This Note discusses the thought-provoking ruling in In re Karl William Hinkebein and its implications for public defenders in Missouri. Part II of this Note details the facts and holding of the case. Part III of this Note gives a brief history of the Missouri State Public Defender System (“MSPD”), highlighting its current shortcomings and challenges. Part III then discusses the influential ethics opinion issued by the American Bar Association (“ABA”) and the ABA Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions (“ABA Standards”). Part IV of this Note analyzes the decision of the Supreme Court of Missouri to sanction Karl Hinkebein. Part V discusses the effect of Hinkebein on public defenders around the state and the unforgiving circumstances in which many public defenders find themselves. Finally, this Note concludes in Part V with a brief discussion of potential systemic reforms to MSPD.
Plight of the Public Defender: Excessive Caseload as a Non-Mitigating Factor in Sanctions for Ethical Violations,
83 Mo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/mlr/vol83/iss4/12