Indigent Representation Task Force Listening tour Stops in Nashville, Adds Williamson County Date

July 20, 2016

The statewideIndigent Representation Task Force will hear from the public at meetings to be held next week in Nashville and next month in Franklin.

The task force has traveled throughout the state on a listening tour to hear from the legal community as well as the general public regarding indigent defense practices in Tennessee. The group will meet in Nashville on July 29 and in Franklin on August 11. Although there are no time slots available for speakers on July 29, any member of the public wishing to share information with the task force can sign up to do so at the August meeting in Franklin. The meetings are open to the public.

The Indigent Representation Task Force was created by the Tennessee Supreme Court in late 2015 and has been charged with reviewing practices regarding how attorneys are compensated for work with criminal defendants who are unable to afford legal counsel.

The task force is reviewing the current indigent representation system, including indigency determinations, the delivery of services, and the administration of the indigent representation fund. Their charge is to guarantee that the system is addressing the needs of its recipients as well as benefiting the taxpayers of Tennessee. 

Currently, the judicial system’s budget provides for an expenditure of approximately $19 million in criminal indigent representation, $12.5 million in child welfare and child support representation, and several more million for judicial hospitalizations, as well as experts and investigators who work on the criminal cases. That’s about $36 million each year.

The tour has previously made stops in Memphis, Trenton, Johnson City, Knoxville, and Cleveland. Materials from those tour stops can be viewed here.

Details for the upcoming meetings are below.

Nashville Indigent Representation Task Force Listening Tour Session

Friday, July 29
8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Nashville School of Law
4013 Armory Oaks Drive, Room 200
Nashville, TN 37204

Franklin Indigent Representation Task Force Listening Tour Session

Thursday, August 11
11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Williamson County Administrative Complex
1320 West Main St.
Franklin, TN 37064

Click here to reserve a slot to speak at the Franklin listening tour.

Members of the Indigent Representation Task Force appointed by the Supreme Court are:

  • William C. Koch, Jr., retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice and current Dean of Nashville School of Law, Task Force Chairman
  • Lela Hollabaugh, partner, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
  • Judge Deanna Bell Johnson, Circuit Court Judge, 21st Judicial District
  • Susan L. Kay, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Clinical Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School
  • Rep. William Lamberth, State House District 44
  • Susan Mattson, Principle Legislative Research Analyst, Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Office
  • Mark A. Mesler, II, Attorney, Rosenblum and Reisman in Memphis
  • Judge Loyce Lambert Ryan, Shelby County General Sessions Court
  • Judge Vicki S. Snyder, Henry County General Sessions Court
  • Judge Barry A. Steelman, Criminal Court Judge, 11th Judicial District
  • Dwight Tarwater, General Counsel, office of Governor Bill Haslam
  • Sen. John Stevens, State Senate District 24
  • DarKenya Waller, Managing Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands

See complete biographical information here.

In addition, the task force has added three advisory council members:

·         Jason Gichner, attorney, Morgan & Morgan Law Firm

·         Victor (Torry) Johnson III, Visiting Professor of Law, Belmont University College of Law

·         Christina A. Zawisza, Professor and Director of Child and Family Litigation Clinic, Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

See biographical information for the advisory council members here.

Members of the Indigent Representation Task Force