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Costs for Standby Counsel

State v. John W. Campbell, 2006 WI 99, on certification
For Campbell: Charles B. Vetzner, SPD, Madison Appellate

Issue/Holding:

¶72      Wisconsin Stat. § 973.06 permits the court to impose a lengthy list of costs upon an unsuccessful defendant. At sentencing, the court may require a probationer to reimburse the county or the state, as applicable, “for any costs for legal representation . . . for the defense of the case.” Wis.  Stat. §§ 973.09(1g) and 977.07(2m). We think the term “defense attorney” in § 973.06 is broad enough to cover standby counsel in certain situations.

¶76 Campbell welcomed the court-appointed standby counsel and agreed to pay his attorney fees.  By welcoming court-appointed standby counsel and heavily utilizing him throughout the proceedings, Campbell effectively converted Attorney Martin into his co-counsel. …

¶78      In this case, Campbell agreed to pay the attorney fees of standby counsel, satisfying the first test. In addition, the court informed Campbell of his obligation to reimburse the county for the fees and he made extensive use of Attorney Martin, satisfying the second test. Under either test, therefore, Campbell is responsible for Attorney Martin’s fees, subject only to his ability to pay.

Because the circuit court ordered counsel fees without regard to ability to pay, Campbell is entitled on remand to an indigency hearing, ¶¶79-80.

 

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