Minimum qualifications can be found on the application.
Mail completed application(s) to:
Monroe County Conflict Defender
80 West Main Street
Rochester, NY 14614
Trial Mentor Program
The MCBA Trustees approved the Assigned Counsel Program Trial Mentor Program as an alternative method for felony panel qualification. If you are a member of the Misdemeanor or D and E felony panel and wish to move up to a higher panel, participation in the Trial Mentor Program allows you to do so.
Before this program, the only way to move up to a higher panel was to have actual jury trial experience. As you know, there are very few misdemeanor jury trials. Moving to the first felony panel by this method is difficult. The Trial Mentor Program is designed to ease this qualification without sacrificing the skill and experience necessary to properly represent clients charged with felonies.
This is how the Trial Mentor Program works:
- You must be a panel member of the lower panel for a period of one year.
- You must have handled a total of five cases on that panel to conclusion.
- You must serve as associate counsel on four felony jury trials. The trials must be for charges encompassing at least the level of the panel to which you are seeking approval. The associate counsel position will NOT be compensated. Participation is solely for the purpose of qualifying for a higher panel.
On completion of these requirements, you will move up one panel, i.e. from Misdemeanor to D and E felony and from D and E felony to A, B and C felony. If you move from the Misdemeanor panel, after being there for one year and handling five cases you can again participate as associate counsel in four felony trials to move up another panel. Of course, if you have your own felony jury trial on one of your own cases, you do not need to participate as associate counsel.
Thirty-four members of the A, B, and C felony panel have agreed to be Trial Mentors. They will notify our office of scheduled trials. We will post these scheduled trials on the Assigned Counsel Program on this web site and will also fax a schedule to any panel member who wants notification of the trial schedule. We will fax this schedule the first part of every week.
If you wish to serve as associate counsel on a scheduled trial, you can call our office and we will assign you as associate counsel unless someone else has already been assigned. It is up to you to then contact the Trial Mentor to make the necessary arrangements to participate in the case. At the conclusion of the trial, the Trial Mentor will certify your participation as associate counsel. When you have completed four such trials, you will be eligible to receive assignments to the next highest panel.
If you wish to receive notification of pending trials by fax or if you have any questions about the Trial Mentor Program, please contact the Conflict Defender.