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

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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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


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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