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Defense attorneys are essential staff: new coronavirus restrictions fail to protect attorneys serving accused

On Friday, through Executive Order 202.6, Governor Cuomo ordered that any “essential” non-designated business would close its doors until further notice. However, while designating law enforcement agencies as “essential”, Cuomo did not designate criminal defense companies like mine in the same way. Indeed, its executive order is devoid of the words “lawyer” or “lawyer”. By not designating criminal defense attorneys as “essential”, the governor is conferring the constitutional right on a lawyer, guaranteed in the sixth amendment for those facing criminal charges.

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