Ellen Keller


The Circuit Courts of Appeals that have considered the question of a public defender's liability issue have all held public defenders or court-appointed counsel immune from personal liability for actions taken in the course of representing their clients. This note will examine the ways in which the courts have disposed of these cases, discuss factors that have inclined federal courts to grant immunity to public defenders under section 1983, and weigh the advisability of personal liability for malpractice of those who defend indigent defendants in criminal trials.