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January 24, 2006

Update: Montana's Public Defender System

Montana's new, “model,” statewide public defender system is still gearing up for a July 2006 start-date. I've been following the progress through the new State Public Defender webpage where the Public Defender Commission has kindly been posting the agendas and minutes of its monthly meetings. At the December meeting, the Board discussed a state attorney general's decision that their enabling legislation allows them to retain current state and county employees, but does not require them to do so. That means they could, theoretically, be replacing some attorneys or hiring new ones for whatever reason, and that would be good for me. Still, hiring new attorneys wasn't on the agenda of their meeting yesterday so if they plan to do that I guess it will be in the future.

One other tidbit I just noticed: The last sentence of this article about the appointment last October of Randi Hood as the new Chief Public Defender says “She is married to John Connor, the chief criminal prosecutor in the attorney general’s office.” Huh? Is there really no conflict of interest there for either of them?

Posted January 24, 2006 08:51 AM | Montana crimlaw

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