New York to Weigh Constitutional Obligations to Indigent Defendants: Class-Action Lawsuit to Proceed to Trial
A State Supreme Court in Albany has ruled that a class-action lawsuit challenging New York State’s failure to provide effective counsel to poor New Yorkers accused of crimes will proceed to trial. The trial, expected to start this spring, will be the first of its kind in the nation. The lawsuit was filed by the New York Civil Liberties Union and the law firm of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP.
Testimony so far presented in the case shows that “on a consistent basis, indigent criminal defendants are being arraigned without being afforded their right to counsel," wrote Justice Eugene Devine.