The incorporating statute of the Public Defender Service Corporation (12 GCA Chapter 11), provides that the Corporation will handle criminal and civil cases as follows:
11104. Duties: Criminal Cases. It shall be the duty of the Corporation to defend indigent persons charged in criminal cases before the courts of Guam. The determination as to whether a defendant is indigent and whether the case is to be referred to the Corporation shall be at the discretion of the judge before whom such defendant is appearing. The Corporation may assist the judges of the courts of Guam in ruling on cases of indigence and in establishing criteria for determining when the services of the Corporation are appropriate.
11105. Same: Civil Matters. The Corporation shall render legal aid and assistance to those persons in Guam, who, under rules established by the Corporation, are in need of legal assistance and representation and who are unable to afford an attorney in private practice. The Corporation shall not compete with attorneys engaged in the private practice of law in Guam and shall give legal assistance in civil matters only to those who would otherwise not receive such assistance.
As can be seen from both these definitions, there is some discretion left as to whom the Public Defender Service Corporation may represent. In criminal matters that discretion lies with the courts, and in civil matters it lies with the Board of Trustees which has authority to determine, among other things, client eligibility rules.
The attorneys carry a case load of all types of cases that the Public Defender Corporation may handle. All the attorneys represent clients in court.
All the attorneys zealously represent their clients whether defendants or plaintiffs. Attorneys handle primarily defense of criminal cases as the Office of Public Defender is court appointed on these types of cases.