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January 2014

Judge Alfred Nance's recent order requiring the assistance of legal counsel to defendants at pre-trial hearings hopefully will serve as a wake-up call for Maryland's criminal justice system ("Court order could push state to send lawyers to bail hearings," Jan. 15).

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The state could be forced by next week to let suspected criminals in Baltimore go free until trial if it does not provide them with lawyers at the time their bail is set.

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The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) is bulking up the Public Defender Service (PDS) “as a way of breaking the dispute with advocates over fees”, it was claimed yesterday.

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Law firms with solicitors who have been found guilty of professional misconduct are still receiving millions in legal aid, according to a BBC investigation.

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