By Amaris Elliott-Engel
Of the Legal Staff
The city of Philadelphia still plans to enter into a contract with a legal services vendor to represent Philadelphians in criminal and family cases with which the Defender Association of Philadelphia has a conflict, according to Michael R. Resnick, director of public safety.
“We’ve had a preliminary meeting of the RFP review committee to review the five proposals that were submitted,” Resnick said in an email. “We will be meeting again shortly to discuss which respondents we would like to give presentations and answer our questions. Once that phase is complete, we will hopefully have selected a vendor with whom we will enter into a contract.”
In the wake of the Philadelphia city government's assumption of responsibility for the payment of private attorneys appointed in criminal and family cases, the Nutter administration sought "creative and innovative" proposals on legal representation in cases in which the defender association has a conflict.
The deadline for proposals was a couple of months ago.
The Philadelphia Bar Association has questioned a for-profit model on the grounds that “it will create a tension pitting the needs of the individual indigent client with the desires and goals of the entity to make a profit."
In response, the Nutter administration has asked attorneys from the bar association to help review applicants’ proposals.
Amaris Elliott-Engel can be contacted at 215-557-2354 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @AmarisTLI.