SPD Adopts New Attorney Minimum Qualifications

Monday, July 14, 2014 - 4:00pm

The State Public Defender has adopted amendments to its administrative rules establishing minimum qualification requirements for indigent defense contract attorneys.   A summary of the new qualification requirements is available, as well as the full text of the amended rule.  These rules are intended to better ensure that all indigent persons are provided competent and effective counsel, while still providing new attorneys the opportunity to participate in the indigent defense system on less serious cases. 

The new requirements are effective January 1, 2015.  If an attorney wishes to continue to contact to provide indigent defense services, the attorney must be in compliance with the new qualification requirements and must return the following two documents to the State Public Defender by October 1, 2014:

Attorneys will be notified by December 1, 2014, which of the requested contract types and counties the State Public Defender has approved.  And effective January 1, 2015, all contracts will be amended consistent the Request to Amend and Approval.

Attorneys should note that it is now possible to specify which counties in which they wish to receive each type of case under the contract, and are not required to handle all cases in every county.

Attorneys with questions may contact the State Public Defender's Office at (515) 242-6158 or claims@spd.state.ia.us.