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San Antonio inserts some competition and choice into the appointment of counsel.

For the last two years, Comal County, Texas, which includes San Antonio, has been testing Client Choice, a pilot program under which indigent defendants may select their own lawyers.Tim Lynch, “To Reform Indigent Defense, Bring the Market In,” National Review, April 19, 2017.

Since its implementation, 72 percent of eligible people, having first been presented with packets containing biographical information about available attorneys, have chosen their own counsel.Tim Lynch, “To Reform Indigent Defense, Bring the Market In,” National Review, April 19, 2017; and M. Elaine Nugent-Borakove and Franklin Cruz, The Power of Choice: The Implications of a System Where Indigent Defendants Choose Their Own Counsel (Arlington, VA: The Justice Management Institute, 2017).  Some judges believe that Client Choice has improved the quality of representation. One judge noted that since the program’s inception, “defense lawyers were more assertive, better prepared, and more frequently saw their clients,” while another observed that fewer people wanted to fire their attorneys.Lynch, “To Reform Indigent Defense” (2017).