|For Immediate Release
June 6, 2008
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
PRIVATE ATTORNEYS VOLUNTEER AS
PROSECUTORS TO SAVE ORANGE COUNTY
TAXPAYERS OVER $1.2 MILLION IN FIVE YEARS
*100th “free” jury trial expected to be conducted by one of the newly sworn volunteer prosecutors
SANTA ANA – Five attorneys from prestigious private law firms will be dispatched today, June 6, 2008, to various courts throughout Orange County to work as volunteer prosecutors. Orange County District Attorney (OCDA) Tony Rackauckas started the Trial Attorney Partnership (TAP) program five years ago, on June 19, 2003, to provide taxpayers well qualified, experienced trial attorneys from private law firms to prosecute crimes on a volunteer basis at no additional cost to taxpayers.
The OCDA recruits attorneys from local, private law firms to receive intensive 1-week training on prosecutorial skills and then work full time for eight weeks to promote a private-public partnership. These attorneys are assigned to branch courts where they conduct all misdemeanor and juvenile deputy duties including case filing, pre-trial conferences, motions, preliminary hearings and jury trials.
To date, 19 private law firms have sent 50 attorneys to the program. The TAP attorneys have conducted 99 jury trials, 441 preliminary hearings, 19 court trials, and 139 motions. None of them drew a salary from the taxpayers.
“The TAP program is a win-win situation. The taxpayers are getting great caliber attorneys while private attorneys gain invaluable courtroom experience,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “I applaud private law firms who are increasing my Office’s ability to handle the approximately 80,000 cases we review annually.”