NY Judge Sets Trial on Legal Aid for the Poor


A trial is needed to determine if New York provides adequate resources for the defense of poor people charged with crimes, a state judge said in refusing to throw out the class-action lawsuit brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union. State Supreme Court Justice Eugene Devine has also rejected NYCLU’s request for a decision based on information already presented that the system for providing indigent defense by the state and several counties routinely fails defendants and violates their constitutional right to counsel. A trial now is likely in the spring. In 2010, a divided New York Court of Appeals reinstated the lawsuit, rejecting a lower court’s conclusion that the issue was simply poor performance by individual lawyers.