Indigent Representation Task Force Launches Informational Webpages

March 2, 2016

The Indigent Representation Task Force, appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court to review practices regarding how attorneys are compensated for work with individuals who are unable to afford legal counsel, has launched a series of webpages.

The resources now online include research materials, such as The Tennessee Indigent Defense Fund 2011 Report, other state and national studies, presentations, biographies of task force members, and an audio recording of the first meeting.

All materials can be found here.

Over the next year, the task force will review the entire current indigent representation system, which is estimated to cost the state over $88 million dollars. In addition to the Indigent Defense Fund administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Task Force also will study the manner used for determining indigency, the delivery of various types of legal services, and a number of pilot programs that have been implemented. Their charge is to guarantee that the system is addressing the needs of its recipients as well as benefiting the taxpayers of Tennessee. 

The task force plans to conduct a series of listening tours across the state to provide information and gain feedback from the public. Details about those events are expected to be released soon.

Members of the Indigent Representation Task Force are:

  • William C. Koch, Jr., retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice and current Dean of Nashville School of Law, Task Force Chairman
  • Lela Hollabaugh, partner, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP
  • Judge Deanna Bell Johnson, Circuit Court Judge, 21st Judicial District
  • Susan L. Kay, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Clinical Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School
  • Rep. William Lamberth, State House District 44
  • Susan Mattson, Principle Legislative Research Analyst, Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury Office
  • Mark A. Mesler, II, Attorney, Rosenblum and Reisman in Memphis
  • Judge Loyce Lambert Ryan, Shelby County General Sessions Court
  • Judge Vicki S. Snyder, Henry County General Sessions Court
  • Judge Barry A. Steelman, Criminal Court Judge, 11th Judicial District
  • Dwight Tarwater, General Counsel, office of Governor Bill Haslam
  • Sen. John Stevens, State District 24
  • DarKenya Waller, Managing Attorney, Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands