General-Solo-Small Firm Practitioners Section

This section provides its members with programs designed to further the professionalism, prestige and effectiveness of the practitioner. Members receive notice of legislation and other issues affecting them through the section’s newsletter.

Law Office of Samuel J. Gowin
341 Smith Circle
Tunnel Hill, GA 30755
Immediate Past Chair
Salu & Salu Law Firm, PLLC
2129 Stateline W., Suite A
Southaven, MS 38671

Survey: Discontent Among Court-Appointed Attorneys

A recent TBA survey of private attorneys who handle court appointed work shows they feel undervalued, overworked and unfairly compensated. More than half of those who took the survey reported that they frequently hit the fee cap on appointed cases, while 77 percent reported that they do not bother submiting a fee claim given the issues associated with getting paid. Survey responses also indicated an overwhelming number of cases are not adult criminal cases, but dependency, neglect and abuse work, generally as a guardian ad litem or a parent's attorney. More than half of respondents left lengthy comments on their experience with court appointed work, with many reporting that they love doing the work but cannot continue doing so at the current compensation rates, likening the work to doing pro bono. Respondents also reported that the filing requirements frequently add stress to an already difficult-to-handle clientele. With a compensation rate that has not changed since 1994, Tennessee court-appointed attorneys are among the lowest paid in the nation. Read more from the survey results.

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TBA Survey on Court-Appointed Attorneys Closes Soon

Respond by Wednesday to take part in the TBA's survey on court-appointed work and the filing of related fee claims with the Administrative Office of the Courts. Your feedback will help shape policy, so please take a few minutes to fill out the SurveyMonkey questionnaire about your experience with court-appointed work. All responses will be kept anonymous. In addition, if you would like to be a part of the TBA’s efforts to change the rate of compensation for court-appointed attorneys or speak to your legislator about the issue contact TBA Public Policy Coordinator Josie Beets, (615) 383-7421.

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