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Louisiana Public Defender Board Performance Standards for Legal Representation in Delinquency Proceedings

NCJ Number
Date Published
46 pages
This report presents Louisiana's performance standards for attorneys representing children in delinquency proceedings as set forth in Chapters 13 and 15, Part XV of Title 22 of the Louisiana Administrative Code.
Chapter 13 presents performance standards for juvenile defense attorneys in representing clients at detention through adjudication. Chapter 15 presents performance standards for representing clients post-adjudication. The standards detail performance requirements for the wide range of tasks defense counsel must perform in ensuring that juvenile clients' rights of due process are protected and advocacy for clients' interests are thorough and beneficial. The standards alert defense counsel to action that may be necessary, advisable, or appropriate. The guidance provided by the standards extends to the proper documentation of files so as to show adherence to the standards and to assist in training and supervising attorneys. The language of the standards is general so as to allow flexibility of action as appropriate to a given situation. In those instances in which a particular action is essential to providing quality representation, the standards use the work "shall." In those instances in which a particular action is usually necessary to providing quality representation, the standards use the word "should." Even under these standards, however, the attorney's best informed judgment and discretion on a client's behalf is acceptable based on outcomes and explanation for the departure. As a result of such flexibility in compliance with the standards, they are not used as criteria for the judicial evaluation of alleged misconduct by defense counsel.