Page 173 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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 judge.569 Some witnesses questioned whether it is appropriate for the FPDO or CDO to be involved in reviewing vouchers and requests for service providers by panel attorneys. For defenders considering housing a CJA administrator within their office, the major concern was financial, since most defender offices are already understaffed.570 One federal defender admitted to the Committee that she has long believed her office should take on the responsibility of administering the panel and reviewing vouchers, but simply does not have the resources.571
The second concern involves conflicts of interest. Some believed having the defender office responsible for review is an “inherent conflict,” given the basic func- tioning of the hybrid system of defense: “Where there is a public defender and there are CJA lawyers involved, there is a conflict by defenders representing either another defendant that is indicted or cooperating individual.”572 A federal defender agreed, “There’s this inherent conflict between our office and the panel....We have a con- flict with almost every case they have.”573 Others, however, believe the conflict exists more in theory than in practice. One panel attorney told the Committee, “I think we have to get away from the notion that simply because perhaps [an administrator is] housed within the federal public defender’s office that means that they are some- how controlled by the federal public defender or that there’s going to be a conflict
of interest.” 574 The panel attorney explained that the CJA administrator and the federal defender office run on separate and independent computer systems, each “password-protected and secure,” and the administrator’s office is set apart from
the other defenders.575 The panel attorney concluded, “It works for us.”576 A fed-
eral defender who has a CJA Supervising Attorney housed within her office told the Committee that “[w]e haven’t really run into any conflicts, and we have a backup system for conflicts right now.”577 Others also described putting safeguards in place
569 Seee.g.RebeccaHudsmith,FPD,M.D.La.&W.D.La.,PublicHearing—Birmingham,Ala.,Panel
2, Writ. Test. at 2 (“The office reviews all vouchers submitted by the panel attorneys for payment of compensation and expenses prior to forwarding same to the presiding judicial officer for final approval. An employee in each of the three offices is primarily responsible for the initial voucher review. I conduct the final voucher review for all CJA vouchers over $3,500 and prepare memos to the Courts
for all vouchers over the statutory maximum.”); Claude Kelly, W.D. La., Public Hearing—Birmingham, Ala., Panel 2, Writ. Test. at 2 (“It is the responsibility of the FPD office to review all attorney and
expert vouchers and obtain approval for funding and payment.”); A.J. Kramer, FPD, D.D.C., Public Hearing—Philadelphia, Pa., Panel 6, Writ. Test. at 1 (“Our office also reviews all vouchers for lawyers and experts submitted in district court cases (we do not process vouchers for the court of appeals). The vouchers are reviewed, a recommendation is made, and they are sent to the judge for final approval.”)
570 Seee.g.PublicHearing—Portland,Or.,Panel6,Tr.at17-25.
571 MaureenFranco,FPD,W.D.Tex.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,NM,Panel2,Tr.at26.
572 E.GerryMorris,PresidentNACDL,PublicHearing—SantaFe,NM,Panel4,Tr.at13.
573 EricVos,FPD,D.P.R.,PublicHearing—Miami,Fla.,Panel1,Tr.at20.
574 MelanieMorgan,CJAPanelAtty.Dist.Rep.,D.Kan.&W.D.Mo.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,NM, Panel 5, Tr. at 28.
575 Id.
576 Id.
577 MelodyBrannon,FPD,D.Kan.,PublicHearing—Minneapolis,Minn.,Panel2,Tr.at9.
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 129
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.

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