Page 204 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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to be told no and then it’s review time and a judge says, ‘Oh that person always wants A, B, C, or D.’ Then all of a sudden that person is no longer on the panel. That sends a very loud message and . . . you can bet that requests for assistance will drop off immediately because the message is very clear.736
These attorneys forgo expert requests for their clients because their indepen- dence has been compromised by self-interest. The quality of representation, and their clients, suffer.
As the Executive Director for the Sixth Amendment Project pointed out, this is a logical result of the current system. “Judicially-controlled indigent defense systems often follow or adjust to the needs of each judge in each court, rather than focusing on providing constitutionally effective services to each and every defendant. Fearing the loss of income by not pleasing the judge overseeing their compensation,” panel attorneys will tend to construct a defense strategy around a judge rather than a client. 737 The lack of independence accorded CJA panel attorneys can adversely affect the quality of representation they provide, and undermine the intent and pur- pose of the CJA. As the director of the Sixth Amendment Center explained, without necessary independence, “[d]efense attorneys simply bring into their calculations what they think they need to do to garner favor with the judge, thereby not advocat- ing solely in the interests of the clients, as is their ethical duty. Such practices stand in contrast with Sixth Amendment case law.”738
7.1.8 The Importance of Training
Both panel attorneys and federal defenders identified insufficient training of panel attorneys as a cause of the quality gap between defenders and the panel. A panel attorney told the Committee that, “there is truly a disparity between defenders and CJA, and that disparity comes in training.”739 A federal defender agreed, testifying that, “I think a lot of the deficiencies in the panel is not for lack of ability, or lack of energy, but simply lack of knowledge.”740
Training cannot remedy deficits of independence or resources, but it is critical to improving and maintaining lawyers’ expertise. The Prado Committee recognized that attorneys need access to high quality training if they are to provide represen- tation consistent with the best practices of the profession and recommended that:
736 DeborahWilliams,FPD,S.D.Oh.,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel10,Tr.,at18.
737 David Carroll, Executive Director, Sixth Amendment Center, Public Hearing—Minneapolis, Minn., Live Stream, Tr., at 1.
738 Id.
739 MelanieMorgan,CJADist.Rep.,D.Kan.&W.D.Mo.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,N.M.,Panel5,Tr.,
at 13.
740 FrederickT.Heblich,Jr.,FPD,W.D.Va.,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel6,Tr.,at12.
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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