Queens Daily Eagle: NYC public defenders threaten to sue state to stop in-person criminal proceedings

“The timing of this order will prevent people with disabilities — our offices’ clients and their attorneys — from requesting and receiving the reasonable accommodations they need to safely attend and participate in court proceedings and do so without fear of incarceration if they assert those needs and rights,” they write.

Public defenders with disabilities “will be forced to potentially forgo the process currently developed by our offices and endanger their lives in order to represent their clients,” they continue. “The ADA does not permit OCA to force attorneys to choose between risking their health or being removed from representing their clients.”

The letter is signed by the head of Legal Aid’s Criminal Defense Practice, Tina Luongo; Bronx Defenders Executive Director Justine Olderman; Brooklyn Defender Services Executive Director Lisa Schreibersdorf; New York County Defender Services Executive Director Stan Germán; and Neighborhood Defender Services of Harlem Executive Director Matthew Knecht.”

Read the full article here