RHINELANDER - A new report from the Sixth Amendment Center argues private lawyers don't get paid enough when doing public defense work in Wisconsin.
Ann Munninghoff, a former public defender supervisor who lives in Rhinelander, says fewer lawyers are even offering their service because many lose money doing the work.
The state is constitutionally required to provide defense for someone who can't afford it. Wisconsin pays the Wisconsin Public Defender's Office (SPD) to do that work, but they can't handle all of those cases. The group outsources overflow and conflict of interest cases, which are extremely common in small towns in the rural Northwoods.