The S.C. Commission on Indigent Defense and the Charleston School of Law will host a major national symposium commemorating the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Gideon v. Wainwright, a 1963 landmark case which recognized the Sixth Amendment right to counsel for all criminal defendants who cannot afford an attorney, and which led to the creation of public defender systems throughout the United States.
The symposium will be held on Friday, September 20, 2013, at the Charleston Museum, and will feature 28 prominent jurists, scholars and practitioners from across the country who will address the evolution of public defense, the increasing demands on the criminal defense practitioner, prospects for extending the right to counsel in specific types of civil actions, and challenges in adequately funding state and federal public defense systems to comply with the requirements of Gideon and subsequent U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
Many of the symposium’s speakers and panelists have participated in key Supreme Court cases in the evolution of the right to counsel. The symposium’s keynote speaker will be Abe Krash, a retired partner with Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C. Krash worked with Abe Fortas, Gideon’s lead counsel, in preparing the Gideon appeal. Fortas later was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. William Hubbard, President-elect of the American Bar Association and a partner at Nelson Mullins law firm in Columbia will deliver introductory remarks and Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal will lead one of the panel discussions.