Page 125 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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 federal defender, whose office greatly expanded training opportunities, explained: “Last year we offered forty hours of CLE [continuing legal education] that my office sponsored and presented. We have a second chair program, a mentoring program where young lawyers who don’t have the experience can come in and go through this year long program....This has proven effective in the quality.”328
Many districts in the process of updating their plans or that had recently done so recognize the importance of increased training and incorporated requirements into their plans.329 For example, one district recently put into place a requirement
of four hours annually of mandatory CLE in federal criminal practice. Failure to comply with the four-hour training requirement is grounds for removal from the CJA panel.330 Because most local training opportunities are organized or sponsored by the federal defender organization, they are offered at low or no cost, and thus are widely accessible. Training opportunities can improve communication between panel attor- neys and the local institutional defender, and create a feedback loop resulting in train- ing that is more responsive to the specific needs of the panel and issues of concern in the district. And by opening up training to non-panel members, districts potentially can widen the pool of lawyers qualified for admission to the panel.
4.3 Best Practices in Panel Administration
4.3.1 Model Plan
The Defender Services Committee and Judicial Conference have recently adopted an updated Model Plan that “is intended to provide guidance in the implemen- tation and administration of the Criminal Justice Act, as required under 18 U.S.C.
§ 3006A(b).”331 Objectives of the plan are “to attain the goal of equal justice under the law for all persons” and “to provide all eligible persons with timely appointed counsel services that are consistent with the best practices of the legal profession, are cost-effective, and protect the independence of the defense function so that the rights of individual defendants are safeguarded and enforced.”332
This Committee does not recommend a “one-size-fits-all” approach to form- ing a plan, and the Model Plan is designed to accommodate local districts’ indi- vidual determinations about CJA administration. At the same time, the model plan highlights structures and practices that have been successful in districts around
328 MelodyBrannon,FPD,D.Kan.,PublicHearing—Minneapolis,Minn.,Panel2,Tr.,at17.
329 LisaFreeland,FPD,W.D.Pa.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,N.M.,Panel3,Tr.,at3–5;AmySirignano, CJA Panel Atty., D.N.M., Public Hearing—Santa Fe, N.M., Panel 3, Tr., at 9–12.
330 AmySirignano,CJAPanelAtty.,D.N.M.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,N.M.,Panel3,Tr.,at10.
331 GuidetoJudiciaryPolicy,Vol.7A,Ch.2,Appx.2A:ModelPlanforImplementationand Administration of the Criminal Justice Act pg. 1 (hereinafter “Model Plan”).
332 ModelPlanat4.
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 81
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.

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