Court Appointed Attorney (noun) – A private lawyer working as or for a public defender. A panel attorney is an attorney who practices law in the private sector but represents a criminal defendant, usually for a minor stipend paid by the state.
Criminal courts once commonly maintained lists of attorneys practicing within the jurisdiction to whom cases were assigned to represent indigent defendants. Following the rise of public defenders’ offices, panel attorneys are still used when a public defender is not available, owing to staff shortages, conflicts, or other limitations.
Example – A court appointed attorney is usually given to defendants who are incapable of hiring their own counsel due to financial constraints.