What Matters to the Federal Defender
As put forth prior, the conviction rate in the federal Western District of Wisconsin centered out of Madison, Wisconsin over the past 7+ years is 100%, or nearly that. Likewise, the Federal Defender Office for the Western district of Wisconsin literally controls nearly 100% of which attorneys represent which defendants. And, as mentioned earlier, to draw any connection between the two facts is considered by many to be treason against the legal profession.
Once upon a time I received substantially more federal appointments than I have received for the past few years. On a couple of occasions, in federal cases based out of Milwaukee, I had cases dismissed outright on 30+ indictments. In one of these, the defendant literally was free and clear, and the only defendant on that matter that could say that.
What the Federal Defender of Madison defines as a successful outcome has been achieved, according to them, on 37% of local district cases. Some may quarrel to whether their definition of success is success. Regardless, I achieved their definition of success on over 70% of my federal cases (20+ cases).
Despite the above, I have received only one federal appointment in the past three years. These appointments pay literally three times that paid for State Public Defender appointments. When I inquired to why I was no longer receiving appointments, and to whether I am being blackballed, I was informed that this is not the case. What is the case?
As can be seen in the letter I received dated October 25, 2010 (Attachment #81), I am apparently not in step with the Federal Defender’s “vision.” According to Federal Defender Atty. Daniel Stiller, the goal is a “panel… being comprised of a relatively small group of practitioners who are committed to being professionally tethered to one another and to the group of lawyers within the Defender’s Office.”
Please reflect on the above. Does it not speak volumes to how things have gone extremely wrong in the courts based out of Dane County? By definition, panel attorneys will often be representing defendants that are at odds with each other. By definition, there will be cases where one panel attorney’s client will be claiming that another’s client has falsely accused him. By definition, some panel attorneys’ clients will be receiving sweetheart plea agreements in order to testify against another panel attorney’s client. Is there anyone who cannot see that if the attorneys are “tethered together” this means they may be compromised?
And of course, what if one attorney comes across prosecutorial or judicial misconduct, what should he do if what he believes is his moral responsibility is in conflict with the attorneys to whom he needs to be tethered in order to be on the panel?
My efforts to explain to Atty. Daniel Stiller why I am adamantly opposed to the very concept of being “tethered” to attorneys that do not share my moral and constitutional outlook, went nowhere. The best explanation that he could give me for why it has to be this way had nothing to do with what was best for clients. Instead, it had everything to do with what the other attorneys wanted. From my perspective, this of course is the problem. From their perspective, this is exactly why they say ‘good riddance.’