Page 74 - Ad Hoc Report June 2018
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program, the DSC’s perspective may never be heard by Congress.
One defender pointed out to the Committee that the fight the DSC had to wage
on behalf of the CJA program, however, was indicative of the problems the DSC faces in advocating for the program within the current system:
[W]hen I’m watching [former DSC Chair] Chief Judge Blake fighting tooth and nail for impressed upon me, “What is the view of the judiciary as far as independence of the defense function when the respected chair of DSC has to fight this hard to execute something that everyone had assumed was a given?”110
In spite of the difficulties presented in the current structure, the DSC’s efforts were recognized by defenders who testified that judges appointed to the DSC had often become unfailing allies in the competition for resources and policy changes within the Judicial Conference. Former employees at DSO also lauded the work it has done, one of them telling the Committee, “The Defender Services Committee
I think has done an outstanding job. People did come to it with varying degrees of experience and have been great advocates for the program.”111 A defender told the Committee that even if the judges appointed to the DSC have no experience with criminal defense and have never cared much about the defense function, “when judges come out of Defender Services Committee, they usually leave having a really better understanding of what we do, and a newfound respect for it.”112 Another defender agreed, testifying that the DSC, “spent enough time with defenders over a period of years that they seemed, even if they may have come in hesitant at first or skeptical at first, they developed an appreciation of exactly what it is we do and how difficult it is and how much of it goes on out of sight of the court and the judges.”113
What the Committee heard was that the DSC did not have as much authority over the program’s decision-making as it should. As one panel attorney testified, “right now they’re governed by the Budget Committee [and] by the Executive Committee.”114
Loss of Jurisdiction over Defender Staffing and Compensation
On February 25, 2013, the Executive Committee transferred authority over staff- ing and compensation in defender offices from the DSC to the Judicial Resources Committee. Announcing these changes, the Executive Committee stated that, “In advising you of this decision, I would emphasize again the Executive Committee’s overarching purpose in making these changes, which is to enhance coordination
110 SteveKalar,FPD,N.D.Cal.,PublicHearing—SanFrancisco,Cal.,Panel7,Tr.,at20.
111 RichardWolff,FormerChief,Legal,Policy,andTrainingDivision,DSO,Public Hearing—Philadelphia, Pa., Panel 7, Tr., at 12.
112 MarianneMariano,FPD,W.D.N.Y,PublicHearing—Philadelphia,Pa.,Panel3,Tr.,at11. 113 LouisAllen,FPD,M.D.N.C.,PublicHearing—Miami,Fla.,Panel1,Tr.,at21.
114 PeterSchweda,CJADist.Rep.,E.D.Wash.,PublicHearing—Portland,Or.,Panel5,Tr.,at5.
No recommendation presented herein represents 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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