Case Conclusion Date:December 18, 2000
Outcome:Supreme Court decision in client's favor
Description:The California Supreme Court ruled that the state's public defenders do not enjoy broad immunity from legal malpractice suits and can be sued for negligence just like their private counterparts. Thus, the California Supreme Court decided that immunity for discretionary acts set forth in California Government Code Â§820.2 generally does not apply to a public defenderâ€™s representation of a criminal defendant. Public defenders, like all criminal defense attorneys, should anticipate that a court may examine their performance. The Court noted that denying criminal defendants a remedy for malpractice simply because they are indigent and represented by a public defender would be unfair.