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Alexandria Criminal Justice Act Panel

General Information:

For Attorneys on the Panel:

 


 

Composition of the Panel

The 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.

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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CJA Information and Forms for Downloading

CJA 20, 21, 30, 31, AUTH (expert requests) and AUTH-24 (transcript requests) vouchers are a accessible through CJA eVoucher. Instructions for completing each voucher are available on the CJA eVoucher Resource page.

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
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

The CJA Form 20 voucher must be submitted through CJA eVoucher within 45 days of completion of all work at the District Court level.  Interim vouchers may be submitted only with prior approval from the Judge assigned to the case.

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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:

  • 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
After January 1, 2015 $127
After January 1, 2016 $129
After May 5, 2017 $132
After March 23, 2018 $140
After February 15, 2019 $148

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
After January 1, 2015 $127
After January 1, 2016 $129
After May 5, 2017 $132
After March 23, 2018 $140
After February 15, 2019 $148

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 23, 2018, the case compensation maximums allowed are:

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

$11,500 for trial court level

$8,200 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))

$3,300 for trial court level

$8,200 for appeal

Pre-Trial Diversion

$11,500 if offense alleged by the U.S. Attorney is a felony

$3,300 if offense alleged by the U.S. Attorney is a misdemeanor

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

$11,500 for trial court level

$8,200 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)

$11,500 for trial court level

$8,200 for appeal

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

$11,500 for trial court level

$8,200 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.

$2,500 for trial court level

$2,500 for each level of appeal

If the amount of compensation (excluding expenses) claimed exceeds the case compensation maximum, the voucher must be approved by the presiding Judge assigned to the case and the Chief Judge of the Fourth Circuit. Panel attorneys are required to complete the CJA Form 26 (see CJA Information and Forms for Downloading) and submit it as a supporting document (pdf. version) through CJA eVoucher.

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Prorating Claims for Compensation

There may be occasions when proration of claims is appropriate and necessary, particularly when the court-appointed attorney represents the same defendant named in more than one case.  The following guidelines apply:

  • Time spent while representing a defendant named in more than one case must be prorated.  For example, if the defendant appears at one hearing for a sentencing in one case and a Supervised Release Violation in another case, the in-court time for  both hearings must be prorated.
  • Exclusive time spent on any one case can be claimed for that case only.

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
Effective January 1, 2015 $0.575
Effective January 1, 2016 $0.54
Effective January 1, 2017 $0.535
Effective January 1, 2018 $0.545
Effective January 1, 2019 $0.58

Paralegal services must be claimed on a CJA Form 21.  The court-appointed attorney must seek prior approval from the Judge assigned to the case by filing a motion or submitting the CJA Form 21 after completing sections 12, 13, and 14.

If paralegal services are required, panel attorneys may be required to file a motion. For further information on filing requirements, please contact CJA eVoucher Help Desk for the court where the case is assigned. Panel attorneys are required to submit an AUTH for approval and submit the CJA 21 voucher for compensation through CJA eVoucher.

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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

If the case is pending before the District Court, panel attorneys may be required to file a motion for transcripts. For further information, please contact the CJA eVoucher Help Desk for the court where the case is assigned. Panel Attorneys and Appellate Attorneys are required to submit one AUTH-24 request through CJA eVoucher, regardless of the number of transcripts requested or Official Court Reporters responsible for preparing the transcripts. Upon approval by the Court, the official Court Reporter will submit the CJA 24 voucher for compensation through CJA eVoucher. For additional information, please visit the CJA eVoucher Resource Page.

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Ex Parte Applications

Counsel are 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, through the CJA eVoucher system, complete and accurate vouchers, with appropriate worksheets and receipts, will be:

  • Reviewed for accuracy and completeness, which must also include the court-appointed attorney’s original signature.
  • Reviewed by the Judge assigned to the case.
  • Reviewed by the Chief Judge of the Fourth Circuit, if the amounts claimed exceed the statutory maximums.
  • Processed and entered into the CJA payment system.

The check will be issued by Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts in Washington, D.C., and will include the docket number and name of the defendant.

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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 Policies, Procedures an eVoucher:
Judy Lanham (703) 299-3352
Criminal Division (703) 299-2102

Payment Issues:
Rhonda Broaden, Financial Clerk  (703) 299-2129
Finance Division  (703)-299-2105

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