Page 213 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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 counsel for the Southern District of Georgia echoed the same sentiments. He tes- tified that quality “[r]epresentation in our district falls to those lucky enough to maybe get somebody competent....There’s no review as to whether or not you stay on the panel or whether you’re competent. There’s just no criteria.”784 He testified further that there is,
the absolute need in my district for a federal public defender...to coun- terbalance an extremely professional United States Attorney’s Office....We average about 600 indictments a year over the last five years in the district. Of those 600, 45 on average a year were multi defendant cases. That leaves somewhere in the neighborhood of 550 individual defendants that prob- ably could have been represented by a federal public defender office. The vast majority of those individuals would have received far better service with a dedicated federal public defender office.785
Although FDOs provide high quality representation, several defenders spoke of a need to guard against blindness to their own deficiencies and to enhance the quality of representation by instituting standards for FDO representation. A working group of defenders and panel attorneys organized by the Defender Service Office has adopted performance guidelines based on those developed by the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. However, with no independent defense body to carry out evaluations, these guidelines are not enforced or monitored.786 A com- munity defender told the Committee that while defender offices value their inde- pendence, “I also don’t think it’s a bad thing to have some accountability to a group that is solely focused on quality representation. I think it’s a much more difficult dynamic when the supervision is by the judiciary that doesn’t have that as its main mission....I would much prefer that it come from a governing body whose sole mis- sion is quality representation.”787
Another federal defender agreed, telling the Committee that some kind of national defense center could assist in raising standards among defender offices: “I think that we should look at ourselves. We think we’re doing great, we [get] some good feedback, but everything isn’t great everywhere.” 788 He opined, if the CJA pro- gram was placed within a structure dedicated to the same mission as the defender offices, “a national center would elevate everybody.”789 Expounding on the bene- fits such a center could produce, the same federal defender said, “[I]f we had a CJA
784 SteveBeauvais,ResourceCounsel,S.D.Ga.,PublicHearing—Miami,Fla.,Panel6,Tr.,at4.
785 Id.at5.
786 CarlosWilliams,Exec.Dir.,CDO,S.D.Ala.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,N.M.,Panel3,Tr.,at24.
787 DavidPatton,Exec.Dir.,CDO,S.D.N.Y&E.D.N.Y,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel3,Tr., at 16.
788 JamesWade,FPD,M.D.Pa.,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel3,Tr.,at33. 789 Id.at17.
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 169
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.
 






















































































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