Page 186 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
P. 186

caseload exploded in 2003, we requested 12 additional AFPD positions. The Circuit approved only nine and required that they be filled over a two-year period.654
In her view, the struggle to obtain the necessary number of attorneys to handle the office’s workload “has had an impact on our effectiveness and on our morale.”655
While local conditions and practices sometimes create different staffing needs across districts, the number of attorneys an office receives should not be determined by the individual philosophies of the various circuit judges tasked with approving attorney levels. Judges play no role in the selection of U.S. Attorneys and their staffs or in CDO staffing, and the same independence should apply to federal public defenders. A chief district judge who served on the Defender Services Committee summed up this structural defect, observing, “I have great respect for my circuit brethren,” but “I have some doubt about how they are in the best position to deter- mine what the staffing level of any federal defender organization should be.”656 •
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654 MarjorieMeyers,FPD,S.D.Tex.,PublicHearing—Birmingham,Ala.,Panel6,Writ.Test.,at3. 655 Id.
656 ChiefJudgeRanerCollins,D.Ariz.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,N.M.,Panel1,Writ.Test.,at1.
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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