon a majority vote of the committee.

D. Assignments should then be made in the sequence that the names appear on the roster of eligible attorneys. Departures from the practice of strict rotation of assignments may be made when such departure will protect the best interests of the client. A lawyer should never be assigned for reasons personal to the committee members making assignments.

In jurisdictions where a defender office or other entity by law receives a specific portion of or all assignments, the procedures in (b) through (d) above should be followed for cases which the defender office or other entity cannot accept due to conflicts of interest or other reasons.

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