A time to speak out, write, advocate, testify and initiate litigation on my own.

We — all of us in our profession — have become the principal facilitators of mass incarceration in our nation

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How to Fix Public Defense

Stephen Hanlon, general counsel for the National Association for Public Defense, says giving adequate representation is about supply and demand. (CBS News)

Missouri Public Defenders are Overloaded with Hundreds of Cases While Defendants Wait in Jail

The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees every American facing trial the right to a lawyer, even if they cannot afford one. But across the country, the public defender system is being stretched to the breaking point, and Missouri may be ground zero. John Yang reports with producer Frank Carlson, in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. (Summary from John Yang and Frank Carlson, PBS Newshour)

One Lawyer, 194 Felony Cases, and No Time

One Lawyer, One Day, 194 Felony Cases. It happened to Jack Talaska, then a public defender in Louisiana: His felony caseload for April 27, 2017, numbered 194. 

“New columnist in St. Louis…More to follow.”

The article was originally published in the St. Louis American April 15 – 21 2021 Edition

Indian Tribe Wins Fight to Limit Research of Its DNA

 Seven years ago, the Havasupai Indians, who live amid the turquoise waterfalls and red cliffs miles deep in the Grand Canyon, issued a “banishment order”...

American Bar Association finds Oregon has just 1/3 of needed public defenders

The state has 31% of the attorneys necessary to address current caseload, American Bar Association report finds

Across The U.S., Public Defender Offices Focusing On Data, Analytics To Drive Change

The data, said Stephen Hanlon, can provide concrete evidence of a broken system rather than relying on anecdotal stories 

 Louisiana Is Proceeding “In Flagrant Disregard Of The United States Constitution.”

The Louisiana Supreme Court once again refused to provide a systemic remedy for Louisiana’s decades’ long failure to provide reasonably effective and competent legal representation for its most impoverished citizens.

State V Covington Louisiana Supreme Court

On Tuesday, October 20, 2020, at 9:30 a.m. CST, the Louisiana Supreme Court heard oral arguments in State v. Covington...

An Unfair Fight

At the Orleans Public Defenders office, where Engelberg serves as trial chief, people find themselves represented by attorneys who are carrying burdensome caseloads in an office that lacks the funding necessary to provide an adequate defense for everyone it represents.