The Assigned Counsel Program provides quality legal representation to individuals who are financially unable to obtain their own counsel and are entitled to have counsel assigned to represent them on appeal.

Assigned Counsel Appeals Training for Attorneys

April 05, 2019 | Brochure »

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Motions NOT specifically related to Assignment of Counsel:

Civil Matters » Criminal Matters » Family Court Matters »

Procedural Questions about Assignment of Counsel:

 Frequently Asked Questions for Individuals » for Attorneys »
 Program Office Kim Taylor, Esq. (585) 530-3112 » Jennifer Eckl (585) 530-3160 »

Status of Vouchers:

 State of New York JC 2020 Vouchers Accounts Payable (585) 530-3103 »
 Interim and Final Vouchers Kim Taylor, Esq. (585) 530-3112 » Jennifer Eckl (585) 530-3160 »

Public Attorneys by County:

New York State Attorney General » District Attorneys » County Attorneys »

How it Works

The right to assignment of counsel on a particular appeal is governed by statute (see County Law § 722; Judiciary Law § 35; CPLR § 1101) and may not be authorized in a particular case. Most assignments are made in criminal, Family Court, habeas corpus, or Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) cases, as well as certain adoption and child custody cases from Supreme Court and Surrogate's Court.

Assignments of counsel are made in accordance with the specific assigned counsel plan adopted by the county in which the order or judgment appealed from was entered (see County Law § 722). Those plans may include representation by a Public Defender, private legal aid bureau or society, private attorneys participating in a bar association plan, or a conflict defender, or a combination thereof. Individuals cannot choose specific attorneys to represent them on appeal.

The goal of the Assigned Counsel Program is to ensure that individual parties to an appeal receive effective assistance of counsel and timely disposition of their appeals. Since 1987, the Fourth Department has established guidelines and database systems to monitor assigned appeals, which are reviewed regularly by members of the Court as well as legal and administrative staff members. In 1996, the Fourth Department implemented a training program for attorneys interested in accepting assignments to represent indigent appellants and developed sample forms for use by individuals and members of the bar.

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