Valdosta Daily Times

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January 9, 2014

South Ga. judicial circuit accused of providing poor counsel

ATLANTA — A recently-filed lawsuit accuses a south Georgia public defender’s office of providing subpar representation for poor and juvenile defendants, and rushing their cases through the legal system.

Southern Center for Human Rights attorneys and the law firm Arnold & Porter LLC. are representing the plaintiffs. The lawyers say the Cordele Public Defender Office is understaffed, underfunded and its attorneys are dealing with more cases than they can effectively handle.

Spokeswoman for the state Public Defender Standards Council, Cheryl Karounos, told the Telegraph of Macon that the agency is reviewing the lawsuit and “will continue to make progress in Cordele.”

This is the second lawsuit the Southern Center for Human Rights has filed against the Cordele Circuit for alleged subpar representation in the past decade.

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