Private Lawyers in the Judicial Process
WIKIPEDIA | 2014-09-04 17:01
In criminal cases in the United States the defendant has a constitutional right to be represented by an attorney. Some jurisdictions have established public defender's offices to represent indigent defendants. In other areas, some method exists of assigning a private attorney to represent a defendant who cannot afford to hire one. Those defendants who can afford to hire their own lawyers will do so.

In civil cases neither the plaintiff nor the defendant is constitutionally entitled to the services of an attorney. However, in the civil arena the legal issues are often so complex as to demand the services of an attorney. Various forms of legal assistance are usually available to those who need help.

Assigned Defense Counsel. When a private lawyer must be appointed to represent an indigent defendant, the assignment usually is made by an individual judge on an ad hoc basis. Local bar associations or lawyers themselves often provide the courts with a list of attorneys who are willing to provide such services.

Private Defense Counsel. Some attorneys in private practice specialize in criminal defense work. Although the lives of criminal defense attorneys may be depicted as glamorous on television and in movies, the average real-life criminal defense lawyer works long hours for low pay and low prestige.
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