Page 161 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
P. 161

 icant resistance. Judge John Gleeson, Chair of the Defender Services Committee during the time the recommendation was proposed and debated, told the Committee:
I thought this was a no-brainer. We’re judges. Notice and opportunity to be heard is our middle name. We don’t adjourn a trial without giving some- body an opportunity to be heard. It seemed to me at the time that you take a $20,000 voucher and you cut it to $10,000, that’s somebody’s livelihood. Where do we get off not giving notice and opportunity to be heard? But I was shocked that the pushback, at how ingrained it was...509
A former employee at DSO at the time confirmed how difficult it was for Judge Gleeson to convince his colleagues to make this change in policy. He had
to convince them that this was “a fairness issue and [that] judges are about fair- ness.”510 He added, “I think what’s so frustrating from our vantage point at times
is how much effort is required to get some very small, what seemed like some
very small and reasonable steps. It’s still a guideline. Any judge who wants to cut a voucher, and not contact attorneys can do that.”511 And unfortunately, some judges do continue to cut vouchers without providing any due process to counsel, or giving any consideration to the revised judicial policy.512
Some judges routinely provide an informal opportunity for defense counsel to advocate for their full voucher amount. One federal defender told the Committee that in his district, in the rare instance a voucher was cut, “the judge will give an order to the panel attorney or letter saying, ‘I’m considering a reduction. Please respond to these particular areas.’ The attorney then responds and a lot of times the judge does not make the cut at that time.”513 A judge informed this Committee that it was his policy, to “give every lawyer an opportunity to respond. If I intend to reduce a voucher I will send a letter to the lawyer explaining that I’m considering it and I’d like to hear from you and what you have to say.”514 Many of the judges that testified about this issue supported the idea that if a voucher is to be cut, the attor- ney should be entitled to some due process.515 One judge advocated for a national standard that would require every CJA plan provide for due process and notice when a voucher is to be cut.
509 JudgeJohnGleeson(ret.),E.D.N.Y.,PublicHearing—Miami,Fla.,Panel3,Tr.at4.
510 RichardWolff,FormerChief,Legal,Policy,andTrainingDivision,DSO,Public Hearing—Philadelphia, Pa., Panel 7, Tr. at 13.
511 Id.
512 Mag.JudgeCherylPollak,E.D.N.Y.,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel2b,Tr.at10.
513 DavidStickman,FPD,D.Neb.,PublicHearing—Minneapolis,Minn.,Panel2,Tr.atp27.
514 SeniorJudgeDonaldGraham,S.D.Fla.,PublicHearing—Miami,Fla.,Panel2,Tr.at8.
515 Seee.g.Mag.JudgeWilliamMatthewman,S.D.Fla.,PublicHearing—Miami,Fla.,Panel3,Tr.,at 30; Judge John Gleeson (ret.), E.D.N.Y., Public Hearing—Miami, Fla., Panel 3, Tr. at 4; Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo, 3rd Cir., Public Hearing—Philadelphia, Pa., Panel 2a, Tr. at 6.
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 117
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.

   159   160   161   162   163