DEFENSE FUNCTION

In February 2015, the ABA House of Delegates approved these “black letter” standards that have will be published with commentary in ABA Standards for Criminal Justice: Prosecution and Defense Function, 4th ed., ©2015 American Bar Association. Work is underway to provide commentary to accompany these Standards.To go directly to individual “black letter” standards (without commentary), click on the links below.

TABLE of CONTENTS

PART I.          GENERAL STANDARDS

Standard 4-1.1      The Scope and Function of these Standards

Standard 4-1.2       Functions and Duties of Defense Counsel

Standard 4-1.3       Continuing Duties of Defense Counsel

Standard 4-1.4       Defense Counsel’s Tempered Duty of Candor

Standard 4-1.5       Preserving the Record

Standard 4-1.6       Improper Bias Prohibited

Standard 4-1.7       Conflicts of Interest

Standard 4-1.8       Appropriate Workload

Standard 4-1.9       Diligence, Promptness and Punctuality

Standard 4-1.10     Relationship with Media

Standard 4-1.11     Advisory Groups and Communications for Guidance on

                               Issues of Professional Conduct

Standard 4-1.12     Training Programs

Standard 4-1.13     Assuring Excellence and Diversity in the Hiring, Retention and

                               Compensation of Public Defense Counsel

 

PART II.         ACCESS TO DEFENSE COUNSEL

Standard 4-2.1      The Duty to Make Qualified Criminal Defense Representation

                              Available

Standard 4-2.2      Confidential Defense Communication with Detained Persons

Standard 4-2.3      Right to Counsel at First and Subsequent Judicial Appearances 

Standard 4-2.4      Referral Service for Criminal Cases

Standard 4-2.5      Referrals for Representation

 

PART III.       LAWYER-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP

Standard 4-3.1       Establishing and Maintaining an Effective Client Relationship

Standard 4-3.2        Seeking a Detained Client’s Release from Custody, or Reduction                                in Custodial Conditions

Standard 4-3.3       Interviewing the Client

Standard 4-3.4       Fees

Standard 4-3.5       Engagement Letter

Standard 4-3.6       Literary or Media Rights Agreements Prohibited

Standard 4-3.7       Prompt and Thorough Actions to Protect the Client

Standard 4-3.8       Anticipated Unlawful Conduct

Standard 4-3.9       Duty to Keep Client Informed and Advised About the Representation

Standard 4-3.10     Maintaining Continuity of Representation; Relationship with Successor

                               Counsel

Standard 4-3.11     The Client’s File

 

PART IV.       INVESTIGATION AND PREPARATION

Standard 4-4.1       Duty to Investigate and Engage Investigators

Standard 4-4.2       Illegal and Unethical Investigations Prohibited

Standard 4-4.3       Relationship with Witnesses

Standard 4-4.4       Relationship With Expert Witnesses

Standard 4-4.5       Compliance with Discovery Procedures

Standard 4-4.6        Preparation for Court Proceedings, and Recording and Transmitting

                                Information

Standard 4-4.7       Handling Physical Evidence With Incriminating Implications

 

PART V.         CONTROL AND DIRECTION OF LITIGATION

Standard 4-5.1       Advising the Client

Standard 4-5.2      Control and Direction of the Case

Standard 4-5.3       Obligations of Stand-By Counsel

Standard 4-5.4       Consideration of Collateral Consequences

Standard 4-5.5       Special Attention to Immigration Status and Consequences  

 

PART VI.       DISPOSITION WITHOUT TRIAL

Standard 4-6.1       Duty to Explore Disposition Without Trial

Standard 4-6.2       Negotiated Disposition Discussions

Standard 4-6.3       Plea Agreements and Other Negotiated Dispositions 

Standard 4-6.4       Opposing Waivers of Rights in Disposition Agreement

 

PART VII.      COURT HEARINGS AND TRIAL

Standard 4-7.1       Scheduling Court Hearings  

Standard 4-7.2       Civility with Courts, Prosecutors, and Others

Standard 4-7.3       Selection of Jurors

Standard 4-7.4       Relationship With Jurors

Standard 4-7.5       Opening Statement at Trial

Standard 4-7.6       Presentation of Evidence

Standard 4-7.7       Examination of Witnesses in Court

Standard 4-7.8       Closing Argument to the Trier of Fact

Standard 4-7.9       Facts Outside the Record

Standard 4-7.10     Comments by Defense Counsel After Verdict or Ruling

Standard 4-7.11     Motions For Acquittal During Trial

 

PART VIII.    POST-TRIAL MOTIONS AND SENTENCING

Standard 4-8.1       Post-Trial Motions

Standard 4-8.2       Reassessment of Options After Trial

Standard 4-8.3       Sentencing

 

PART IX.       APPEALS AND POST-CONVICTION REMEDIES

Standard 4-9.1       Preparing to Appeal

Standard 4-9.2       Counsel on Appeal

Standard 4-9.3       Conduct of Appeal

Standard 4-9.4       New or Newly-Discovered Innocence Evidence or Law

Standard 4-9.5       Post-Appellate Remedies

Standard 4-9.6       Challenges to the Effectiveness of Counsel

 View Other Standards

 

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