Untold numbers of impoverished defendants were left with no agency designated to represent them after the Board of Supervisors rejected a contract proposal Tuesday from a unit of the Los Angeles County Bar Assn.
Until the dispute is resolved, individual judges will appoint attorneys to represent--at no charge--defendants for whom the public defender's and alternate public defender's offices have conflicts of interest.
Meanwhile, the county will continue contract negotiations with the Indigent Criminal Defense Assn. The association provides lawyers for poor defendants who face trial, for example, with co-defendants who are represented by the public defender's office and the alternate public defender's office.
The association had sought raises for its 160 members, who have not had pay increases in six years. The contract expired Saturday.