Page 123 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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 the federal defenders all have input into the process. We all have a stake in the out- come and we all meet and discuss issues that arise.”315
4.2.2 Achieving Quality Representation
As discussed above, updating and implementing CJA plans can improve the quality of representation in a district. Two plan features are particularly important: First, plans must ensure that panel attorneys are appointed to a number of cases sufficient for them to remain proficient in federal criminal practice; and second, plans must require that panel members participate in regular training on topics relevant to CJA practice.
Panel Size and Adequate Appointments
Judiciary policy states: “The membership of the panel should be large enough to provide a sufficient number of experienced attorneys to handle the CJA caseload, yet small enough so that panel members receive an adequate number of appoint- ments to maintain their proficiency in criminal defense work and thereby provide a high quality of representation.”316 In order to ensure balance and fairness in the adversarial process, CJA plans and the appointment practices within the district must provide that panel lawyers receive enough appointments to remain proficient when defending against skilled government attorneys. As one panel member told the Committee, “Criminal defense is not a hobby.”317
Some districts struggled with finding the balance between having enough panel attorneys able to handle large multi-defendant cases while keeping the panel small enough to ensure members of the panel receive enough cases to remain pro- ficient in federal criminal law. One judge reported: “We have had years where, due to the number of big indictments, we’ve had conflicts such that we’ve just plum run out of people who don’t have a conflict in a particular case.”318 Another judge told the Committee that, currently in his district, he believes the panel was an appro- priate size, but keeping it so is a constant concern.319 A private attorney told the Committee that districts should, “err I think on the side of having a smaller number of people on the panels so they’re doing a larger number of cases. I think in gen- eral that’s going to get you a better class of lawyer given what you’ve got to work with.”320 This will require some large districts to reduce the size of their panel, “and really focus on training these people, getting them better qualified, getting them
to understand the use of experts, how to use experts, enhancing trial skills, and
315 DianaWeiss,CJASupervisingAtty.,N.D.Cal.,PublicHearing—SanFrancisco,Cal.,Panel1,Tr.,at10. 316 GuidetoJudiciaryPolicy,Vol.7A,Ch2,§210.30.10(b).
317 MarkWindsor,CJAPanelAtty.,C.D.Cal.,PublicHearing—SanFrancisco,Cal.,Panel3,Tr.,at7. 318 JudgeCathyBissoon,W.D.Pa.,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel2a,Tr.,at8.
319 Mag.JudgeKellyRankin,D.Wyo.,PublicHearing—Portland,Or.,Panel3,Tr.,at30.
320 JamesFelman,FormerCJAPanelAtty.,M.D.Fla.,PublicHearing—Miami,Fla.,Panel4,Tr.,at34.
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 79
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.

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