Monday, December 27, 2010

New ABA task to study broad implications of Padilla on criminal defense practice

ABA to Study Changing Role of Criminal Defense Lawyers Post-'Padilla' 

New York Law Journal

The new ABA task force will look not only at the specific obligations created by the Padilla decision and other rulings applying it, but also at the broader implications for the role of defense lawyers.

Bruce Green, a Fordham University School of Law professor and chair of the ABA's criminal justice section, said the bar group has already collected data on the collateral consequences of criminal convictions that have an "extraordinary impact" on clients' lives.

"Padilla raised the level of consciousness," said Mr. Green. "It has reminded lawyers that they must learn about, and advise clients about, the impact of a guilty plea on their immigration status and in other significant ways beyond sentencing."

Mr. Green said the new task force is needed "because clients need more than good advice about the consequences of a guilty plea. The task force will ask what else lawyers can do to assist criminal defendants with current civil legal problems or non-legal problems related to the criminal case."

Mr. Green added, "Criminal defense lawyers might help by broadening the scope of their representation beyond the criminal case or by making referrals to, and collaborating with, other professionals. The task force will study how lawyers and their offices address these situations, often in the face of time and resource limitations."

ABA Padilla Resource Page