2018 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 15 - Criminal Procedure
RS 15:152 - State public defender; qualifications; powers and duties; salary

Universal Citation: LA Rev Stat § 15:152 (2018)

§152. State public defender; qualifications; powers and duties; salary

A. The board shall employ a state public defender who shall meet the following qualifications:

(1) Meet the qualifications provided for in R.S. 15:150(B).

(2) Be an attorney licensed to practice law in the United States with at least seven years of experience as a criminal defense attorney. If licensed as an attorney in a state other than Louisiana, become licensed as an attorney in this state within one year of being employed by the board.

B. The state public defender shall:

(1) Recommend to the board how to establish and maintain, in a cost-effective manner, the delivery of legal services to persons entitled to, and financially eligible for, appointed counsel in criminal proceedings at state expense under Louisiana law, the Constitution of Louisiana, and the United States Constitution and consistent with the standards of national justice and those established by the Louisiana Supreme Court.

(2) Develop and present for the board's approval a strategic plan for the delivery of public defender services.

(3) Implement and ensure compliance with contracts, policies, procedures, standards, and guidelines adopted pursuant to rule by the board or required by statute.

(4) Prepare and submit to the board for its approval the budget of the board.

(5) Negotiate contracts, as appropriate, for providing legal services to persons financially eligible for appointed counsel at state expense. No contract so negotiated is binding or enforceable until the contract has been reviewed and approved by the board at a public hearing as provided for in R.S. 15:147(D). The provisions of this Paragraph are subject to the intent of the Louisiana Public Defender Act that district public defender programs shall continue operating within the method of delivery of services in effect prior to April 30, 2007, and the board is prohibited from using its power to contract to change the structure of a local program, delivery method, or to terminate personnel without cause in violation of R.S. 15:165(C).

(6) Employ personnel or contract for services as necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the board. The provisions of this Paragraph are subject to the intent of the Louisiana Public Defender Act that district public defender programs shall continue operating within the method of delivery of services in effect prior to April 30, 2007, and the board is prohibited from using its power to contract to change the structure of a local program, delivery method, or to terminate personnel without cause in violation of R.S. 15:165(C).

(7) Supervise the personnel, operation, and activities of the board.

(8) Prepare and submit to the board an annual report of the indigent defender services provided by the service regions, where applicable, and the districts.

(9) Appear before the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget and report on the activities of the board.

(10) Actively seek gifts, grants, and donations that may be available through the federal government or other sources to help fund the system, provided that such gifts, grants, and donations are not otherwise prohibited by law or rule.

(11) Assist the board in the adoption of rules as provided for in R.S. 15:148 and in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

(12) Provide services, facilities, and materials necessary for the performance of the duties, functions, and powers of the board.

(13) Assist the board in establishing the standards and guidelines, policies, and procedures for the statewide delivery of indigent defender services in accordance with rules adopted by the board and as required by statute.

(14) Establish administrative management procedures for regional offices, where applicable.

(15) Review, monitor, and assess the performance of all attorneys, consortia of attorneys, or independent public defender organizations qualified with the United States Internal Revenue Service for an exemption from federal income tax under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code to provide counsel for indigent defendants.

(16) Perform all other duties assigned by the board.

C. The state public defender shall receive annual compensation equal in amount to an associate justice of the supreme court of this state.

Acts 2007, No. 307, §1; Acts 2008, No. 2, §1, eff. May 24, 2008.

NOTE: Judicial compensation, including the salary of a judge of a court of appeal in this state, is subject to the provisions of R.S. 13:10.3 and Chapter 1-B of Part IV of Title 13.

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