When dealing with CPS, will a court appointed attorney do as good of a job in the handling of your case as a private attorney would?
Odds are that a court-appointed attorney will not be as good as a privately-retained attorney. It’s not because court-appointed attorneys are all inherently bad. But one of the reasons many attorneys take jobs as court-appointed attorneys is because they can’t compete in the free market, so a “low-paying, dreary government job” is to them better than no job at all. Some court-appointed attorneys are excellent, but they are rare and it’s usually not possible for you to pick the attorney appointed to represent you, so getting one of the excellent court-appointed attorney’s is a matter of chance. Court-appointed attorneys also do worse generally because they know that expectations of them are low to begin with, and so they rise (or sink, as the case may be) to the low level of competence expected of them.
Just because an attorney is in private practice doesn’t guarantee a higher quality of representation, but the odds of the attorney being more competent are better. Attorneys in private practice are scrappier. They want to build up their practices and make good money. They don’t please the client, they don’t get clients; court-appointed attorneys don’t have this problem as much (beggars can’t be choosers).
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