Page 207 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
P. 207

 opportunities: “We have a huge district, we have one division, the Billings division is actually larger than 24 states, so it’s hard for us to get around to each of the offices, and get our panel together and train them.”752 Another federal defender in a largely rural district told the Committee that it is difficult to get the panel attorneys the “training that they need to learn how to get and use resources to assist their clients. So that is something that we are working on as putting together a bank of resources they can use that the judges would approve payments for, so that they can do a better job representing their clients.”753
In light of these realities, providing local training programs for the panel
is critically important. Witnesses agreed, “We need to expand the local training opportunities” to give panel attorneys more opportunities to attend.754 As a panel attorney explained,
I have to pay to go to those [regional and national] trainings. I have to
pay for the hotel when I go to those trainings. I have to take time away from my cases and not bill on my cases when I go to those trainings. Most people don’t go to those trainings because they just simply can’t afford to take the time away and simply financially afford to go to those trainings. Number one, I think that training should be localized where possible.755
Because DSO lacks the current capacity to sponsor the large number of local events needed to adequately train panels in 94 districts, the job falls to federal defender organizations. DSO’s Training Branch supports these efforts, but it lacks sufficient funding and personnel to provide needed training directly or to supply the level of support defenders require to meet the need for panel training. Federal defenders put considerable effort into local training programs. One federal defender explained:
I felt a responsibility to build a stronger alliance between our office and the CJA panel. We did that in several ways but we expanded the training we offered greatly. Last year we offered forty hours of CLE that my office sponsored and presented. We have a second chair program, a mentoring program where young lawyers who don’t have the experience can come in and go through this year long program. The judges like that very much because there is some basis, there is some qualification before someone gets the panel. This has proven effective in the quality.756
Another defender stated that for his office, “part of our mission was to raise
752 TonyGallagher,Exec.Dir.,CDO,D.Mont.,PublicHearing—Portland,Or.,Panel6,Tr.,at18. 753 TinaHunt,Exec.Dir.,CDO,M.D.Ga.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,N.M.,Panel3,Tr.,at2.
754 PhillipSapien,CJAPanelAtty.,D.N.M.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,N.M.,Panel5,Tr.,at10.
755 JessicaHedges,CJABoardChair,D.Mass.,PublicHearing—Phildelphia,Pa.,Panel9,Tr.,at19. 756 MelodyBrannon,FPD,D.Kan.,PublicHearing—Minneapolis,Minn.,Panel2,Tr.,at17.
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 163
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.

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