Committee established to review performance of court-appointed attorneys

System affords defendants venue to discuss complaints

Committee established to review performance of court-appointed attorneys
Committee established to review performance of court-appointed attorneys

SAN ANTONIO – A newly-established, seven-member committee made up of three district court judges and four criminal defense attorneys met for the first time on Wednesday.

The committee is headed by District Judge Ron Rangel.

“There’s never been a venue where somebody could complain directly about an attorney without going directly to the State Bar of Texas,” Rangel said.

That, Rangel said, would likely be a long and difficult path to navigate. Through the new committee, inmates are given a postcard with a phone number and instructions on how to reach the committee to discuss concerns about their court-appointed attorney.

“As soon as we get that contact, the attorney review committee sets it up,” Rangel said. “We look at that particular attorney, we analyze how to deal with it and we take it from there.”

That could include everything from counseling to recommending disciplinary action by the bar association.

“We want to make sure that our court-appointed attorneys have transparency — that they feel confident that we are behind them.”

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