Should make for interesting reading.
Local courts for years have ignored a state law requiring judges to appoint lawyers for poor defendants according to a sequential list of attorneys, known as the "wheel." They instead are using erratic methods that have funneled a large percentage of cases to a small percentage of attorneys.
This irregular system of payments and caseloads is especially pronounced in certain courtrooms, raising questions of cronyism. The state's Task Force on Indigent Defense recently criticized the skewed system, and judges have responded defensively yet deferentially, agreeing in most cases to change their practice.
A joint investigation by the Express-News and News 4 WOAI-TV .