Page 174 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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to prevent or mitigate potential conflicts of interest.578
On the whole, testimony about FDO and CDO involvement in voucher review
was overwhelmingly positive. The Chief Judge in the District of Minnesota, whose federal defender office performs an initial review of vouchers, testified that it was “a very good system,” and the judges “appreciate the hard work the office does with the voucher system, making sure that there are no mistakes made in the calculations, flagging issues for us to review.”579
Federal defenders involved in voucher review told the Committee that having their offices involved, even though the voucher ultimately had to be approved by the judge, is beneficial. One defender wrote that voucher review “requires considerable time,” but he believes that review “benefits both the judges and the panel attor- neys....Because I have been a federal criminal trial attorney for 50 years, the judges trust my judgment.”580 The federal defender from Oregon agreed that the review takes a great deal of time, but stated: “We are willing to expend the time and resources on the panel because having a united, strong defense bar improves the quality of the criminal justice system, which helps all of our clients.” 581 Explaining the value added of involving the federal public defender, she wrote, “A separate administrator would not have the institutional knowledge and perspective of the FPD that comes from managing what is essentially a medium-sized law firm. The FPD is more likely than a separate administrator to be aware of areas for efficiency, new developments in the law, and systemic solutions that can be proposed to the court.”582
5.5.3 Case‐Budgeting Attorneys
Although circuit CJA case-budgeting attorneys (CBAs) are placed in the office of the circuit executive, their involvement with budgeting at the district court level makes discussion of the important role they play appropriate here.
In 2004, the Defender Services Committee launched a pilot program to “[e]stablish a source to provide objective case-budgeting advice for judges, in order to limit the costs of representations in capital and large [non-capital] mega-cases.”583 A case budgeting program was intended to provide better management of the high- est-cost cases. Many of these cases involved multiple defendants. Though amounting to less than three percent of all representations, these high-cost cases accounted for
578 SteveWax,LegalDirector,OregonInnocenceProject,PublicHearing—Portland,Or.,Panel1,Tr.at7,28. 579 ChiefJudgeJohnR.Tunheim,D.Minn.,PublicHearing—Minneapolis,Minn.,Panel6,Tr.at13. 580 ThomasMcNamara,FPD,E.D.N.C.,PublicHearing—Miami,Fla.,Panel1,Writ.Test.at2.
581 LisaHay,FPD,D.Or.,PublicHearing—Portland,Or.,Panel6,Writ.Test.at9.
582 Id.
583 AdoptedbytheJudicialConference(ReportoftheProceedingsoftheJudicialConferenceofthe
United States, Sept. 2004, at 6–7).
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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