Attorneys wishing to apply should Complete the Application.
Applications shall be submitted by November 11, 2022 to be considered for the 2023-2024 Panel. Current members must update and resubmit their application to be considered for each new panel appointment term.
Under the District's CJA Plan, the District is divided into three separate panels: the Southern Division, the Northern/Central Division and the Eastern Division, maintaining a separate roster for each division. Each panel will be large enough to provide a sufficient number of experienced attorneys to handle the CJA caseload, yet small enough so that panel members will receive an adequate number of appointments to maintain their proficiency in federal criminal case defense work, and thereby provide a high quality of representation.
Panel members serve at the pleasure of the court. A panel member must meet the following minimum criteria:
A selection board will convene to review and consider each application. Once the panel has been determined, the judges will sign a general order appointing the new panel members and the Clerk's Office will notify the new panel members. Applicants not selected will be notified.
Appointments after the original panel is selected will occur only under exceptional circumstances and is at the discretion of the Judges.
The Clerk maintains the current list of all attorneys appointed to the CJA Panel. Appointments are made on a random, rotational basis, subject to the Court's discretion to make exceptions due to the nature and complexity of the case, an attorney's experience, and geographical considerations.
Where practical and cost effective, private attorneys from the CJA Panel shall be appointed in a substantial proportion of the cases in which the accused is determined to be financially eligible for representation under the CJA. "Substantial" shall usually be defined as approximately 25% of the appointments under the CJA annually throughout the District.
Counsel may only be substituted by an Order of the Court. If the Court appoints a panel attorney, the person so appointed -- not another attorney in the firm -- shall represent the defendant at all stages of the proceeding unless, upon petition to the court, a substitute appointment is granted. This policy applies to the out-of-court time expended for brief writing and research completed by the attorney, as well as all in-court appearances, though associate counsel may assist from time to time.
Appointed counsel is advised to first check with the Federal Defenders Office if they are available to appear on behalf of appointed counsel. If someone from the Federal Defenders Office is not available and in exceptional situations where the appearance is perfunctory and not substantive in any way, e.g. to plead not guilty to a superseding indictment, associate counsel may fill in provided that associate is a current member of the CJA Panel.
In accordance with the District's CJA Plan, attorneys can also be selected for the CJA Mentorship Program. Applicants invited to participate in the mentorship program will be notified.