Overview of the Appellate Division
    Justices of the Court
    The Courthouse
    Latest Decisions
    Decision Release Dates
    Clerk and Deputy Clerk of the Court
    Contact Information
    Terms of the Court
    Court Calendars
    Rules of Practice
    Frequently Asked Questions
    Forms and Practice Aids
    Latest Court News
    Employment Opportunities
    Admission to the Bar
    Attorney Discipline
    Attorney Registration Delinquency
    Registration as In-House Counsel
    Voluntary Resignation
    Assigned Counsel Program
    Attorneys for Children Program
    Attorney Grievance Committees
    Court Examiners
    Indep. Judicial Election Qual. Comm.
    Law Library
    Mental Hygiene Legal Service
    Pro Bono Policy and Program
   Court sites
   Legal sites

Assigned Counsel Program

The Fourth Department’s Assigned Counsel Program is committed to providing 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. 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.

The Assigned Counsel Program also serves as a resource for individuals and members of the bar who need assistance in taking an appeal or perfecting an assigned appeal.


FAQ - Individuals

FAQ - Attorneys

Assigned Counsel Family Court and Criminal seminars - Criminal Seminar : April 5, 2014 - Brochure

Assigned Counsel Family Court and Criminal seminars - Family Court Seminar : May 3, 2014 - Brochure