By Amaris Elliott-Engel
Of the Legal Staff
The city of Philadelphia has extended the deadline for “creative and innovative” proposals for representation in cases in which the Defender Association of Philadelphia has a conflict.
The deadline has been extended to February 22 from January 18.
Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Kathleen D. Wilkinson, along with Criminal Justice Section Chair James A. Funt and Family Law Section Chair Michael E. Bertin, met with Deputy Mayor of Public Safety Everett A. Gillison, City Solicitor Shelley R. Smith, Michael R. Resnick, director of public safety and Elizabeth Mattioni, chair of the Law Department's litigation unit, last week.
According to minutes of the meeting provided by the Philadelphia Bar Association, the bar association officials discussed with the city officials the American Bar Association's 10 principles of a public defense delivery system.
According to an email from Mark Tarasiewicz, a bar spokesman, the principles were suggested by bar leaders as a “guidepost in identifying entities to take on this work. While no principle is more important than others, case management ability and CLE compliance are standouts.”
Wilkinson also wanted the family law and criminal justice sections to collect ideas concerning the RFP and to have those ideas forwarded to her, according to the minutes.
Resnick said in an interview last month that the impetus for the RFP was that the city wants to have a more efficient model than the current one in which individuals are made every budget year.
Resnick also suggested another model in which the city could hire someone else to manage the payment process.
Many attorneys who take court appointments in criminal and family cases are questioning how more efficiencies could be obtained out of a system if a separate conflict counsel office were set up with overhead costs or when there has not been an increase in the fees paid to them for many years.