What is the role of appointed counsel on appeal?
Although defendants have a right to counsel if they are facing imprisonment, the right to appointed counsel is not unlimited on appeal. For instance, if appointed counsel believes there is no merit to your case, he or she doesn’t have to file an appeal; counsel only need file an Anders brief stating the reasons an appeal has no merit. Furthermore, appointed counsel can decide, as a matter of professional judgment, what issues to address on appeal.
Nevertheless, where appeal is automatic, appointed counsel is mandatory; where the question of appeal is discretionary in nature, it is up to the appointed counsel as to whether to take the case further.