University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name State v. Lynch PD-OK-0001
Docket / Court 74259 ( State Court )
State/Territory Oklahoma
Case Type(s) Indigent Defense
Case Summary
In 1989, the defendants in this case were assigned to be the attorneys for criminal indigent defendants. Following the sentencing of their clients in August 1989, defendants petitioned the court for fees and expenses showing that they had incurred numerous out of pocket expenses defending their ... read more >
In 1989, the defendants in this case were assigned to be the attorneys for criminal indigent defendants. Following the sentencing of their clients in August 1989, defendants petitioned the court for fees and expenses showing that they had incurred numerous out of pocket expenses defending their clients as well as tens of thousands of dollars in fees. The Trial Court (Melson, J.) approved the requested fees and held that the Oklahoma statute which limited and indigent defendant's attorney's compensation to $3200 was unconstitutional. The State appealed and the case came before the Supreme Court of Oklahoma on March 21, 1990.

On July 24, 1990 the Supreme Court of Oklahoma (Kauger, J.) affirmed the Trial Court's deviation from the statute. However, where the Trial Court found that the statute was per se unconstitutional, the Oklahoma Supreme Court found it unconstitutional as applied to these defendants and resulted in a taking of private property. The Court also held that appointed attorneys must be given the right to a post-appointment opportunity to show good cause for why they cannot represent the defendant. Currently, there is no such opportunity and attorneys in certain counties were immunized from representing indigent defendants resulting in an equal protection violation. Additionally, the Court recommended, but did not order, that court-appointed attorney rates be tied to the rates of public defenders and prosecutors and that they be reimbursed for overhead fees and litigation expenses.

Dayna Frenkel - 03/06/2009


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Funding
Quality of representation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) State of Oklahoma
Plaintiff Description The state is appealing an award of attorney's fees in excess of those allowed by the Oklahoma statute to indigent defendants' court appointed attorneys.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1990
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Indigent Defense Reform: The Role of Systemic Litigation in Operationalizing the Gideon Right to Counsel
Written: May. 07, 2007
By: Vidhya K. Reddy (Washington University in St. Louis)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Justice Denied: America's Continuing Neglect of Our Constitutional Right to Counsel.
Written: Apr. 14, 2009
By: National Right to Counsel Committee (The Constitution Project)
Citation: National Right to Counsel Committee, Justice Denied: America's Continuing Neglect of Our Constitutional Right to Counsel (2009)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Securing Reasonable Caseloads: Ethics and Law in Public Defense
By: Norman Lefstein (Indiana University--Indianapolis)
Citation: (ABA 2011)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Third Generation of Indigent Defense Litigation
New York University Review of Law and Social Change
By: Cara Drinan (Columbus School of Law, Catholic University)
Citation: 33 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 427 (2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion 07/24/1990 (796 P.2d 1150)
PD-OK-0001-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Hodges, Ralph B. (State Supreme Court)
PD-OK-0001-0001
Kauger, Yvonne (State Supreme Court)
PD-OK-0001-0001
Opala, Marian P. (State Supreme Court)
PD-OK-0001-0001
Simms, Robert D. (State Supreme Court)
PD-OK-0001-0001
Wilson, Alma D. (State Supreme Court)
PD-OK-0001-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dillingham, Carol P. (Oklahoma)
PD-OK-0001-0001
Henry, Robert Harlan (Oklahoma)
PD-OK-0001-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Mattingly, Jack A. Jr. (Oklahoma)
PD-OK-0001-0001
Pyron, Rob L. (Oklahoma)
PD-OK-0001-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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