SPRC 2 APPOINTMENT OF COUNSEL At least two lawyers shall be appointed for the trial and also for the direct appeal. The trial court shall retain responsibility for appointing counsel for trial. The Supreme Court shall appoint counsel for the direct appeal. Notwithstanding RAP 15.2(f) and (h), the Supreme Court will determine all motions to withdraw as counsel on appeal. A list of attorneys who meet the requirements of proficiency and experience, and who have demonstrated that they are learned in the law of capital punishment by virtue of training or experience, and thus are qualified for appointment in death penalty trials and for appeals will be recruited and maintained by a panel created by the Supreme Court. All counsel for trial and appeal must have demonstrated the proficiency and commitment to quality representation which is appropriate to a capital case. Both counsel at trial must have five years’ experience in the practice of criminal law be familiar with and experienced in the utilization of expert witnesses and evidence, and not be presently serving as appointed counsel in another active trial level death penalty case. One counsel must be, and both may be, qualified for appointment in capital trials on the list, unless circumstances exist such that it is in the defendant’s interest to appoint otherwise qualified counsel learned in the law of capital punishment by virtue of training or experience. The trial court shall make findings of fact if good cause is found for not appointing list counsel. At least one counsel on appeal must have three years’ experience in the field of criminal appellate law and be learned in the law of capital punishment by virtue of training or experience. In appointing counsel on appeal, the Supreme Court will consider the list, but will have the final discretion in the appointment of counsel. Comment If the period of time for filing the death notice has passed, and the death notice has not been filed, the court may then reduce the number of attorneys to one to proceed with the murder trial. [Adopted effective December 30, 1997; amended effective January 1, 2003.]
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