Private Lawyers Tapped in Columbia Caseload Crunch
COLUMBIA (AP) - Private attorneys in Boone and Callaway counties may soon be asked to help reduce the caseload of local public defenders by providing free legal services to those unable to hire criminal defense lawyers.
The Columbia Daily Tribune report that the likely change is a response to a decision by the Boone County public defender's office to limit the number of cases it takes.
Presiding 13th Circuit Judge Gary Oxenhandler told members of the Boone County Bar Association that attorneys who practice civil law should also prepare to take on pro bono work along with criminal defense lawyers.
Those cases will primarily involve misdemeanor criminal violations and misdemeanor probation cases.