Can a judge appoint an attorney who works in same office as the supposed victim to represent the defendant?

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Can a judge appoint an attorney who works in same office as the supposed victim to represent the defendant?

My 24 year old daughter has been charged with 3 felonies all 3 are aggravated sexual assault of a minor. She requested a court appointed and they gave her an attorney who is kin to, and works in

same office as, the supposed accused victim. Also she had already retained an attorney and he claims it was for something else. Real fishy stuff.

Asked on November 7, 2017 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

This has all the earmarks of a conflict of interest owing to the familial and work relationships. A lawyer should not have a professional or blood/marriage ("kin") relationship to the other side, since it can compromise professional judgment and independence. Your daughter should apply for a different attorney; if she is not given one and has an unfavorable outcome at court, this might provide grounds for an appeal.


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