Page 209 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
P. 209

 support for their own training.
As essential as defenders’ training efforts are, going forward, FDOs may find
it more difficult to provide the panel with necessary training. Upon being given responsibility for defender staffing and compensation, the Judicial Resources Committee created defender staffing formulas. These formulas do not provide addi- tional personnel to defenders for their efforts to train the panel. Rather, these formu- las consider only defenders’ work on cases in determining how many employees
an office is allowed. For ethical reasons, defenders must prioritize representation of their own clients over training CJA panel lawyers. Because DSO’s Training Branch lacks the capacity to provide training at the local level, quality of representation by panel lawyers is likely to suffer.
Training attorneys inexperienced in federal practice to join the panel requires more extensive efforts. As discussed in our diversity section, almost 60 percent of panel attorneys report being 50 years of age or older. Fewer than 12 percent of panel attorneys are younger than 40. Unless younger attorneys can be brought into the program, it will face a crisis in the coming years. To recruit and train new attorneys for their panel, districts have taken a variety of approaches. The most aggressive approach taken is the creation of mentorship programs to help attorneys acquire the experience necessary to effectively represent CJA clients. Mentees not yet qualified to be members of the panel work under the supervision of either federal defenders or experienced CJA attorneys.766 In the most successful of these programs, some compensation is offered to mentees.767 The length of the mentorship and its particu- lar requirements vary from district to district. For a fuller discussion of these pro- grams see diversity Section 8. As one judge observed, where new attorneys, “have the talent but they don’t have the experience, I think mentorship is one way to do that and try to build that into the system.”768
7.2 The Quality of Representation Provided By Federal and Community Public Defenders
There are 81 defender offices operating in 91 of the 94 federal districts. Only three districts do not have a defender office—the Southern District of Georgia, the
766 AndrewSkier,CJADist.Rep.,N.D.Ala.,PublicHearing—Birmingham,Ala.,Panel7,Tr.,at21–22. Mag. Judge Kelly Rankin noted though, that panel attorneys “have to first get permission from the trial court, the court that’s assigned to the case” to bring on a mentor. Mag. Judge Kelly Rankin, D. Wyo., Public Hearing—Portland Or., Panel 3, Tr., at 14.
767 JohnConvery,CJADist.Rep.,W.D.Tex.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,N.M.,Panel6,Tr.,at33. 768 ChiefJudgeChristinaArmijo,D.N.M.,PublicHearing—SantaFe,N.M.,Panel1,Tr.,at16.
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 165
 States unless approved by the Conference itself.

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