October 3, 2023

Supreme Court of Virginia Raises Fees for Court-Appointed Counsel

The Supreme Court of Virginia has revised the fee structure used for compensating court-appointed counsel in appeals of criminal convictions and terminations of parental rights. The increased fees in these appeals will be effective beginning with the cases presented at the October 17, 2023 Writ Panels.
Appellate review before the Supreme Court of Virginia is a two-step process in most cases. In the first or petition stage of the process, a petition for appeal is filed with the Clerk of the Supreme Court. Oral arguments may be heard before a panel of justices, or, in some cases, may be heard by the Chief Staff Attorney who then presents the case to a panel of justices for decision. If the panel does not grant the appeal, the appeal is denied. If the petition is granted, the second phase of the appeal proceeds with eventual argument of the case before the full court.
The Court has approved an updated fee structure for court-appointed counsel in appeals before the Supreme Court of Virginia.
Court-appointed counsel fees for representation at the petition stage of the process will be set as follows:
•       Misdemeanor appeals: fee amounts begin at $700, not to exceed $1,500
•       Felony appeals: fee amounts begin at $1,000, not to exceed $2,000
•       Termination of Parental Rights appeals: fee amounts begin at $1000, not to exceed $2,000
If a petition for appeal is granted, court-appointed counsel in docketed criminal and termination of parental rights appeals that proceed to an opinion or order will receive $3,250 and are not paid at the petition stage.
Chief Justice S. Bernard Goodwyn said, “Court-appointed counsel serve a vital role in our appellate justice system. This adjustment continues the commitment of Virginia’s appellate courts to ensure that court-appointed counsel are adequately compensated for their services.”

If you are a Virginia-licensed attorney interested in representing indigent appellants before the Supreme Court of Virginia, please contact Muriel-Theresa Pitney, Clerk of Court, at [email protected].

Read the Court's original press release.