Federal judiciary restores hourly pay rates for attorneys who defend indigent defendants

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WASHINGTON – The federal judiciary has restored hourly pay rates that had been reduced by $15 an hour for lawyers in private practice who accept appointments to defend indigent defendants in criminal cases.

The Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States reduced the rates last August for the court-appointed attorneys, saying the move was necessary to avoid permanent damage to the federal defender program.

For work starting March 1, hourly rates will be $126. For defending clients in death penalty cases, the rate will be $180.

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