120-1-07 Workload standards.

(A) Neither a public defender nor a court-appointed counsel may accept a workload that threatens to deny due process of law or constitutional rights to any client, places the office or attorney in imminent danger of violating the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct, or otherwise threatens quality representation of the client. Factors to be considered in determining appropriate workload include:

(1) The number and complexity of cases the attorney is handling.

(2) The attorney's experience and ability, including the number of years the attorney has practiced law; the proportion of time the attorney has dedicated to criminal or juvenile defense; the types of cases, including degree of charges and difficulty of cases, which the attorney has handled in the past; and the attorney's ability to satisfy or exceed performance standards established by the Ohio public defender commission.

(3) The attorney's out-of-court duties, including meetings with clients, witnesses, experts, and other persons involved in cases; research and writing of briefs, memoranda, motions, and letters; management or supervisory duties; and office or clerical work.

(4) The attorney's access to information technology, including online research tools, online court dockets, and case file information.

(5) The attorney's support staff, including legal secretaries, administrative assistants, paralegals, investigators, mitigation specialists, and social workers.

(6) Local discovery practices, the ease with which the attorney can access all discoverable materials, and the amount of discovery and evidence that must be reviewed.

(7) How the court's scheduling and other procedures impact the attorney's use of time.

(8) How much the attorney must travel in order to provide quality representation.

(9) Other factors relevant to the attorney's workload.

(B) Whenever, by reason of excessive workload, a public defender or appointed counsel determines that the assumption of additional cases or continued representation in previously accepted cases will lead to the inadequate representation of any client, the public defender or appointed counsel shall:

(1) Declare such fact to the court on the record; and

(2) Request that the court allow the attorney's withdrawal as counsel from assigned cases and appoint substitute counsel, or allow the attorney to temporarily refrain from accepting new cases.

Replaces: 120-1-07

Effective: 12/1/2015
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 12/01/2020
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 120.03
Rule Amplifies: 120.03
Prior Effective Dates: 1/9/78, 1/1/00, 10/9/09