|One of the "Attorney of the Day" assignments
for District Court Panelists is to the "Arraignment B"
and the "511 Vacate" Calendars.
ARRAIGNMENT B CALENDAR
The Arraignment B calendar is called every morning, Monday through
Friday, in the Arraignment B courtroom at 99 Main Street in Hempstead.
The calendar consists largely of persons who received appearance
tickets on misdemeanors and violations in lieu of having been
arrested. Many defendants appear with attorneys. Some do not.
There is an 18B District Court Panelist assigned to this courtroom
every day. The job of this attorney is to represent every defendant
who appears in court without an attorney. This is so regardless
of the defendant's ability to pay. While the 18B attorney normally
just represents these defendants for arraignment purposes only,
if a disposition of the case is possible and is determined to
be in the best interest of the defendant, such disposition can
be taken in Arraignment B, at no cost to the defendant. The basic
principle of representation by the 18B Attorney in the Arraignment
B Part is to provide efficient and just dispositions whenever
possible to all defendants appearing without counsel and to arraign
all others in an expeditious manner.
In the normal course of events, the 18B attorney will not be
assigned any cases in Arraignment B. After the arraignment, in
cases where no disposition is taken, the 18B attorney should instruct
the defendant to return to court on the adjourned date with a
private attorney. If the defendant cannot afford an attorney,
that should be conveyed to the judge during the arraignment. If
the court is satisfied that the defendant is indigent, the case
will be adjourned to a Legal Aid Part. (Part 11 or 12).
The 18B Panelist should be present by 9:15 AM and should introduce
him/herself to the clerk of the part upon arrival. The attorney
should be prepared to serve Requests for Supporting Depositions
on the Court in appropriate cases. Shortly after arrival, and
before the judge takes the bench, the attorney of the day should
introduce him/herself to the assemblage and explain that he/she
has been assigned by the court to represent all defendants who
do not have an attorney, for today only, at no cost to them. All
such defendants should be asked to see the attorney outside of
the courtroom and before the calendar is called. The attorney
should then distribute the approved information form and questionnaire
to each such defendant, direct that they complete it, and endeavor
to speak to each such defendant before the calendar is called.
No retained cases are to be handled by you in Part B or elsewhere
on the date you serve as Attorney-Of-The-Day.
Since an "Attorney Client" relationship does exist
between you and every defendant you represent in Arraignment B,
it is permissible for you to distribute your business card to
each such person, or to transcribe the information form and questionnaire
onto your letterhead and permit those persons to take such paperwork
home with them after the arraignment.
On the other hand, it is impermissible for you to use your 18B
status as a means of soliciting private business. If any non indigent
defendant in Arraignment B seeks to retain you to handle their
case on an adjourned date or dates, that is permissible, as long
as it is their idea. Under no circumstances, however, are you
to accept money from a defendant while you are serving as Attorney
of the Day. Any retainer, assuming it is at the request of the
defendant, must be made on a day other than the Arraignment B
date, or after the conclusion of the calendar calls in both Arraignment
B and the 511 Vacate part.
With that in mind, those of you who distribute your business
card may advise the defendant that you are available to answer
any questions he or she may have, but you should not initiate
further contact with the defendant by telephone or by mailings
of any kind. The foregoing prohibitions against initiating further
contact apply not only to the 18B attorney of the day, but also
to all of his or her partners, associates, paralegals, secretaries,
A COMPLETE LIST OF PERMISSIBLE AND IMPERMISSIBLE CONDUCT IN ARRAIGNMENT
B IS SET FORTH IN THE AUGUST 13, 2004 LETTER FROM THE ADMINISTRATOR TO ALL
DISTRICT COURT PANELISTS. BEFORE APPEARING IN ARRAIGNMENT B, YOU SHOULD
READ THIS LETTER IN FULL AND BE FAMILIAR WITH ITS CONTENTS. VIOLATION OF
ANY OF THE SPECIFIC PROHIBITIONS IN THIS LETTER IS CAUSE FOR TERMINATION
FROM THE PANEL. CLICK ON: ADMIN LETTERS TO ACCESS IT.
Please keep in mind that Assigned Counsel's main purpose in
being in Arraignment B is to assist the court, to move cases fairly
and expeditiously and to perform services for all defendants requiring
assistance of counsel for purposes of arraignment and possible