Cinderella wrote:I've never heard of a jurisdiction not having court appointed criminal defense attorneys. Even if there is a public defender's office and alternate public defenders, there will probably still be court appointed attorneys.
I understand your point. In all of Canada if a person commits a criminal offence and cannot pay a lawyer, they usually get a legal aid certificate which they can take to any lawyer in private practice willing to take their case. The certificate has a pre-set rate, I think like $100 an hour but is very limited in the number of hours one can rack up. Thus it is possible/viable to be a lawyer in solo private practice if you basically set up shop in a high crime area, as you'd have lots of clients who are poor but get paid by the government. Public defenders usually max out at 50k in the us in terms of salary. Whereas if you were able to get enough clients you could earn 210k in Ontario of almost none do, but it is possible to make 100k net after a few years in practice that way. This model is called judicare. So in this model the court doesn't appoint the lawyer, the client selects them and the lawyer gets paid by legal aid ontario = government. I know some American jurisdictions have this but I wasn't sure which ones, as it seems that just hiring a direct public defender is more popular in the US.