Page 203 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
P. 203

 this in Boston are pretty tough....We’re willing to take certain things that we have to do to do the work we love, but at a certain point, some people, that maybe have better financial sense than I do, take a walk. And the quality of representation is going to go down if that starts to happen.”732
In addition, low pay, and the possibility of voucher cuts, leads some CJA attor- neys to plead their clients guilty as quickly as possible. One panel attorney said, “[T]here are, and...not saying everybody, and certainly not in every case, but there are attorneys that want to shut down that case fast. There was a nickname we used to have for them in courthouse coffee shops, that they were ‘V6ers.’ They were walk- ing violations of the Sixth Amendment.”733
7.1.7 Independence
The sine qua non of effective representation is independence. An attorney must
be able to exercise professional judgment in pursuing the best interests of the cli- ent.734 If this pursuit is hindered by self-interest or other concerns, quality will suffer. The section on Compensation discusses various ways in which judicial control of appointment and compensation directly compromise an attorney’s independence, her ability to act solely on behalf of the client. The concerns described there are not theoretical or abstract. An example shows the direct effect on a lawyer’s judgment this judicial control can have:
I ran into a recusal issue in a state case where, through investigation I learned that the judge and the prosecutor had some kind of a very close relationship. It was an open secret in the community, but no one had ever filed a recusal motion. I said, “Why didn’t you file a recusal motion?” The answer from every one of the very good, talented lawyers in that town were, “If I file that motion, I can’t work here anymore.” I did not live in that town, that was the only case I had, I was able to file that recusal motion, and we got through that motion, and that judge was recused.735
In a similar vein, a federal defender described how judicial approval of panel attorney expert requests can compromise their independent judgment. She testified that panel attorneys in her district learn quickly that asking for resources can get an attorney removed from the panel. She said that all it takes is for a single panel attor- ney to request an expert or service provider once or twice,
732 MarkShea,CJAPanelAtty.,D.Mass.,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel4,Tr.,at26.
733 EdwardHunt,CJAPanelAtty.,E.D.Wis.,PublicHearing—Minneapolis,Minn.,Panel4,Tr.,at22.
734 “[P]artisanadvocacyonbothsidesofacasewillbestpromotetheultimateobjectivethattheguilty be convicted and the innocent go free.” United States v. Cronic, 466 U.S. 648, 655 (1984)
(quoting Herring v. New York, 422 U.S. 853, 862 (1975)).
735 GeorgeKendall,Director,PublicServiceInitiative,SquirePattonBoggs,Public Hearing—Minneapolis, Minn., Panel 3, 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 159
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.

   201   202   203   204   205