Definitions and Protocols


In-Person Representation: refers to the attorney representation of a defendant at an initial appearance where at least one part of the process, the consultation or the participation in the hearing, requires the physical presence of the attorney.

In-Person Shift: refers to scheduled hours when the attorney physically appears at the Commissioner's Office and remains at that location for the entirety of scheduled hours and conducts all In-Person Representation.

Remote Representation: refers to the attorney representation of a defendant at an initial appearance where both the consultation and the participation in the hearing occur by telephone or video conferencing*. Not all locations allow for Remote Representation, and the status of those locations can change at any time.

*As it becomes available, and all parties can participate in that format.

Remote Shift: refers to scheduled hours when the attorney is primarily conducting Remote Representation.  Attorneys are assigned Remote Shifts in a specific county for accounting purposes but must conduct Remote Representation for any jurisdiction.

The attorney is expected to be available and respond immediately during the scheduled hours. 
(Example: Any attorney assigned to Washington County may be called for a remote representation for Harford County)

Note: Remote Representation Exception may apply.

Remote Representation Exception:

In-Person Representation REQUIRED:

During a Remote Shift, it may become necessary that the attorney conduct In-Person Representation at a jurisdiction due to an extenuating circumstance. These include, but are not limited to, a disability with the defendant or a power/technical issue that restricts the ability for any party to effectively participate remotely. In these cases, the Appointed Attorney coordinators will be notified and will assign an attorney nearby to conduct the In-Person Representation, this may or may not be the assigned attorney

Protocols - Generally:

Protocols have been established in each location across the state that direct and instruct appointed attorneys on matters regarding In-Person Representation, In-Person Shifts, Remote shifts, and Remote Representations, such as check-in and check-out procedures, invoice submission, parking, where to wait for hearings, where to consult with defendants, security processes, etc.  

Because each location is different, have different set-ups, might be in detention centers or done by video, the protocols can be different and can change based on local issues or needs by either the Administrative Commissioner or by detention center staff if located inside a detention center-controlled area.

In-Person Shift ONLY- All appointed attorneys must remain on the premises for the entire shift.

Protocols for ALL Shifts:

  • Each attorney must sign or check in at the beginning of each shift and sign out or check out at the end of the shift following the protocols for each assigned jurisdiction (which are sent to the attorney as an attachment to scheduling-confirmation emails).
  • Failure to sign or check in will be considered a no-show and a replacement found. The assigned attorney will not be paid for any period of the shift. Ongoing issues may result in cancellation of all assigned shifts and may affect future scheduling.
  • If at any time during the shift, a commissioner is unable locate or get in touch with the assigned attorney, or the attorney refuses to conduct a representation for any reason other than one that is legal and/or valid, a replacement will be found and the assigned attorney will not be paid for the period they were not responsive to the end of the assigned shift.
  • Any refusal to participate in an In-Person Representation for a Remote Representation Exception during a scheduled remote shift may result in removal for consideration for Remote Shifts in the future.
  • Appointed attorneys are compensated based on their scheduled shift time, not on their sign in and sign out time.  If a hearing extends through the end time of the shift, any additional compensation will be at the standard rate.
  • Applying to the program does not guarantee any selection to serve as an appointed attorney and any selection does not guarantee further or continued selection to serve as an appointed attorney.