Attorney Appointment Overview


To maintain compliance with Title 15, section 2256, the Board of Parole Hearings provides inmates and parolees with attorney representation at state expense if they cannot afford to retain a private attorney at their hearing. The Panel Attorney Appointment Program is the board’s process for selecting attorneys to represent inmates who appear before the board.

In 2013, the board approved a revised Panel Attorney Appointment Process for selecting state appointed attorneys to represent inmates at parole suitability hearings and medical parole hearings and parolees at mentally disordered offender hearings. Assignments are located at all 34 institutions statewide and at two state hospitals; Atascadero State Hospital and Patton State Hospital.
Attorneys who submitted a completed application by the December 31, 2013 deadline were eligible to be entered into a one-time public lottery for selection of the board’s attorney appointment list. The lottery was held on January 17, 2014. Based on the Board Proceedings by Location, a total of 59 active attorney assignments were awarded to the board’s 13 regional panels.

Attorneys who submitted a completed application to represent parolees at mentally disordered offender hearings by the May 15, 2014 deadline were eligible to be entered into the one-time public lottery for selecting the board’s mentally disordered offender attorney appointment list. The lottery was held on June 2, 2014. Based on the Board Proceedings by Location, a total of 7 active mentally disordered offender attorney assignments were awarded for the board’s two mentally disordered offender attorney panels:  Panels 14 and 15.

Below represents the three classifications of attorneys who appear on the board’s lists of panel attorneys:

  • ACTIVE ATTORNEY- Awarded by Experience - The first half of the active attorneys selected and awarded on each panel were filled in order of experience among the candidates applying for the specific panel. Those positions were filled by calculating the number of full hearings (i.e., hearings resulting in a grant, denial or stipulation) that each attorney conducted.
  • ACTIVE ATTORNEY- Awarded by Lottery- The second half of the active attorneys selected on each panel were filled randomly among the candidates applying for each panel who were not previously selected.
  • INACTIVE ATTORNEY - The entirety of the inactive list was then filled with the remaining candidates in the same order as they were randomly drawn.