WV Appointed Counsel Forms
As part of our law firm's criminal defense practice, we also take criminal appointments, from time to time. Any attorney in WV who takes criminal appointments, is required to fill out and submit specific approved forms, which can be found through the State of WV Public Defender Services website at http://www.wvpds.org/VoucInfo.html. HOWEVER, these forms are not easily fillable in the formats found through the PDS website. If you are looking for these forms in a more user friendly format, then you have come to the right place (keep reading or scroll down)!
Fillable WV Appointed Defense Counsel Voucher Form
The West Virginia PDS website provides a required "Defense Counsel Voucher Form" that appointed counsel must submit in order to request payment from the state of WV, which is comprised of two parts - (1) the "Order Approving Payment of Appointed Counsel Fees and Expenses" and (2) the "Itemized Statement." Technically, there is an Itemized Statement of Legal Services and an Itemized Statement of Expenses, but for practical purposes and for purposes of the user-friendly form you will find here (below), they have been lumped together. Although these forms are downloadable in both PDF and Word format through the PDS page, neither of these forms are easily fillable, but require substantial formatting, deleting, spacing, underlining and clicking around in the editing process in order to complete them.
Naturally, any criminal defense attorney in WV who does any appointment cases will have to use and submit these forms in each of their cases and thus reuse the forms repeatedly. Because we have handled many criminal appointment cases, we have massaged these forms to be easily filled out. First, the order has been modified to a fillable pdf, which allows the user to tab through each of the blanks where information is to be input, quickly and easily.
After creating this form for our own internal use, we recognized that it might be useful for other attorneys who handle criminal appointment cases in WV, and thus we replaced our firm information with blank form fields. Thus, here you will find a completely blank and easily fillable PDF form of the West Virginia Public Defender Services approved Order Approving Payment of Appointed Counsel Fees & Expenses.
The second part, of the required Voucher form, is a table where the attorney is to provide detail regarding the services - fees and expenses - he or she is claiming. Although the table found in the Word version of the form on the PDS website works okay, we have enhanced the form, making it easier to use. First, we added fillable form fields to the top portions of the page (above the tables), as depicted.
Next, we added a formula to the table, so that the totals are automatically calculated for you for each column. All you have to do is once all of your time has been entered is right click on the box in the Totals row for the time column that you want totaled (shown in the figure below), and then select "Update Field."
Additionally, we made the "Explanation/Description" column fields auto expandable, so that if you type more than a few words, they will be visible on the line below. Here is a before and after to show what we mean -
Here you can find the improved Itemized Statement of Legal Services Form.
If this page and the forms we have provided were helpful, we would greatly appreciate you taking the time to link to us on your webpage and "like" or "follow" us using one of the social media plugins found at the top of this page.
If you have any questions about these forms or suggestions for further improvements, we would love to hear from you. Otherwise, we hope that these forms will make your job and your life as an appointed criminal defense attorney in the state of WV a little easier.
Finally, if you are looking for instructions on filling out the forms, please check out the PDS website (link provided above), or here is a direct link to the Defense Counsel Voucher Form - Instructions.