Page 201 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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 other ways discussed there, the CJA discourages panel attorneys from doing all they can do for their clients, or indeed all federal defenders do for theirs. As one federal defender told the Committee, “[T]here is a disparity of the representation...[that]
is not because we don’t have excellent attorneys on our panel, because we do. But my office, the lawyers in my office, the investigators, the paralegals, they are permit- ted to do more for their clients than the panel is permitted to do in my district.”725 This dynamic exists even when judges impose no specific limitations on represen- tational services, and it is the primary source of disparity. A case budgeting attor- ney put the disparity in stark terms when he testified before the Committee, stating: “I would venture a guess that to the best of my knowledge, AUSA’s have never been told, ‘Prosecute this case as cheaply as you can,’ which is, although it might not be as blunt as that, that is pretty much what a CJA attorney is given to understand.”726
Quality legal work requires time. When attorneys are told, directly or indirectly, that they should not spend time traveling to meet with witnesses, meeting with their clients, or reviewing discovery, the quality of their work will be reduced. When an attorney must constantly be concerned with what a judge would consider reason- able, it can affect her professional judgment and the quality of her work.
7.1.4 Institutional Support
Compared with federal defenders or federal prosecutors, panel attorneys are at a dis- advantage because they lack institutional support. One panel attorney spoke about the ability of federal defenders to easily converse with colleagues and use more experienced attorneys in their office as resources. Most panel attorneys are sole practitioners or members of small firms and cannot easily access this type of collec- tive knowledge. As a witness explained, “[W]hat you do have in a federal defenders system is a solidarity that is critical in this criminal defense work of being able to go next door and talk to someone who is an expert...it is really vital to...effective and adequate representation and you don’t have that...in the panel.”727
The benefits of being part of a cadre of skilled federal criminal practi-
tioners could be replicated for the sole practitioner panel attorney. Many federal defender offices are able to act as resources for panel attorneys. Their own col- leagues may also be willing and able to do so. But the CJA, as currently adminis- tered, discourages such collaborative work or brainstorming: most judges will not allow compensation for time spent in these activities.728 And as discussed in the Compensation section, the hourly rate is already so inadequate that it discourages
725 HilaryPotashner,FPD,C.D.Cal.,PublicHearing—SanFrancisco,Cal.,Panel7,Tr.,at24.
726 BobRanz,CircuitCaseBudgetingAtty.,6thCir.,PublicHearing—SanFrancisco,Cal.,Panel1,Tr.,at2.
727 ProfessorBarbaraCreel,Law&IndigenousPeoplesProgram,U.ofNewMexico,Public Hearing—Santa Fe, N.M., Panel 4, Tr., at 34.
728 SeeRochelleReback,FormerCJAPanelAtty.,M.D.Fla.,PublicHearing—Miami,Fla.,Panel5,Tr., at 23; Jessica Salvini, CJA Panel Atty., D.S.C., Public Hearing—Miami, Fla., Panel 4, Tr., at 12–15.
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 157
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.
 




















































































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