Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Question: What is the CJA Study?

    The CJA Study is a comprehensive review of the operation and administration of the Criminal Justice Act program.  The study is being undertaken by the Judicial Conference of the United States through the Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Criminal Justice Act Program.

  2. Question: When was the last study of the CJA program?

    The last comprehensive review of the CJA program took place more than 20 years ago pursuant to the Judicial Improvements Act of 1990, Pub. L. No. 101-650.  The Committee was led by Judge Edward C. Prado.  A copy of the Prado Committee’s report can be found under the Report Materials tab.

  3. Question: Who are the members of the Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Criminal Justice Act Program?

    The members of the Committee include federal judges, a federal courts representative, federal defenders, a CJA panel attorney, a law professor, and a private law firm lawyer.  Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. appointed the members of the Committee in his capacity as Presiding Officer of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

    The members include:

    • Hon. Kathleen Cardone, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas (Chair)
    • Reuben Cahn, Executive Director, Federal Defenders of San Diego, Inc.
    • Hon. Dale S. Fischer, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
    • Jeffery A. “Chip” Frensley, National CJA Panel Attorney District Representative
    • Hon. John M. Gerrard, U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska
    • Hon. Mitchell S. Goldberg, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • Professor Orin S. Kerr, The George Washington University Law School
    • Neil H. MacBride, Davis Polk & Wardwell, LLP
    • Katherian Roe, Federal Public Defender for the District of Minnesota
    • Dr. Robert E. Rucker, Assistant Circuit Executive for Court Policy and Research for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
    • Hon. Reggie B. Walton, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

    Judge Edward C. Prado of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, who chaired the prior CJA study, was been appointed Chair Emeritus.  Professor Jon Gould, American University, was been appointed as Reporter.

  4. Question: What is the scope of the CJA Study?

    The study evaluated the effectiveness of current policies and governance structures and their impact on the appointment and compensation of counsel, quality of legal representation, program administration, and adequacy of funding.

    A list of topics considered by the Committee can be found here.


  5. Question: What is the timing of the CJA study?

    The CJA study is structured as a two-year study that was authorized to begin in April 2015.  The Committee expects to issue its report by April 2017.

  6. Question: How did the Ad Hoc Committee conduct the CJA Study?

    The Committee solicited input from a variety of individuals and groups with experience or knowledge pertinent to the study.  The Committee accepted public comments and held a series of public hearings at locations around the United States to ensure the greatest level of participation possible.