- Associated Press - Saturday, October 11, 2014

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Researchers plan to study the availability of lawyers for indigent defendants at initial court appearances in six New York counties.

The University at Albany and state Office of Indigent Legal Services say their ongoing research partnership will now assess the impact of $12 million in state funding directed toward improving counsel in upstate New York.

The $381,000 National Institute of Justice grant is for a two-year study.

Researchers say small towns, rural areas and lawyers there who don’t work in a formal public defenders’ office have gotten little attention in past studies.

The New York Civil Liberties Union has sued the state, alleging failure to provide constitutionally required defense upstate.

Talks are continuing toward a settlement with the trial postponed to Oct. 20.

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