Page 217 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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 7.3.2 Remote Detention of Defendants
Districts or divisions of districts comprised of large rural areas make client represen- tation more difficult for federal defenders and panel attorneys.808 A district judge in the Western District of Texas explained,
The biggest issue we have, and one that makes us unique, is that the Pecos Division is larger in land area (30,445 square miles) than 11 states; it is half as large as 31 states and larger than 60 judicial districts, as well as having
a 500 mile border with Mexico. This is one division, not a district. The dis- tances within the division create serious obstacles for litigants, participants and the overall due process in the federal court. The only means of travel is by motor vehicle over large stretches of highway....Defendants are kept in several county jails spread across the division.809
When clients are detained in remote locations, meeting with them can be expen- sive, time consuming, and physically demanding for defense counsel. One panel attorney from Montana explained the hardship created by remote detention this way:
At this time of year, we can have really bad roads and the daytime hours are short. I really, at this time of year, cannot make that trip and spend some time with my client and get home in a day. I don’t think it’s safe. In the summer, I’ll do it. I can’t do it in the winter. That’s an eight-hour round trip, so just in windshield time, that’s more than a thousand dollars. If I have other travel costs, which I do, getting a hotel, food, mileage, that’s probably twelve to thirteen hundred dollars for just a trip to Shelby.810
When clients are detained long distances from their attorneys, local court
rules can make reviewing discovery more onerous. As a panel attorney explained , “...[W]e have a rule, a local rule that when a document is designated sensitive mate- rial then it can only be reviewed in the presence of counsel. We can’t give it to the client for him to review so...I got to drive 500 miles to see this guy.”811 This “wind- shield time” can add up quickly, especially in multi-defendant cases. For example, in a case with sixty-two defendants, approximately thirty were represented by CJA counsel
808 Thedifficultycausedbyhavingclientsremotelydetainedcanbecompoundedbytechnology and discovery issues. A panel attorney told the Committee, “The problem that I see repeatedly, as
far as remote detention, is when there is a protective order regarding discovery....all materials are sent on CD, and each jail has its own process for dissemination of that information, or access to it, and invariably there are problems, my clients don’t have nowhere near enough time to access the information in a case where there’s volumes and volumes of material. If there could be some plan that’s consistent from jail to jail to ensure that our clients have the same access to the discovery that we do, that they should have.” Robert LeBell, CJA Dist. Rep., E.D. Wis., Public Hearing—Minneapolis, Minn., Panel 4, Tr., at 21. For more on this issue please see Section 8 on e-discovery.
809 JudgeRobJunell,W.D.Tex.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,N.M.,Panel1,Writ.Test.,at1.
810 WendyHolton,CJAPanelAtty.,D.Mont.,PublicHearing—Portland,Or.,Panel4,Tr.,at5.
811 PalmerHoovestal,CJAPanelAtty.,D.Mont.,PublicHearing—Portland,Or.,Panel5,Tr.,at12.
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 173
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.
 


















































































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