Juvenile court overbilling issue has indigent criminal defense attorneys on edge

By Andria Simmons – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution – 4:22 p.m. Sunday, June 19, 2011 Indigent defense attorneys in Gwinnett County Juvenile Court say fallout from a former colleague’s alleged overbilling has led to heightened scrutiny of their invoices and lowered morale, forcing some to reject court-appointed cases. However, Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said the indigent defense system has had such poor oversight that it created an “invitation to steal” by overbilling, and Juvenile Court is where most abuses occur. Last month, a county audit found that Rodney Harris, a former indigent defense attorney who is now a Recorder’s Court Judge, billed the county for $1.1 million between 2005 and 2010, prompting Porter to investigate Harris’ actions. On at least three occasions, Harris billed for working more than 24 hours in a day. [Full story:   http://www.ajc.com/news/gwinnett/juvenile-court-overbilling-issue-981340.html ]

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Juvenile court overbilling issue has indigent criminal defense attorneys on edge