District Defender Selection, District 19 (EBR Parish)
The Louisiana Public Defender Board (LPDB) seeks to contract with a District Defender to provide for the delivery and management of public defender services in the 19th Judicial District, comprised of East Baton Rouge Parish. La. R.S. 15:161.
La. R.S. 15:162 provides the procedure by which vacant District Defender positions are filled. A local Selection Committee reviews all interested applicants and makes recommendations to LPDB. The Selection Committee is comprised of three members: The State Public Defender selects the Committee’s Chairperson; the Chief Judge of the Judicial District and the President of the State Bar Association each select one of the two remaining members.
Within sixty (60) days of being formed (March 24, 2021), the Selection Committee submits a list of at least three District Defender nominees, ranked by preference, to LPDB. The Selection Committee will undertake any advertisement, determine that minimal statutory qualifications are met, conduct any necessary interviews, and explore the candidate’s background in the areas of management, training, substantive and procedural criminal law, data management and ability to work with LPDB, which regulates public defense in Louisiana. The final Committee recommendations will be interviewed by the State Public Defender and staff prior to a recommendation by the State Public Defender to the LPDB members. The LPDB members will make the final selection of the incoming District Defender and determine the appropriate salary. All District Defenders in Louisiana enter into an individual ‘Contract for Public Defender Services’ with the LPDB and are considered local employees of the district pursuant to La. R.S. 15:147(E).
Salary is commensurate with experience. Statutory qualifications are as follows:
• Be a person of good character, honesty and integrity.
• Be a citizen of the United States.
• Following appointment, be a domiciliary of Louisiana who is registered to vote.
• Be an attorney licensed to practice law in Louisiana with at least 5 years of experience as a criminal defense attorney.
• Following appointment, be a domiciliary of the judicial district or a contiguous judicial district and be registered to vote in that judicial district or contiguous district.
• Provide and/or maintain a district office, or appropriate office space, in each judicial district for meeting with clients and rendering public defender services.
The LPDB mission statement is:
In pursuit of equal justice, the Louisiana Public Defender Board advocates for clients, supports practitioners and protects the public by continually improving the services guaranteed by the constitutional right to counsel. Through its commitment to performance standards, ethical excellence, data-driven practices and client-centered advocacy, the Louisiana Public Defender Board oversees the delivery of high-quality legal services affecting adults, children and families, and supports community well-being across Louisiana.
Resumes/curriculum vitae and references should be submitted to: PDSC, P. O. Box 351, Baton Rouge, LA, 70821 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for application materials to be received is May 10, 2021.
District Defender Duties include:
• Manage and supervise public defender services provided within his judicial district.
• Prepare an operating budget for the district and submit it to the budget officer annually.
• Work in conjunction with the budget officer in developing a uniform method of accounting for all expenditures of the district, including but not limited to the salaries, contracts, acquisition of equipment, and supplies.
• Submit to the budget officer a monthly report of all revenues received and expenditures, including but not limited to salaries, contracts, acquisition of equipment, and supplies for the district.
• Work in conjunction with the compliance officers to ensure that public defender assignments within the judicial district comply with the standards and guidelines adopted pursuant to rule by the board and the Rules of Professional Conduct.
• Supervise the work of the district personnel.
• Employ district personnel, subject to review by the state public defender or the regional director, where applicable, for compliance with qualifications and standards and guidelines established by statute and by rules adopted by the board.
• Contract for services in accordance with the standards and guidelines adopted by rule by the board, and as authorized by the regional director, where applicable.
• Keep a record of all public defender services and expenses in the district and submit the records to the regional director, where applicable, or state public defender as requested.
• Implement the standards and guidelines and procedures established by the board, state public defender, and regional director, where applicable, for the district.
• Maintain a client workload for the district office as determined by the regional director, where applicable, the state public defender, and the board.
• Employ or terminate district personnel, manage and supervise all district level work, including establishment of district personnel salaries, subject to review by the board for compliance with salary guidelines established by the board through the adoption of rules.
• Perform all other duties assigned by the regional director, where applicable, state public defender, or board.
• Work in conjunction with the legislative auditor in developing uniform audit reports as required by R.S. 24:515.1.
• Other duties as assigned by the State Public Defender or LPDB Board of Directors.