La. Admin. Code tit. 22, § XV-1105 - General Duties of Defense Counsel

A. Before agreeing to act as counsel or accepting appointment by a court, counsel has an obligation to make sure that counsel has available sufficient time, resources, knowledge and experience to offer effective representation to a parent in a child in need of care or termination of parental rights proceeding. If it later appears that counsel is unable to offer effective representation in the case, counsel should move to withdraw.
B. Counsel shall be alert to all potential and actual conflicts of interest that would impair counsel's ability to represent a parent. Counsel shall not represent both parents if their interests differ. The attorney should generally avoid representing both parents when there is even potential for conflict of interest. In situations involving allegations of domestic violence, the attorney shall not represent both parents. When appropriate, counsel may be obliged to seek an advisory opinion from the Office of Disciplinary Counsel on any potential conflicts.
C. If a conflict is discovered during the course of representation, counsel has a duty to notify the parent and the court in accordance with the Louisiana Rules of Court and in accordance with the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct.
D. Counsel has the obligation to take all reasonable steps to keep the parent informed of the progress of the case.
E. Counsel has the obligation to ensure that the case file is properly documented to demonstrate adherence to the standards, such as, where relevant, documentation of intake and contact information, client and witness interviews, critical deadlines, motions, and any other relevant information regarding the case. The case file should also contain, where relevant, copies of all pleadings, orders, releases (school, medical, mental health, or other types), discovery, and correspondence associated with the case.
F. When counsel's caseload is so large that counsel is unable to satisfactorily meet these performance standards, counsel shall inform the district defender for counsel's judicial district and, if applicable, the regional director. If the district defender determines that the caseloads for his entire office are so large that counsel is unable to satisfactorily meet these performance standards, the district defender shall inform the court or courts before whom cases are pending and the state public defender.
G. Lawyers initially appointed should continue their representation through all stages of the proceedings. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the attorney of record should continue to represent the client from the point of the initial court proceedings through disposition, post-disposition review hearings, and any other related proceedings until the case is closed.

Notes

La. Admin. Code tit. 22, § XV-1105
Promulgated by the Office of the Governor, Public Defender Board, LR 37:322 (January 2011).
AUTHORITY NOTE: Promulgated in accordance with R.S. 15:148.

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