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Alexandria Criminal Justice Act Panel

 


 

General Information:

 

  • Composition of the Panel
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • How to Apply for the Panel
  • Removal from the Panel

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    For Attorneys on the Panel:

     

  • Forms for Downloading
  • Client's Financial Affidavit
  • Completing the CJA 20 Voucher
  • Recordkeeping Requirements
  • Time Calculations
  • Non-Reimbursable Time
  • In-Court Payment Rates
  • Out-of-Court Payment Rates
  • Maximum Compensation per Case
  • Prorating Claims for Compensation
  • Expenses
  • Computer-Assisted Legal Research Expenses
  • Subpoenas
  • Transcripts
  • Ex Parte Applications
  • Approval and Payment of Claims
  • Public Disclosure of Final Compensation
  • Who to Contact if You Have Questions
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    Composition of the Panel

     

    The new Alexandria Division's Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel will be composed of 75-90 attorneys in private practice who have indicated they wish to be appointed to represent indigent defendants in criminal cases and will be limited to serve a three-year renewable term..

     

    A separate list of attorneys will serve as CJA lawyers for defendants in capital cases. These attorneys have met the Fourth Circuit's qualifications for representing defendants facing the death penalty, as set forth in the Fourth Circuit Judicial Council Order 113. The same random selection procedure is used to assign counsel in death penalty cases. Attorneys on the death penalty CJA panel may also participate in the regular CJA panel.

     

    District judges may also appoint attorneys who are not on the CJA Panel to represent indigent defendants if such an appointment is "in the interest of justice, judicial economy or continuity of representation or [for] other good cause," according to the Eastern District of Virginia's CJA Plan.

     

    When selected for a case, CJA panel members must personally handle the case. They may not refer the case to another lawyer in their firm without leave of the court.

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    Eligibility Requirements

     

    Attorneys on the CJA Panel must:

     

    • Be members in good standing of the Virginia State Bar.
    • Be admitted to practice before the Eastern District of Virginia.
    • Have practiced law for at least two years.
    • Have represented defendants in at least six felony cases and 12 misdemeanor cases in state or federal court.
    • Be certified to file electronically pursuant to the E-Filing Polcies and Procedures manual.
    • Have knowledgeFederal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, and the Local Rules for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

       

    Once appointed to the Panel, attorneys must:

     

    • Agree to attend a minimum of four hours of continuing legal education relevant to federal criminal defense and to provide an annual certification of completion.

       

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    How to Apply for the Panel

     

    Counsel must submit, via email, a completed initial application and supporting documentation in PDF format to alex_cjapanel@vaed.uscourts.gov.

     

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    Removal from the Panel

     

    Attorneys can be removed from the panel if they:

     

    • Resign from the panel.
    • Retire from the practice of law.
    • Do not meet the panel training requirements.
    • Refer a case to another lawyer in their firm without leave of the court.
    • Refuse three appointments without valid excuses.

     

    Valid excuses include:

     

    • Travel outside the Eastern District of Virginia during the case.
    • Handling another case, the time requirements of which preclude taking on a CJA assignment.
    • Conflicts under the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct.

     

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    Forms for Downloading

     

    CJA forms 20, 21, 24, 30 and 31 may be obtained only from the Clerk's Office, which must fill out portions of the forms. Instructions for these forms appear below. Click on the formats to download the forms.

     

    To download the Adobe Acrobat Reader required to view PDF format forms, please visit the company's web site. (Disclaimer: The Judiciary neither endorses Acrobat Reader, nor exercises any responsibility over Acrobat Reader.)

     

    Form
    Available Formats
    CJA Plan -- Eastern District of Virginia's Plan governing the appointment of CJA attorneys PDF
    Fourth Circuit Judicial Council Order 113 -- Rules governing appointment of counsel in Eastern District of Virginia death penalty cases PDF
    Application for admission to the Alexandria Division CJA Panel
    PDF
    Instructions for filling out CJA Form 20 -- Appointment of and Authority to Pay Court Appointed Counsel Web Page
    Instructions for filling out CJA Form 21 -- Authorization and Voucher for Expert and Other Services Web Page
    CJA Form 23 -- Client's Financial Affidavit
    PDF
    Instructions for filling out CJA Form 24 -- Authorization and Voucher for Payment of Transcript Web Page
    Instructions for filling out CLA Form 30 -- Death Penalty Proceedings: Appointment of and Authority to Pay Court Appointed Counsel Web Page
    Instructions for filling out CJA Form 31 -- Death Penalty Proceedings: Ex Parte Request for Authorization and Voucher for Expert and Other Services Web Page
    Hourly In-Court Worksheet PDF
    Hourly Out-of-Court Worksheet PDF
    Other Expenses Worksheet PDF
    CJA Form 26 --- Supplemental Information Statement for a Compensation Claim In Excess of the Statutory Case Compensation Maximum: District Court
    CJA Form 26A --- Guidance to Attorneys in Drafting the Memorandum Required for a Compensation Claim in Excess of the Case Compensation Maximum: District Court

     

     

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    Client's Financial Affidavit

     

    Your client must fill out a CJA Form 23 - Client's Financial Affidavit prior to his or her first appearance in court.

     

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    Completing the CJA Form 20 Voucher

     

    You must complete CJA Form 20 and return it to the Clerk's Office for processing within 45 days of the completion of all work at the District Court level. Vouchers may be submitted while the case is ongoing only with the judge's permission.

     

    Line-by-line instructions for filling out CJA Form 20 are provided to CJA counsel. You are responsible for completing items 15 thru 22, if applicable to your case. A voucher may not be processed if items 15 and 16, concerning your in-court and out-of-court time, are incomplete.

     

    You may attach computerized billing sheets, provided the time and expense entries are listed separately and categorized in the same way as they are on CJA Form 20.

     

    Counsel should note the date of appointment in the form's item 13. If time is claimed for a date prior to the appointment date, a motion for appointment nunc pro tunc must be filed.

     

    Please note that all vouchers must have the original signature of the appointing officer. If an original has been misplaced, contact the Clerk's Office.

     

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    Recordkeeping Requirements

     

    Counsel must maintain contemporaneous time and attendance records for all work performed including:

     

    • Work performed by associates, partners and support staff.
    • Expense records.

     

    Please note:

     

    • Worksheets are provided to assist counsel.
    • Counsel's time and attendance records are subject to audit and must be retained for three years after approval of the final voucher for an appointment.

     

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    Time Calculations

     

    Time calculations must be in tenths of hours, as indicated on the following table.

     

     

    Minutes
    1-6
    7-12
    13-18
    19-24
    25-30
    31-36
    37-42
    43-48
    49-54
    55-60
    Tenths
    .1
    .2
    .3
    .4
    .5
    .6
    .7
    .8
    .9
    1.0

     

     

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    Non-Reimbursable Time

    Among the kinds of time spent by court-appointed counsel that are not allowable are:

     

    • Time spent preparing the CJA Form 20 voucher.
    • Lunch breaks.
    • Legal research in subject areas with which counsel should be familiar.

     

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    In-Court Payment Rates

     

    Court-appointed counsel will be paid at the following rates for in-court time:

     

     

    Work Performed
    In-Court Rate Per Hour
    Prior to January 1, 2000
    $65
    After January 1, 2000
    $70
    After April 1, 2001
    $75
    After May 1, 2002
    $90
    After January 1, 2006
    $92
    After May 20, 2007
    $94
    After January 1, 2008
    $100
    After March 11, 2009
    $110
    After January 1, 2010
    $125
    After September 1, 2013 $110
    After March 1, 2014 $126

     

     

     

    In-court time is defined as:

     

    • Time counsel are actually talking with a judicial officer, whether in the courtroom, in chambers or by telephone.
    • Waiting for a hearing to commence.
    • Court recesses (excluding lunch breaks, except during jury deliberations).
    • Jury deliberations.

     

    The in-court rate for these examples is premised upon counsel's unavailability to perform work on anything other than the CJA case for which the attorney is required to be at the courthouse.

     

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    Out-of-Court Payment Rates

     

    Court-appointed counsel will be paid at the following rates for out-of-court time:

     

     

    Work Performed
    Out-of-Court Rate per Hour
    Prior to January 1, 2000
    $45
    After January 1, 2000
    $50
    After April 1, 2001
    $55
    After May 1, 2002
    $90
    After January 1, 2006
    $92
    After May 20, 2007
    $94
    After January 1, 2008
    $100
    After March 11, 2009
    $110
    After January 1, 2010
    $125
    After September 1, 2013 $110
    After March 1, 2014 $126

     

     

    Some examples of out-of-court rates include time spent:

     

    • Conferring with counsel, client or witnesses during court breaks.
    • Travel time.
    • Research.
    • Preparation of pleadings and correspondence.

     

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    Maximum Compensation per Case

     

     

    Please see 18 U.S.C. Section 3006A(d)(2) for an outline of the case compensation maximums allowed for various types of representations.  The case compensation maximums only apply to in-court and out-of-court time claimed.

     

     

    Effective March 1, 2014, the case compensation maximums allowed are:

     

     

    If the case involves...
    The case maximum is...
    Felonies (except for capital prosecutions)

    $9,800 for trial court level

    $7,000 for appeal

    Misdemeanors (including petty offenses (class B or C Misdemeanors or infractions as set forth in 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a)(2)(A))

    $2,800 for trial court level

    $7,000 for appeal

    Pre-Trial Diversion

    $9,800 if offense alleged by the U.S. Attorney is a felony

    $2,800 if offense alleged by the U.S. Attorney is a misdemeanor

    Non-Capital Post-Conviction Proceedings under 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241, 2254, 2255

    $9,800 for trial court level

    $7,000 for appeal

    Proceedings under 18 U.S.C. § 983 (for services provided by counsel appointed under 18 U.S.C. 983(b)(1) in connection with certain judicial civil forfeiture proceedings)

    $9,800 for trial court level

    $7,000 for appeal

    Proceedings to Protect Federal Jurors Employment under 28 U.S.C. § 1875

    $9,800 for trial court level

    $7,000 for appeal

    Other Representations Required or Authorized by the CJA including:

    Probation Violation;

    Supervised Release Hearing (for persons charged with a violation of supervised release or facing modification, reduction, or enlargement of a condition or extension or revocation of a term of supervised release);

    Parole Proceedings under 18 U.S.C. chapter 311 (repealed);

    Material Witness in Custody;

    Mental Condition Hearings under 18 U.S.C. chapter 313 (except for hearings under 18 U.S.C. § § 4241 and 4244, which are considered part of the case in chief with no separate compensation maximums applying;

    Civil or Criminal Contempt (where the person faces loss of liberty);

    Witness (before a Grand Jury, a court, the Congress, or a federal agency or commission which has the power to compel testimony, where there is no reason to believe either before or during testimony, that the witness could be subject to a criminal prosecution, a civil or criminal contempt proceeding or face loss of liberty); and International Extradition (under 18 U.S.C. chapter 209).

    Note:  Please contact the Clerk's Office for questions concerning other representations not listed above.

    $2,100 for trial court level

    $2,100 for each level of appeal

     

     

     

    If the court-appointed attorney submits a claim where all services were performed prior to January 1, 2010, the former case compensation maximum for that time period would apply.

     

     

     

     

    If the amount of compensation (excluding expenses) claimed exceeds the case compensation maximum, the voucher must be approved by the Judge assigned to the case and the Chief Judge of the Fourth Circuit.  Court-appointed counsel may also be required to complete a CJA Form 26.

     

     

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    Prorating Claims for Compensation

     

    There may be times when proration of claims is appropriate. Whenever appointed counsel submit separate vouchers:

     

    • Time spent in common on more then one indictment or case must be prorated among the indictments or cases on which the time was spent.
    • Each indictment or case must be cross-referenced on the vouchers.
    • Time spent exclusively on any one indictment or case may properly be charged on the voucher for that indictment or case.

     

    Following is a table outlining appropriate prorations:

     

     

    If.
    Whether or not.
    Then.
    And under (d)(2) of CJA
    A defendant is charged in one indictment with severable counts the counts are severed for trial one voucher would be submitted one maximum is applied.
    A defendant is charged in two or more indictments the indictments are consolidated for trial (other than a superseding indictment or information) a separate voucher should be submitted a separate maximum is applied for each indictment.
    A single counsel is appointed to represent multiple defendants -- Separate vouchers should be submitted for each defendant represented A separate maximum is applied for each defendant.

     

     

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    Expenses

     

    Reimbursement will be allowed for actual (not estimated) expenses. Supporting documentation, such as receipts, must be submitted for single item expenses in excess of $50 (e.g. telephone bills, copy charges, etc.).

     

    Before undertaking extraordinary travel or any travel involving an overnight stay related to CJA representation, the judge handling your case must grant a motion filed by counsel.

     

    Mileage rates are as follows:

     

     

    Dates of Travel
    Rate per Mile
    January 1, 2004 - February 3, 2005
    $0.375
    February 4, 2005 - August 31, 2005
    $0.405
    September 1 , 2005 - December 31, 2005
    $0.485
    Effective January 1, 2006
    $0.445
    Effective February 1, 2007
    $0.485
    Effective March 19, 2008
    $0.505
    Effective August 1, 2008
    $0.585
    Effective February 1, 2009
    $0.55
    Effective January 1, 2010
    $0.50
    Effective January 1, 2011 $0.51
    Effective April 17, 2012 $0.555
    Effective January 1, 2013 $0.565
    Effective January 1, 2014 $0.56

     

     

    Paralegal expenses must be billed on a CJA Form 21. The judge handling your case must approve the expenses by signing Section 15 of the form before it is submitted for payment.

     

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    Computer-Assisted Legal Research Expenses

     

    Computer-assisted legal research may be an allowable expense, provided that the total amount approved for computer-assisted legal research does not exceed the total amount of attorney compensation that reasonably would have been approved if counsel had performed the research manually.

     

    Any voucher including a request for reimbursement of computer-assisted legal research expense must include all of the following:

     

    • A brief statement setting forth the issue or issues that were the subject matter of the research.
    • An estimate of the number of hours of attorney time that would have been required to do the research manually.
    • A copy of the bill and receipt for the use of the equipment or an explanation of the precise basis of the charge.

     

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    Subpoenas

     

    Payment for service of subpoenas is not allowable under CJA. Attorneys must fill out the U.S. Marshal's Form 285 - Process, Receipt and Return Form, which is available from the Clerk's Office. The Clerk's Office will issue the subpoena and give it, along with Form 285, to the U.S. Marshal Service.

     

    The Clerk's Office will not issue subpoenas that require witnesses to travel 100 miles or more, or pay for the travel expenses for a witness, unless an order is first issued by the judge handling your case.

     

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    Transcripts

     

    The CJA Form 20 should not be used to request reimbursement for the cost of transcripts. Attorneys must request a transcript using the CJA Form 24 for authorization and payment of a transcript . Please consult CJA Form 24 instructions when filling out the form. The judge handling your case must approve the expenses by signing Section 16 of the form before it is submitted for payment.

     

     

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    Ex Parte Applications

     

    Counsel is not required to serve opposing counsel with ex parte applications. The application will not be placed under seal without an order of the court.

     

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    Approval and Payment of Claims

     

    Upon receipt by the Clerk's Office of a fully complete and accurate CJA Form 20 voucher, with appropriate attachments, the vouchers are:

     

    • Reviewed for accuracy and completeness.
    • Approved by the District Court judge.
    • Approved by the Chief Judge of the Fourth Circuit, if amounts requested exceed the statutory maximums.
    • Processed and entered into the CJA computer system.

     

    Checks are issued to counsel by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts in Washington, D.C., and will include the docket number and name of the defendant. If the amount of compensation paid is less than that requested, the reason for the reduction will be included on the check.

     

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    Public Disclosure of Compensation

     

    Compensation and expenses paid to CJA attorneys are not disclosed without a court order. If an order is issued, the CJA attorney will be notified prior to the information being disclosed.

     

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    Who to Contact if You Have Questions

     

    CJA Forms & Procedures:
    Clerk's Office Criminal Division
    703-299-2102

     

    Payment Issues:
    Ramona Johnson, Financial Clerk
    U.S. District Court
    401 Courthouse Square
    Alexandria, VA 22314-5798
    (703) 299-2100
    Ramona_Johnson@vaed.uscourts.gov


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