The State Public Defender Commission will vote Friday on whether to refuse to take any new cases. It’s a seven member panel that voted 3-2 against the proposal last week

The average public defender in Missouri has 305 cases and the lawyers say they just cannot handle more work.

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike Wolff says the U.S. Constitution and case law require free defense for poor people accused of crimes.

But officials with the public defender system say the overload of cases causes concerns their clients are not getting proper representation.