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Attorney Standards

Trial Court Performance Standards for CINC Representation

The following excerpt is from the Louisiana Public Defender Board Guide for attorneys representing families involved in Child in Need of Care and Termination of Parental Rights cases.

§1101. Purpose

A. The standards for parent representation in child in need of care cases are intended to serve several purposes. First and foremost, the standards are intended to encourage district public defenders, assistant public defenders and appointed counsel to perform to a high standard of representation and to promote professionalism in the representation of parents in child in need of care and termination of parental rights cases.

B. The standards are also intended to alert defense counsel to courses of action which may be necessary, advisable, or appropriate, and thereby to assist attorneys in deciding upon the particular actions to be taken in each case to ensure that the client receives the best representation possible. The standards are further intended to provide a measure by which the performance of district public defenders, assistant public defenders and appointed counsel may be evaluated, including guidelines for proper documentation of files to demonstrate adherence to the Standards, and to assist in training and supervising attorneys.

C. The language of these standards is general, implying flexibility of action which is appropriate to the situation. In those instances where a particular action is absolutely essential to providing quality representation, the standards use the word “shall.” In those instances where a particular action is usually necessary to providing quality representation, the standards use the word “should.” Even where the standards use the word “shall,” in certain situations, the lawyer’s best informed professional judgment and discretion may indicate otherwise.

D. These standards are not criteria for the judicial evaluation of alleged misconduct of defense counsel.

Download "Handbook For Parents & Guardians In Child Abuse & Neglect Cases"

Trial Court Performance Standards for Delinquency Representation

The following excerpt is from the Louisiana Public Defender Board Guide for attorneys representing children involved in Delinquency Proceedings.

§1301. Purpose

A. The Standards for Attorneys Representing Children in Delinquency Proceedings are intended to serve several purposes. First and foremost, the Standards are intended to encourage district public defenders, assistant public defenders and appointed counsel to perform to a high standard of representation and to promote professionalism in the representation of children in delinquency proceedings.

B. The Standards are also intended to alert defense counsel to courses of action that may be necessary, advisable, or appropriate, and thereby to assist attorneys in deciding upon the particular actions to be taken in each case to ensure that the client receives the best representation possible. The Standards are further intended to provide a measure by which the performance of district public defenders, assistant public defenders and appointed counsel may be evaluated, including guidelines for proper documentation of files to demonstrate adherence to the Standards, and to assist in training and supervising attorneys.


C. The language of these Standards is general, implying flexibility of action that is appropriate to the situation. In those instances where a particular action is absolutely essential to providing quality representation, the Standards use the word “shall.” In those instances where a particular action is usually necessary to providing quality representation, the Standards use the word “should.” Even where the Standards use the word “shall,” in certain situations the lawyer’s best informed professional judgment and discretion may indicate otherwise.


D. These Standards are not criteria for the judicial evaluation of alleged misconduct of defense counsel.



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