As reported in the New York Law Journal on October 22, New York City agreed to stipulate not to include assignment of conflict cases in any contract awarded under the current RFPs for institutional providers, pending court resolution of the outstanding constitutional and statutory issues. This assures that unless there is a ruling adverse to the County Bars, private attorneys will continue to handle conflict cases. This agreement averted the need for a hearing on the five bar groups' (NYCLA, Bronx, Kings, Queens and Richmond County Bar Associations) motion for a temporary restraining order. The five bar groups also stipulated to withdraw their motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction and agreed not to seek preliminary injunction relief that would prevent the City from executing contracts for indigent defense services other than for conflict cases. The cases and previously briefed motions on the merits remain pending.
NYCLA and the other county bars are pleased that the indigent defense system will continue to operate under the current plan, allowing the county bars, institutional providers and 18-B lawyers to continue their dedicated efforts on behalf of indigent defendants while the county bars' challenges to the City's proposed changes are resolved. The county bars stand by those challenges and will continue their efforts to ensure that the constitutional rights of the indigent to effective assistance of counsel, now and in the future, are not compromised.