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Home / News / Indigent Defense Services moves toward flat-rate payment plan for attorneys  (access required)

Indigent Defense Services moves toward flat-rate payment plan for attorneys  (access required)

Efficiency is the aim, but will a shortage of experienced defense lawyers be the result?

North Carolina’s Indigent Defense Services is changing the way it does business with court-appointed attorneys. Since IDS’s founding in 2001, it has appointed attorneys to represent poor defendants on a case-by-case basis and paid case-specific fees for the work. But soon, attorneys throughout the state will have to submit proposals to IDS to prove that they are qualified to handle court-appointed work and then enter into flat-rate monthly contracts. The General Assembly ordered the switch from fees to contracts in a special provision that was tucked inside July’s budget bill. Danielle M. Carman, assistant director and general counsel for Durham-based IDS, said she learned about the proposal for a contract-based system shortly before it was enacted.

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