Page 170 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
P. 170

 FINDINGS
 126 2 0 1 7
R E P O R T
O F
might perceive if they think one strategy will help the attorney earn more money but another might be more beneficial to the client.
Fairness to Counsel
ffCentralizing voucher review, so that all vouchers are reviewed by a single attorney hired specifically to perform that task, can improve panel attor- neys’ impressions of fairness, because the vouchers can be reviewed promptly and consistently.
Accountability
ffThe CJA supervising attorney can facilitate accountability through his or her central oversight of CJA expenses.
ffMoreover, the person selected for the position can be hired to have neces- sary special skills, such as experience with accounting or criminal defense, which judges may not have.
ffCase budgeting is growing in importance as an aspect of accountability. CJA supervising attorneys can relieve judges of budgeting responsibilities, which some judges feel ill-equipped for and which some judges and attorneys—but not all—believe present troubling ex parte and role-conflict issues.554
Having a single person reviewing vouchers (or supervising review of vouchers) led to much greater consistency for panel attorneys and an increase in the impres- sion of accountability in supervising expenditures among judges.555 The report concluded that, on the whole, judges lacked the time needed to thoroughly review vouchers, leading to delays in payment and/or cuts that were either too severe, or on the other hand, insufficient.556
A report by the Vera Institute of Justice completed in 2003 reached similar con- clusions, finding that placing voucher review into the hands of a centralized admin- istrator with defense experience was a better model than saddling the judiciary with the sole responsibility for reviewing vouchers. The report, Improving Public Defense Systems: Good Practices for Federal Panel Attorney Programs, stated, “Those who have experience with this method report that it has yielded great improvements in the speed, fairness, and consistency of panel attorney compensation. By serving as a single, expert intermediary between the individual presiding judge and panel attor- neys, the administrator promotes fairness and consistency and mitigates conflicts that may arise with judicial contacts.”557
Echoing the report’s conclusion, one judge who testified before this Committee
554 Id.at2–3.
555 Id.at83,84.
556 Id.at126.
557 JonWool,K.BabeHowell,LisaYedid,ImprovingPublicDefenseSystems:GoodPracticesforFederal Panel Attorney Programs, Vera Inst. of Just., 30-31 (June 2003).
No recommendation presented herein represents 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 the policy of the Judicial Conference of the United States unless approved by the Conference itself.
















































































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