University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Gadson v. Crawford PD-GA-0003
Docket / Court 2008CV151884 ( State Court )
State/Territory Georgia
Case Type(s) Indigent Defense
Attorney Organization Southern Center for Human Rights
Case Summary
On June 11, 2008 plaintiffs filed a class action complaint in the Superior Court for Fulton County, Georgia pursuant to state law and 42 U.S.C. §1983. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief to protect their rights as clients represented by Metro Conflict Defender Office to continued ... read more >
On June 11, 2008 plaintiffs filed a class action complaint in the Superior Court for Fulton County, Georgia pursuant to state law and 42 U.S.C. §1983. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief to protect their rights as clients represented by Metro Conflict Defender Office to continued representation by counsel, access to judicial system, and due process of law. Plaintiffs also sought to protect the legal and professional responsibilities of the lawyers at the Metro Conflict Defender Office to continue their representation of clients after entering an appearance on their behalf.

On June 6, 2006, Metro Conflict Defender Office announced the firing of all lawyers and staff who were currently representing clients in the Superior and Juvenile Courts of Fulton and DeKalb Counties. This became effective on June 30, 2008. There were no arrangements made for a transition of representation. The firings left over 1800 clients without representation. Plaintiffs asserted violations of the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and Article 1 Section 1 of the Georgia Constitution.

On January 16, 2009, (Westmoreland, J.) the case was dismissed.

Dayna Frenkel - 02/18/2009


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Mack Crawford
Plaintiff Description Clients of the Metro Conflict Defender Office about to be deprived of their lawyers due to mass firings. Plaintiffs are also lawyers employed by the Metro Conflict Defender who have been fired even though representing hundreds of clients.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Southern Center for Human Rights
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2009
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 ]

  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 ]

Links 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)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

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

Docket(s)
2008CV151884 (State Supreme Court)
PD-GA-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/09/2009
Source: State Court Website
General Documents
Complaint
PD-GA-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/07/2008
Judges Westmoreland, Melvin K. (State Supreme Court)
PD-GA-0003-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bright, Stephen B. (Georgia)
PD-GA-0003-0001 | PD-GA-0003-9000
Garland, Edward T. M. (Georgia)
PD-GA-0003-0001
Knowles, Ralph I. Jr. (Georgia)
PD-GA-0003-0001
Samuel, Donald F (Georgia)
PD-GA-0003-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Orland, Devon (Georgia)
PD-GA-0003-9000
Teaster, Susan Elizabeth (Georgia)
PD-GA-0003-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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