Page 119 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
P. 119

 “believe it’s a conflict for the defender [office] to manage the panel.”292 Others who supported judicial management of panels explained: “[J]udges feel that they are in the best position to determine who is doing a good job and who is not.”293
In districts with judge-managed panels, attorneys often believe they have
no avenue to remedy problems in panel administration. More often than not, the Committee heard concerns similar to the ones expressed by a panel attorney district representative who testified that at national CJA conferences, other panel attorneys “tell me that all the time, they say, ‘In my district, I couldn’t possibly say X, Y and Z to our judge, he would get offended or she would have me off the panel.’”294 In fact, the Committee faced real difficulty in gathering information about the functioning of the CJA in certain districts because panel attorneys feared their candid testimony might provoke judicial retaliation. Some panel attorneys in districts with judge-man- aged panels were concerned that speaking out would mean not getting any future appointments. A representative from the New Mexico Criminal Defender Lawyers Association told the Committee that in preparing for her testimony there were law- yers who sought anonymity and others who were willing to speak but raised con- cerns about discussing these issues.295 She believes there needs to be a “mechanism for CJA lawyers to share those concerns about that—that fear of reprisal.”296
These concerns and many others raised during testimony support moving panel administration away from judicial control.297 In districts where this is already the model, judges still play a critical role in the selection, retention, appointment, and removal of panel attorneys. Witnesses agreed that judicial input, rather than judicial control, is key to the success of CJA panel management. A panel attorney testified, “The judges have to be involved in those kinds of decisions. They have to have some involvement in the process. They see the lawyers, they see issues that
we don’t know about, but I don’t know that they should be the only final arbiter.”298 Another panel attorney stated that with the “buffer that we have in place with our CJA administrator,” she believes “there has been a benefit in having the court on that initial selection process.”299 Finally, a former defender told the Committee,
292 Id.
293 ChiefJudgeBarryTedMoskowitz,S.D.Cal.,PublicHearing—SanFrancisco,Cal.,OpeningTest.,
Tr., at 8.
294 MaryMcNamara,CJADist.Rep.,N.D.Cal.,PublicHearing—SanFrancisco,Cal.,Panel6,Tr.,at37–38. 295 TeresaDuncan,N.M.Crim.Def.LawyersAssoc.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,N.M.,Panel4,Tr.,
at 24. Testimony such as this encouraged the Committee to hold closed-door sessions with panel attorneys who wished to remain anonymous.
296 Id.
297 EricVos,FPD,D.P.R.,PublicHearing—Miami,Fla.,Panel1,Tr.,at5;DanielAlbregts,CJAPanel Atty., D. Nev., Public Hearing—San Francisco, Cal., Panel 4, Tr., at 21–22; Jeffrey Lindy, CJA Dist. Rep., E.D. Pa., Public Hearing—Philadelphia, Pa., Panel 4, Tr., at 7.
298 DebraDiIorio,CJAPanelAtty.,S.D.Cal.,PublicHearing—SanFrancisco,Cal.,Panel3,Tr.,at26. 299 MelanieMorgan,CJAPanelAtty.,D.Kan&W.D.Mo.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,N.M.,Panel5, Tr., at 23.
No recommendation presented herein represents
the policy of the Judicial Conference of the United 2 0 1 7 R E P O R T O F T H E A D H O C C O M M I T T E E T O R E V I E W T H E C R I M I N A L J U S T I C E A C T 75
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.
 


















































































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