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2020 California Rules of Court

Rule 8.601. Definitions

For purposes of this division:

(1)  "Appointed counsel" or "appointed attorney" means an attorney appointed to represent a person in a death penalty appeal, death penalty-related habeas corpus proceedings, or an appeal of a decision in death penalty-related habeas corpus proceedings. Appointed counsel may be either lead counsel or associate counsel.

(2)  "Lead counsel" means an appointed attorney or an attorney in the Office of the State Public Defender, the Habeas Corpus Resource Center, the California Appellate Project-San Francisco, or a Court of Appeal district appellate project who is responsible for the overall conduct of the case and for supervising the work of associate and supervised counsel. If two or more attorneys are appointed to represent a person jointly in a death penalty appeal, in death penalty-related habeas corpus proceedings, or in both classes of proceedings together, one such attorney will be designated as lead counsel.

(3)  "Associate counsel" means an appointed attorney who does not have the primary responsibility for the case but nevertheless has casewide responsibility. Associate counsel must meet the same minimum qualifications as lead counsel.

(4)  "Supervised counsel" means an attorney who works under the immediate supervision and direction of lead or associate counsel but is not appointed by the court. Supervised counsel must be an active member of the State Bar of California.

(5)  "Assisting counsel or entity" means an attorney or entity designated by the appointing court to provide appointed counsel with consultation and resource assistance. An assisting counsel must be an experienced capital appellate counsel or habeas corpus practitioner, as appropriate. An assisting counsel in an automatic appeal must, at a minimum, meet the qualifications for appointed appellate counsel, including the case experience requirements in rule 8.605(c)(2). An assisting counsel in a habeas corpus proceeding must, at a minimum, meet the qualifications for appointed habeas corpus counsel, including the case experience requirements in rule 8.652(c)(2)(A). Entities that may be designated include the Office of the State Public Defender, the Habeas Corpus Resource Center, the California Appellate Project-San Francisco, and a Court of Appeal district appellate project.

(6)  "Trial counsel" means both the defendant's trial counsel and the prosecuting attorney.

(7)  "Panel" means a panel of attorneys from which superior courts may appoint counsel in death penalty-related habeas corpus proceedings.

(8)  "Committee" means a death penalty-related habeas corpus panel committee that accepts and reviews attorney applications to determine whether applicants are qualified for inclusion on a panel.

Rule 8.601 adopted effective April 25, 2019.

Advisory Committee Comment

Number (3). The definition of "associate counsel" in (3) is intended to make it clear that, although appointed lead counsel has overall and supervisory responsibility in a capital case, appointed associate counsel also has casewide responsibility.

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