Attorney’s Obligation to Accept Court Appointments in the Virgin Islands

In the Virgin Islands, all attorneys have an obligation to accept court appointments to represent indigent criminal defendants in cases in which the attorneys employed by the Office of the Territorial Public Defender possess a conflict of interest or otherwise have been permitted to withdraw as counsel. See V.I.S.Ct. R. 203(p).

Pursuant to statute, when such a conflict exists, "the judges of the Superior Court may appoint counsel for such indigent persons from a panel of private attorneys maintained by the Superior Court for [such] purpose." 5 V.I.C. § 3503(a).

The Superior Court selects appointed counsel from a list of all attorneys admitted to practice law in the Virgin Islands, using a random appointment system.