Page 191 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
P. 191

 no comparison really in the resources available to our office versus the CJA panel attorneys.”676 Because panel attorneys must first request resources and then wait for approval, “There’s no question that there’s a delay in getting resources to the panel attorneys.”677 One defender explained, “I’ve got ten investigators and parale- gals in my office. When I have got a huge white collar fraud case, I’ve got an investi- gator that is an accountant and a certified fraud examiner. I just hand her the case. There is simply no comparison really in the resources available to our office versus the CJA panel attorneys.”678
Panel attorneys need these resources if they are not to be overwhelmed by the government. As a panel attorney testified, “Every federal [government] case...is going to come with an investigator, the case agent, sometimes two, who often is an attorney or an accountant. The resources that they have are seemingly unlimited.”679 Witnesses agreed “that there is nothing even close to a level playing field between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and a CJA panel member.”680 As a magistrate judge explained, after he became a judge, he could clearly see “the disparity of resources between one side and another, and what a difference it makes in your ability to rep- resent your client. [I presided over] a criminal case, [and] you could see what unlim- ited resources could do.”681
One panel attorney described the disparity in a recent case to which he had been appointed,
The case was a mortgage fraud case that had been investigated for years. I was appointed the lead defendant who was facing and received an extremely long sentence. I just want to give you a feel for what it’s like
as a CJA panel attorney. Like many, I’m in practice by myself. When I first met with the prosecution team, I met with four lawyers, two full- time agents—one a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department financial crimes expert and an FBI agent; they had a financial analyst, two or three paralegals; and on the other side of the table was me.682
Another panel attorney described a challenge he confronted in a counter-ter- rorism case to which he was assigned:
I did a domestic terrorism case several years ago. My client was accused
676 JasonHawkins,FPD,N.D.Tex.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,N.M.,Panel2,Tr.,at21.
677 SteveWax,LegalDirector,OregonInnocenceProject,PublicHearing—Portland,Or.,Panel1,Tr., at 24.
678 JasonHawkins,FPD,N.D.Tex.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,N.M.,Panel2,Tr.,at21. 679 MarkJones,CJAPanelAtty.,M.D.N.C.,PublicHearing—Miami,Fla.,Panel5,Tr.,at3.
680 ScottDattan,CJAPanelDist.Rep.,D.Alaska,PublicHearing—SanFrancisco,Cal.,Panel3,Writ. Test., at 2.
681 Mag.JudgeJohnAcosta,D.Or.,PublicHearing—Portland,Or.,Panel2,Tr.,at43.
682 DanielAlbregts,CJADist.Rep.,D.Nev.,PublicHearing—SanFrancisco,Cal.,Panel4,Tr.,at2.
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 147
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.
 


















































































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