Who is the JAC? What Happened When One Experienced Capital Lawyer Went Up Against Them: JAC vs. Lenamon (2009)


Everyone understands that there is not enough money in the budget to provide proper fees and expenses for indigent defense in the State of Florida. Everyone knows the economy is bad, and no one knows how long this recession will last. The JAC is trying to pinch every penny in the defense budget. Everyone gets that.

Nevertheless, it’s burdensome enough to ask a death-penalty qualified attorney to travel to outside his or her practice area to meet a county’s need for a lawyer at their level of expertise. They’ve been drafted, they haven’t volunteered.

It’s more than onerous to fight that same lawyer over $25/hour – especially in a time window overlapping trial preparation in a death case. Remember, this places the defense attorney with fighting the State of Florida in one courtroom on behalf of his client, and then fighting the State of Florida down the hall, just to try and keep them from cutting his fees for doing his job in the first courtroom.

When the next attorney in this position – court-appointed outside their district -- negotiates that fee agreement with the JAC, the case of JAC v. Lenamon had best be on his or her mind.

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