The government of Guam funds and administers all indigent defense services. A government agency and the judiciary administer services. A commission oversees the agency, and a standing committee oversees private attorney panels. There is no entity overseeing other appointed private attorneys.

The territorially funded Public Defense Services Corporation (PDSC) administers almost all adult and juvenile trial and appellate representation across the island. Public defenders in the PDSC division provide primary representation and public defenders in the Alternate Public Defender (APD) division provide secondary representation. The court appoints private attorneys at an hourly rate to provide tertiary representation. The judiciary maintains five panels: felonies, misdemeanors, appeals, juveniles, and guardian ad litem. If no panel attorney is available, judges can appoint any licensed attorney.

The PDSC board, which is composed of five members who are either appointed by the chief justice, or automatically made a member by virtue of holding another position, oversees the PDSC and APD divisions. The PDSC board appoints the PDSC director, who in turn appoints the APD division’s managing attorney. The PDSC board does not oversee private attorneys; instead, a separate five-person standing committee provides oversight of the private attorney panels. There is no commission with oversight of non-panel attorneys.

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Is there a right to counsel in Guam?

Who serves on the Public Defender Service Corporation board?

What are the required qualifications of the Public Defender Service Corporation executive director?

Who serves on the standing committee overseeing the private attorney panels?