ILNews

Chief public defender delays departure

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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Expect to see David E. Cook's face at the Marion County Public Defender Agency a little longer than anticipated.

The chief public defender is delaying for a month his departure - originally planned for Feb. 15 - to help make sure the agency has adequate leadership while its board of directors searches for a successor. Cook is stepping down after 12 years as the county's top public defender to work for immigration firm Gresk & Singleton in Indianapolis.

Because the agency needed leadership and his new law firm offered some flexibility, Cook agreed to stay a little longer.

"We're very grateful to him for being willing to stay and give us more time," said board chairman Jimmie McMillian, an associate at Barnes & Thornburg. "He had an opportunity to stay, and once we saw that opportunity existed we didn't hesitate to ask vigorously."

The decision means the board won't have to appoint an interim director while it searches for a successor, McMillian said.

Ten attorneys applied for the position by the Feb. 1 deadline, and the board originally planned to conduct interviews next week. Scheduling conflicts prevented that, and first interviews are now planned for Feb. 26 and second interviews are slated for March 3, McMillian said. The board will determine the next step after those second interviews, he added.

Complicating the timeline is that the new administration is still making appointments to the board, which consists of nine people - four named by the presiding Superior Court judge, four by the City-County Council, and one by the Indianapolis mayor. After the board makes a decision, the City-County Council has confirmation power and must approve the appointment.

He would not disclose the applicants' names, but McMillian said all applicants needed to have five years experience as an attorney, including at least two years handling criminal cases and at least 10 jury trials that reached a verdict. The person ultimately chosen will oversee a staff of about 250 full-time and contract attorneys, and will be the public face of the organization on indigent public defense.
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  1. Hmmmmm ..... How does the good doctor's spells work on tyrants and unelected bureacrats with nearly unchecked power employing in closed hearings employing ad hoc procedures? Just askin'. ... Happy independence day to any and all out there who are "free" ... Unlike me.

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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