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CJA PANEL MEMBERSHIP PROTOCOL AND CRITERIA

Adopted April 8, 2004
Amended December 9, 2010

Applications for Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Attorney Panel membership will be accepted in the office of the Chief Magistrate Judge. The CJA Panel membership roster will be reviewed twice yearly in June and December by a committee of the magistrate judges, the CJA panel representative and the Federal Public Defender.

At the discretion of the review committee, lawyers may be added, deleted or moved to different levels. An updated list will be distributed twice a year in July and January.

Criteria for CJA Panel membership and a performance protocol for CJA panel attorneys are set out below.

CRITERIA FOR CJA PANEL MEMBERSHIP AND CASE ASSIGNMENTS

All prospective CJA panel members must submit a written application, letter and a current resume. Application forms are available from the office of the Chief Magistrate Judge.

Each CJA panel member, at the time of application and throughout membership on the panel, must be a member in good standing with the Federal District Bar Association and the Utah State Bar Association.

LEVEL 1 - Leval A Cases: Misdemeanor/Basic Felony Cases/Case Related Matters
CRITERIA:

  1. One to Five years legal practice or judicial clerkship;
  2. Completion of mandatory 16 hours CLE for CJA panel lawyers (including basic 8-hour core course) within one year of panel membership. If counsel is unable to attend the mandatory 8-hour core course, counsel may seek approval of CJA Panel Administrator or Chief Magistrate Judge to substitute the Federal Bar Association Criminal Practice Seminar or another 8 hour training program offered by the Office of Defender Services Training Branch. Proof of CLE attendance must be shown upon completion or panel membership will be reviewed for suspension or termination;
  3. Completion of 8 or more hours of CJA related education per year after completion of mandatory CLE hours referenced in paragraph 2 above.
  4. Working knowledge of federal and District of Utah criminal practice and procedure;
  5. Copy of Federal Criminal Code and Rules; United States Sentencing Guidelines; and District of Utah Local Rules;
  6. CM/ECF and Electronic Notice registration, and computer and FAX capability;
  7. Willingness/availability to accept Level A cases.

LEVEL 2 - Level B Cases: Complex Felony Cases (including complex white collar; multiple count/complex felonies; drug offenses; felonies alleging violence against persons
CRITERIA:

  1. Five (5) years or more criminal law related legal experience; or
  2. Three (3) years of experience as a Level 1 CJA panel attorney; or
  3. Trial counsel in three (3) or more felony federal or state jury trials;
  4. Completion of mandatory 8 hours or more of CJA related CLE per year (including basic 8-hour core course). If counsel is unable to attend the mandatory 8-hour core course, counsel may seek approval of CJA Panel Administrator or Chief Magistrate Judge to substitute the Federal Bar Association Criminal Practice Seminar or another 8 hour training program offered by the Office of Defender Services Training Branch. Proof of CLE attendance must be shown upon completion or panel membership will be reviewed for suspension or termination;
  5. Copy of Federal Criminal Code and Rules; United States Guidelines; District of Utah Local Rules; and Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure;
  6. CM/ECF and Electronic Notice registration; and computer and FAX capability;
  7. Willingness/availability to accept representation in Level B cases.

LEVEL 3 - Level C: Special Appointments
CRITERIA:

  1. Experienced criminal defense counsel willing to accept special court appointments in complex cases on an occasional basis;
  2. Copy of Federal Criminal Code and Rules; United States Sentencing Guidelines; District of Utah Local Rules; and Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure;
  3. CM/ECF and Electronic Notice Registration, and computer and FAX capability.

LEVEL 4 - Appeals
CRITERIA:

  1. Follow all Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals established eligibility requirements and protocols.

PROTOCOL FOR CJA ATTORNEY PARTICIPATION

Adopted September 1, 2006
Amended December 9, 2010

Upon appointment to the CJA Panel, each CJA Panel Attorney must adhere to the following requirements for continued panel membership:

  1. Each CJA attorney must provide the court with a current office e-mail address, telephone, FAX and cell phone information.
  2. Each CJA panel attorney must designate for the court the name and contact information of a person authorized to accept or decline a request for representation (such as an office manager, secretary or associate) in the event the attorney is not personally available to respond to a request for CJA representation. The representative must be able to insure the presence of the attorney at scheduled hearings.
  3. Acceptance or non-acceptance of a case may not be made based on the nature or type of case. Inquiries as to the type of case to be assigned should not be made.
  4. If unavailable or unwilling to take cases on five (5) or more occasions in a year, the CJA panel attorney will be considered for removal from the panel.
  5. Should an assigned panel attorney be unable to attend a scheduled hearing, all reasonable efforts should be made to have another CJA panel attorney attend.
  6. In addition to pre-trial, trial and sentencing responsibilities, CJA counsel will also be responsible for perfecting appeals to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals according to established protocols.
  7. Those CJA Panel attorneys designated as Level 3, Special Appointments, may elect to request to enter back into the regular appointment rotation and Level 2 designation. Requests must be made in writing to the Chief Magistrate Judge and will be reviewed at the next semi-annual meeting. If approved, CJA counsel must remain a Level 2 for a minimum of two years.
  8. Questions of availability, disciplinary referrals and legal competency may be considered by the review committee in determining continued membership.