The Warren County Public Defender's Office exists to provide high quality legal representation to individuals who cannot afford an attorney for criminal court, family court, appearance at arraignments and parole violation hearings. The objective is to ensure that those who do not have the financial means and qualify for the services of the Public Defender’s Office are provided with the assistance they need.
The goal of our office is to assist our clients using a holistic approach. In doing so, we work collaboratively with the community in order to enhance services that our clients may not utilize or seek out on their own. Such services include mental health/substance abuse counseling, affordable or temporary housing, childcare services and locating employment. We aim to address every client’s immediate legal needs and to help the client confront the issues that may have initiated and contributed to their contact with the judicial system in hopes of improving the lives of the people that our office serves.
The holistic approach in our representation allows the individual client to be welcomed into an open environment where our focus is to serve the needs of our clients in a caring, compassionate, and empowered setting.
Statement of Client’s Rights
(Portions of the Order Effective April 15, 2013 by Joint Order of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court)
You are entitled to be treated with courtesy and consideration at all times by your attorney and the other attorneys and non-attorney personnel in your attorney’s office.
You are entitled to have your attorney handle your legal matter competently and diligently, in accordance with the highest standards of the profession. If you are not satisfied with how your matter is being handled, you have the right to discharge your attorney and terminate the attorney-client relationship at any time. (Court approval may be required in some matters.)
You are entitled to your attorney’s independent professional judgment and undivided loyalty uncompromised by conflicts of interest.
You are entitled to have your questions and concerns addressed promptly and to receive a prompt reply to your letters, telephone calls, emails, faxes, and other communications.
You are entitled to be kept reasonably informed as to the status of your matter and are entitled to have your attorney promptly comply with your reasonable requests for information, including your requests for copies of papers relevant to the matter. You are entitled to sufficient information to allow you to participate meaningfully in the development of your matter and make informed decisions regarding the representation.
You are entitled to have your legitimate objectives respected by your attorney. In particular, the decision of whether to settle your matter is yours and not your attorney’s. (Court approval of a settlement is required in some matters.)
You have the right to privacy in your communications with your attorney and to have your confidential information preserved by your attorney to the extent required by law.
You are entitled to have your attorney conduct himself or herself ethically in accordance with the New York Rules of Professional Conduct.
You may not be refused representation on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.
Statement of Client’s Responsibilities
(Portions of the Informational Statement Adopted by the New York State Bar Association)
The client is expected to treat the attorney and the attorney’s staff with courtesy and consideration at all times.
The client’s relationship with the attorney should be one of complete candor and the client should apprise the attorney of all facts or circumstances of the matter being handled by the attorney even if the client believes that those facts may be detrimental to the client’s cause or unflattering to the client.
Although the client should expect that his or her letters, telephone calls, emails, faxes, and other communications to the attorney will be answered within a reasonable time, the client should recognize that the attorney has other clients who may be equally deserving of the attorney’s time and attention.
The client must maintain contact with the attorney, promptly notify the attorney of any change in mailing address, physical address, telephone number, email, contact information, or other electronic contact information, and respond promptly to a request by the attorney for information and cooperation.
The client must realize that the attorney is required to respect only legitimate objectives of the client and that the attorney will not advocate or propose positions that are unprofessional or contrary to law or the New York Rules of Professional Conduct.
The attorney cannot provide you with legal advice for matters to which the attorney was not assigned.
The attorney cannot give you advice on civil rights issues.
Please talk to your attorney if you have any questions about your rights and responsibilities.