Court Announces Support for Changes to Indigent Representation

The Tennessee Supreme Court today announced it will support reform of the state’s method for providing legal assistance to individuals unable to afford an attorney. Responding to a report from its Indigent Representation Task Force, the Court said it will seek funding to increase the rate attorneys are paid to work on such cases to $65 per hour, and will also request an appropriation in next year’s budget to raise compensation caps by $500 on all felonies and by $250 on juvenile matters. In a statement this afternoon, TBA President Lucian Pera said, “The TBA applauds the Supreme Court’s strong leadership on indigent representation reform. We look forward to partnering with the Court and others interested in making real improvement on the status quo." Pera added, “The Court’s recommendations regarding rates and caps is a step in the right direction. Frankly, it’s a small step, and it is not enough; but it is a start.” 

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