Page 172 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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for twelve years. I have seen from the start to finish exactly what the dif- ference has been once she came on and started assisting panel attorneys with the review of vouchers. It has been invaluable. I think the Committee has heard that in South Carolina, the amount of vouchers that are cut sys- tematically has dropped drastically.563
A panel attorney from Kansas told the Committee that the CJA Administrator in that district acted as a “buffer” between panel attorneys and the courts.564 Also a highly respected former criminal defense attorney, “she has the ability to red flag things that she knows might cause the judge some question or concern and talk
to the lawyer about that. She also then is a conduit with the court. When the court says, ‘Why would this attorney think it was necessary to spend all of this time?’ she can get that information.”565
Having an intermediary between themselves and the judges before whom they appear assisted the panel attorneys immensely. Additionally this interme- diary, by making the system more efficient, can reduce long-term costs. A panel attorney in Oregon told the Committee that the administrator intervened to obtain funding when the attorney had an urgent need for an investigator. “I kept calling our CJA administrator asking what’s happening here, and she courageously nee- dled the judge a little bit and it got done. . . . To me, the bottom line is that efficiency at that end creates efficiencies at the other too. Lots of money was saved once we got that investigator,” allowing the attorney to “settle this case at a different level.”566
Finally, witnesses from districts that did not have a CJA supervising attorney or administrator position suggested them as partial solutions to problems with the current system. A federal defender told the Committee that such a position “would have a number of beneficial effects,” including lowering defense costs.567 Not only would panel attorneys feel more comfortable requesting funds from a former defense attorney acting as an administrator, the position “would be part of a cost-containment strategy in that if those experts’ requests are funneled through a single administrator, then that administrator on behalf of the CJA could achieve some of the bargaining power that the FPDs have.”568
5.5.2 Voucher Review by Federal Defender Organizations
There are a number of districts where the federal or community defender office per- forms an initial review of vouchers and issues a recommendation to the presiding
563 JessicaSalvini,CJAPanelAtty.,D.S.C.,PublicHearing—Miami,Fla.,Panel4,Tr.at14.
564 MelanieMorgan,CJAPanelAtty.Dist.Rep.,D.Kan.&W.D.Mo.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,NM, Panel 5, Tr. at 14.
565 Id.
566 ThomasHillier,FormerFPD,W.D.Wash.,PublicHearing—Portland,Or.,Panel1,Tr.at14. 567 MichaelCaruso,FPD,S.D.Fla.,PublicHearing—Miami,Fla.,Panel1,Tr.at17.
568 Id.
No recommendation presented herein represents 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 the policy of the Judicial Conference of the United States unless approved by the Conference itself.

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