Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Why should you consider taking SPD appointments?
Using your legal training to protect the rights of people who do not have the resources to protect themselves is very rewarding. In building and maintaining a practice, SPD cases take the lawyer into the courtroom more than any other type of case.

How many cases will I get?
Attorneys certified to take SPD appointments are called on a rotational basis per Wisconsin statute 977.08(3).  Attorneys may accept or decline cases when they are contacted. There is no minimum number of cases that you must take. However, it is recommended that attorneys take enough cases to make their work efficient and effective for the client, the courts, and the attorney. Case availability varies greatly by county. Attorneys should contact the local SPD office to discuss how many cases they might expect to be offered.

How do I become certified to take SPD appointments?

You can apply for SPD certification by completing an application. Certification levels vary by case type and experience. See SPD administrative rule PD1.

What is my scope of appointment?

When should I close my case?

How do I bill and get paid?

Attorneys generally submit their bills at the conclusion of the representation. All bills are submitted using our online billing system. When you become certified, the Assigned Counsel Division will send you a username and password for your online billing site. Attorneys should review the billing rules and policies before undertaking representation.

What training is available?

The SPD Training Division  sponsors various criminal law related seminars throughout the year including an annual conference in Milwaukee each fall. They also offer OnDemand  training. SPD training is offered at a very low cost to attorneys taking SPD appointments.

What if I withdraw?
An appointed attorney shall notify the local SPD office within 24 hours of being allowed by the court to withdraw from a case.