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JOB ANNOUNCEMENT: Interim Executive Director Sought

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

  • By: Denny LeBoeuf
  • Organization: Orleans Indigent Defender Program

INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE

ORLEANS INDIGENT DEFENDER PROGRAM

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

The Orleans Indigent Defender Board seeks an Interim Executive Director. The Orleans Indigent Defender Program is responsible for providing legal representation to all indigent persons in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Board is committed to efforts to place the office on sound financial footing in the future, and to establishing a client-centered public defender office that delivers quality legal representation, with adequate staff compensation and public accountability.

The Orleans Indigent Defender Program (OIDP) was a system in crisis before Hurricane Katrina, and was severely affected by Katrina and the subsequent flooding of New Orleans. The system was bankrupt, offices were flooded and unusable, and most of the attorney defenders and virtually all of the staff were unemployed while the courts were closed. Inmates were sent to jails and prisons around the state. On June 1st, approximately seventeen hundred remained outside New Orleans. Some of them have not seen a lawyer since the storm. No jury trials have been held in Orleans Parish since the flood, although some are scheduled for the second week of June. OIDP currently has no case-tracking system, no organized training or supervision, no mitigation investigators, far too few lawyers and staff, and inadequate physical offices.

The Bureau of Justice Assistance provided a Review Team to assess the immediate and longer-term needs of the public defender system, and issued a series of recommendations in April 2006. Pursuant to those recommendations, a new Board of Directors was formed, and some attorneys and staff were hired. Funding has been secured to make a meaningful beginning to remedy this state of affairs.

The Interim Director would be responsible for implementing the Board's policy in establishing a defender system for the New Orleans criminal courts. He or she would have supervisory authority over all employees of OIDP, and would be responsible for addressing critical short-term problems as soon as possible, while assisting the Board's mid-range and long-term planning efforts.

The ideal candidate would have significant experience in providing indigent defense to an urban population; a substantial portion of that experience would be in management. The candidate should have familiarity with the structure and operation of an indigent defender system, be able to institute appropriate training and supervision programs with performance-based evaluations, design and implement a case-tracking system, and supervise the recruitment of attorneys and staff. It is hoped that the candidate will be motivated by this unique opportunity to serve a city, a defender system, and an indigent population in crisis.

Salary or stipend commensurate with experience. The Board will work with the candidate on a compensation package, the term of office, temporary housing, travel expenses and other concerns. This is a full-time position, to begin as early as July 1, 2006. Membership in the Louisiana Bar is not a requirement.

This is an accelerated search; the position will be filled as soon as possible. Please provide a resumé and references. Selected candidates will be asked to interview. Interest in the position may be communicated by cover letter or email with attachments to:

Denny LeBoeuf

Chair, Orleans Indigent Defender Board

Law Office

700 Camp Street

New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

504-528-9500 phone and fax

dennylaw@cox.net

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