Missouri School of Law to host public defender panel

Monday, February 22, 2010 | 12:31 p.m. CST; updated 11:42 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The all-day workshop on Missouri's public defender system will be held Friday, February 26. The Missourian previously reported the incorrect date.

COLUMBIA — The University of Missouri School of Law is hosting an all-day workshop Friday on problems in the state's public defender system.

The Missouri Law Review symposium is entitled "Broke and Broken," a reference to an overtaxed system that requires public defenders to represent hundreds of indigent clients at a time.

Law professors from across the country will participate in panel discussions about the public defender system. The keynote speaker is Stephen Bright, who teaches at Yale and Georgetown and is president of the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta.

The Missouri Legislature approved a measure last year allowing the state Public Defender Commission to set caseload limits. The measure also allows trials for misdemeanor offenses to continue without a public defender if prosecutors didn't pursue jail time. Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the bill.

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