Pinal County goes through a competitive procurement process to ensure that all of our Contract Counsels are qualified and able to provide legal services in their appointed areas of practice. Court-appointed contract counsel can only assist clients where the court has appointed them specifically, if you have not been determined indigent or you do not have a case that warrants counsel appointment, then they cannot take your case. Lawyers cannot take your case from another lawyer; only a judge may appoint another lawyer.
The Difference Between Public Defenders & Court-Appointed Attorneys
When the court appoints an attorney, they may appoint either the Public Defenders Office or the Court-Appointed Contract Counsel.
The Public Defenders Office is generally appointed on the following types of cases:
Adult Criminal Misdemeanor and Felony cases where there is no ethical conflict
Juvenile Petty Offenses, Criminal Misdemeanors, and Felony cases where there is no ethical conflict
Title 36 Civil Commitment Cases where there is no ethical conflict
If there is a conflict on any of these types of cases, the Court will then appoint a court-appointed contract counsel. Court-appointed contract counsel will also be appointed on the following types of cases:
Best Interest Attorneys
Outside Counsel Resources
If you are an outside counsel and you have had your client determined to be indigent by the courts, please send a copy of the order of indigency determination by email to Public Defense Services.
We will then give you further instructions.
Community Outreach Request
If you are interested in having a Public Defender, Public Defense Policy individual, or Court-Appointed Contract Counsel come and speak at an event or host a booth at an event, please email Public Defense Services and we will get in touch with you shortly.