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CJA Panel Membership Criteria

Adopted April 8, 2004
Amended December 9, 2010

The CJA Panel membership roster will be reviewed once yearly in June by the CJA Panel Committee consisting of two judicial officers, the CJA Panel Representative, the Federal Public Defender, the CJA Supervising Attorney and two CJA Panel members.

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

Criteria for CJA Panel membership is 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. 

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 - Level 1 Panel. Attorneys eligible for the level 1 Panel must meet the following criteria:

  1. One to Five years legal practice or judicial clerkship;
  2. Within one year of Panel membership, completion of  twelve (12) hours CLE for CJA Panel lawyers which includes a mandatory Annual Training Seminar sponsored by the Federal Public Defender.  If counsel is unable to attend the mandatory Annual Training Seminar sponsored by the Federal Public Defender, counsel may seek approval from the CJA Panel Supervising Attorney or Chief Magistrate Judge to attend the annual Federal Bar Association Criminal Practice Seminar, a six (6) hour training program offered by the Office of Defender Services Training Branch or another comparable six (6) hour training seminar. Proof of CLE attendance must be shown upon completion or Panel membership will be reviewed for suspension or termination;
  3. Completion of six (6) or more hours of CJA related education per year after completion of mandatory CLE hours referenced in paragraph 2 above;
  4. Applicants for the CJA Panel must be members in good standing of the federal bar of this district and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  5. Applicants must be a resident of this district and maintain a primary, satellite, or shared office in this district.
  6. Applicants must possess strong litigation skills and demonstrate proficiency with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, federal sentencing procedures, the Bail Reform Act, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the Federal Rules of Evidence.
  7. Applicants must have significant experience representing persons charged with serious criminal offenses and demonstrate a commitment to the defense of people who lack the financial means to hire an attorney.
  8. A copy of or internet access to the Federal Criminal Code and Rules; United States Sentencing Guidelines,  District of Utah Local Rules and Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure;
  9. CM/ECF and Electronic Notice registration, and computer capability;
  10. Proficiency in managing ESI (electronically stored information); and
  11. Willingness/availability to accept Level A cases which include misdemeanors, basic felony cases and case related matters.
  12. Attorneys who do not possess the experience set forth above but believe they have equivalent other experience are encouraged to apply and set forth in writing the details of that experience for the CJA Panel Committee’s consideration.

LEVEL 2 - Attorneys eligible for the Level 2 Panel must meet the following 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 six (6) hours CLE for CJA Panel lawyers which includes a mandatory Annual Training Seminar sponsored by the Federal Public Defender.  If counsel is unable to attend the mandatory Annual Training Seminar sponsored by the Federal Public Defender, counsel may seek approval from the CJA Panel Supervising Attorney or Chief Magistrate Judge to attend the annual Federal Bar Association Criminal Practice Seminar, a six (6) hour training program offered by the Office of Defender Services Training Branch or another comparable six (6) hour training seminar. Proof of CLE attendance must be shown upon completion or panel membership will be reviewed for suspension or termination;
  5. Applicants for the CJA Panel must be members in good standing of the federal bar of this district and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals;
  6. Applicants must be a resident of this district and maintain a primary, satellite, or shared office in this district;
  7. Applicants must possess strong litigation skills and demonstrate proficiency with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, federal sentencing procedures, the Bail Reform Act, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the Federal Rules of Evidence;
  8. Applicants must have significant experience representing persons charged with serious criminal offenses and demonstrate a commitment to the defense of people who lack the financial means to hire an attorney;
  9. A copy of or internet access to the Federal Criminal Code and Rules, United States Sentencing Guidelines, District of Utah Local Rules, and Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure;
  10. CM/ECF and Electronic Notice registration, and computer capability;
  11. Proficiency in managing ESI (electronically stored information); and
  12. Willingness/availability to accept representation in Level B cases which include complex felony cases such as white collar offenses, multi-codefendant drug offenses, and violent felonies.
  13. Attorneys who do not possess the experience set forth above but believe they have equivalent other experience are encouraged to apply and set forth in writing the details of that experience for the CJA Panel Committee’s consideration.

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  or internet access to the Federal Criminal Code and Rules; United States Sentencing Guidelines; District of Local Rules; and Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure;
  3. CM/ECF and Electronic Notice Registration, and computer FAX capability.

LEVEL 4 - Appeals criteria:

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

REQUIREMENTS FOR CONTINUED PANEL MEMBERSHIP

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, and cell phone information.
  2. If the CJA Panel attorney has support staff, 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 commit to insure the presence of the attorney at scheduled hearings.
  3. Inquiries as to the type of case to be assigned ordinarily should not be made.  Absent compelling circumstances, acceptance or non-acceptance of a case may not be made based on the nature or type of case.
  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, they must make all reasonable efforts to have another CJA Panel attorney attend.