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Norfolk/Newport News Criminal Justice Act Panel

General Information:

For Attorneys on the Panel:

 


Composition of the Panel

An attorney who aspires to be added to the Norfolk/Newport News CJA Panel List, and meets the eligibility requirements, shall submit an application to the CJA Committee. The chair of the CJA Committee will recommend attorneys for membership on the division’s respective CJA Panel after receiving recommendations from the CJA Committee. The chief judge or other designated judge will appoint or reappoint attorneys to the CJA Panel after considering the recommendation. When an attorney has been appointed, his or her name is added to the Norfolk/Newport News CJA Panel List.

When a Judge approves and orders the appointment of an attorney for an indigent defendant, the Clerk’s Office makes a selection from the CJA Panel List. At that time, a CJA Form 20 (or CJA Form 30 for capital appointments) and worksheets are prepared by the Clerk’s Office and accessible through CJA eVoucher.

Once selected, the CJA panel attorney must personally handle the case. CJA panel attorneys are not permitted to refer the case to a colleague in their law firm without prior approval of the Judge assigned to the case.

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Eligibility Requirements

CJA Panel Attorneys are required to:

  • Be a member of the Virginia State Bar in good standing.
  • Be admitted to practice before the Eastern District of Virginia and the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • Be certified for electronic case filing.
  • Maintain a primary, satellite, or shared office in the Eastern District of Virginia.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If an attorney does not possess the experience above but believes he or she has equivalent other experience, he or she is encouraged to apply and provide in writing the details of that experience for the CJA Committee consideration.

Once appointed to the CJA Panel List, attorneys are required to:

  • Attend five (5) continuing legal education hours relevant to federal criminal practice annually.
  • Promptly notify the Clerk's Office in writing with regard to change of law firm, mailing address, telephone number, or IRS reporting status. 

CJA Panel List attorneys are expected to:

  • Remain current with developements in federal criminal defense law, practice, and procedure, including the Recommendation for Electronically Stored Information (ESI) Discovery Production in Federal Criminal Cases.
  • Attend training sessions sponsored by the Federal Public Defense Organization, the Federal Bar Association, and the court.

*Failure to comply with these training and legal education requirements may be grounds for removal from the CJA Panel.

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Terms and Reappointment

Attorneys admitted to membership on the CJA Panel will serve for a term of three years, subject to the reappointment procedures below. There is no limit on the number of terms a Panel attorney may serve.

Procedures for Reappointment:

  • The court will notify CJA panel members, before the expiration of their current term, of the need to apply for reappointment to the CJA Panel.
  • A member of the CJA Panel who wishes to be considered for reappointment must apply for appointment to an additional term at least three months prior to the expiration of his or her current term.
  • The CJA Committee will solicit input concerning the quality of representation provided by lawyers seeking reappointment.
  • The CJA Committee also will consider how many cases the CJA panel member has accepted and declined during the review period, whether the member has participated in training opportunities, whether the member has been the subject of any complaints, and whether the member continues to meet the eligibility requirements of CJA panel members.
  • The CJA Committee will recommend to the chief judge whether applicants for reappointment should remain a member of the Panel. The chief judge or the designated judge will make final decisions on reappointment to the Panel.
  • If an attorney decides not to reapply, or is not selected for reappointment, and is involved with appointed representation of a defendant in an ongoing matter, the attorney shall continue the representation until the case is concluded unless otherwise ordered by the judge presiding.

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Duties of Panel Members

Panel members must maintain the following standards and professional conduct:

  • CJA panel members must provide high quality representation consistent with the best practices of the legal profession and commensurate with those services rendered when counsel is privately retained.
  • CJA panel members must conform to the highest standards of professional conduct, including but not limited to Local Criminal Rule 57.4(I).
  • CJA panel members must notify within 30 days the chair of the CJA Committee when any licensing authority, grievance committee, or administrative body has taken action against them, or when a finding of contempt, sanction, or reprimand has been issued against the panel member by any state or federal court.

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CJA Committee

The CJA Panel Committee (“CJA Committee”) is comprised of one district judge, one magistrate judge, one federal public defender attorney, two CJA Panel attorneys, and an ex officio staff member employed by the clerk.

The duties of the CJA Committee are as follows:

  • Examine the qualifications of applicants for membership on the CJA Panel and recommend to the chief judge the approval of those attorneys who are deemed qualified and the rejection of the applications of those attorneys deemed unqualified.
  • Engage in recruitment efforts to establish a diverse panel and ensure that all qualified attorneys are encouraged to participate in the furnishing of representation in CJA cases.
  • Review the operating and administration of the CJA Panel over the preceding year, and recommend any necessary or appropriate changes to the chief judge concerning:
    • The size of the CJA Panel;
    • The recruitment of qualified and diverse attorneys; and
    • Recurring issues or difficulties encountered by panel members or their CJA clients.
  • Recommend to the chief judge the removal of any CJA panel member who:
    • Fails to satisfactorily fulfill the requirements of CJA panel membership during their term of service; or
    • Has engaged in other conduct such that his or her continued service on the CJA Panel is inappropriate.
  • When requested by any judge, magistrate judge, or CJA Panel Attorney, review and make recommendations on the processing and payment of CJA vouchers in those cases where the court, for reasons other than mathematical errors, is considering authorizing payment for less than the amount of compensation claimed by CJA counsel.
    • Counsel will be notified of the potential voucher reduction and given the opportunity to provide information or documentation relevant to the voucher and concerns raised by the judge. The CJA Committee will issue a written recommendation to the judge.
  • Appoint experienced CJA panel members to serve on a subcommittee to create and administer a mentoring program designed to identify and help prepare viable candidates to qualify for consideration for appointment to the CJA Panel.

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Removal from the Panel

Attorneys will be immediately removed from the panel if:

  • Their bar license is suspended or revoked.
  • They are suspended or disbarred from this court or any federal court.

Attorneys can be removed from the panel if :

  • They submit their resignation in writing.
  • They retire from practicing law.
  • The do not seek reappointment.

Disciplinary Review: The CJA Committee will conduct an automatic disciplinary review of any CJA panel member against whom any licensing authority, grievance committee, or administrative body has taken action, or when a finding of probable cause, contempt, sanction, or reprimand has been issued against the panel member by any state or federal court.

Complaint Process: A complaint against a panel member may be initiated by the CJA Committee, a district or magistrate judge, a defendant, or the Federal Public Defender Organization. A complaint need not follow any particular form, but it must be in writing and state the alleged deficiency with specificity. Any complaint should be directed to the CJA Committee, which will recommend to the chief judge whether further investigation is necessary.

  • Notice: When conducting an investigation, the CJA Committee will notify the panel member of the specific allegations.
  • Response: A panel member subject to investigation may respond in writing and appear, if so directed, before the CJA Committee or its subcommittee.
  • Protective Action: Prior to the disposition of any complaint, the CJA Committee may recommend temporary suspension or removal of the panel member from any pending case, or from the panel, and may take any other protective action that is in the best interest of the client or administration of the CJA Plan.
  • Review and Recommendation: After investigation, the CJA Committee may recommend dismissing the complaint, or recommend appropriate remedial action, including removing the attorney from the panel, limiting the attorney’s participation to particular types or categories of cases, directing the attorney to complete specific CLE requirements before receiving further panel appointments, limiting the attorney’s participation to handling cases that are directly supervised or overseen by another panel member or other experienced practitioner, or any other appropriate remedial action.
  • Final Disposition by the Court: The CJA Committee will forward its recommendation to the chief judge for consideration and final disposition.
  • Confidentiality: Unless otherwise directed by the court, any information acquired concerning any possible disciplinary action, including any complaint and any related proceeding, will be confidential.

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Training Resources

CJA panel members are encouraged to take advantage of online training resources provided by the Defender Services Office, United States Sentencing Commission, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and other resource providers. Some helpful links to training resources are:

Defender Services Office – FD.org; https://www.fd.org/program-materials-and-videos

            New Attorney Training – https://www.fd.org/cja-resources/new-attorney-training

United States Sentencing Commission - USSC.gov; https://www.ussc.gov/education

            Federal Sentencing, The Basics – https://www.ussc.gov/product-type/elearning

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers – NACDL.org

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Mentoring Program

The CJA Mentoring Program is designed to promote diversity and ensure quality representation for all defendants. The program is specifically designed to identify and help prepare candidates to qualify for consideration for appointment to the CJA Panel. The program provides a mentoring program for a limited number of panel applicants who meet all panel qualifications but do not yet have sufficient federal court experience and expertise to qualify for membership on the panel.

For more details on the CJA Mentoring Program, click here.

To apply to the CJA Mentoring Program, please complete the appropriate application:

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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.

In order to view a form in PDF, you must download Adobe Acrobat Reader to your personal computer.  For more information, please visit the company's website. (Disclaimer: the Judiciary neither endorses Acrobat Reader, nor exercises any responsibility over Acrobat Reader.)

Form File Format
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 Norfolk / Newport News 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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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

Attorneys 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 the final voucher for the appointment has been approved.

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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 13 -48 49 54 55 -60
Tenths .1 .2 .3 .4 .5 .6 .7 .8 .9 1.0

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Non-Reimbursable Time

Non-Reimbursable time includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Time spent preparing the CJA Form 20 voucher.
  • Meal 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 14, 2019 $148
After January 1, 2020 $152

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.

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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 14, 2019 $148
After January 1, 2020 $152

Examples of out-of-court services include:

  • Interviews and conferences with counsel, client and witnesses, including during court recesses.
  • Travel time, excluding travel time to and from the Norfolk or Newport News courthouse.
  • Legal research, brief writing, and preparation of correspondence.
  • Investigative and other approved work.

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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 February 15, 2019, the case compensation maximums allowed are:

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

$11,800 for trial court level

$8,400 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))

$3,400 for trial court level

$8,400 for appeal

Pre-Trial Diversion

$11,800 if offense alleged by the U.S. Attorney is a felony

$3,400 if offense alleged by the U.S. Attorney is a misdemeanor

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

$11,800 for trial court level

$8,400 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)

$11,800 for trial court level

$8,400 for appeal

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

$11,800 for trial court level

$8,400 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 for all counts. 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 Criminal Information) A separate voucher would be submitted for each case. A separate maximum is applied for each case.

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Expenses

Reimbursement of expenses will be allowed for actual (not estimated) expenses. Supporting documentation, such as receipts, must be submitted for single item expenses in excess of $50.00 (e.g., telephone bills, copy charges, etc.).

Before undertaking extraordinary travel or any travel involving an overnight stay related to CJA representation, the court-appointed attorney must file a motion and receive prior approval from the Judge assigned to the case.

Court-appointed counsel will be reimbursed the following mileage rates:

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
Effective January 1, 2020 $0.575

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 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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Investigative, Expert, and Other Services

Counsel for a person who is financially unable to obtain investigative, expert, or other services necessary for an adequate defense may request such services in an ex parte application to the court as provided in 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(e)(1), regardless of whether counsel is appointed under the CJA. Upon finding that the services are necessary, and that the person is financially unable to obtain them, the court must authorize counsel to obtain the services.

The requests for authorization of funds for investigative, expert, and other services must be submitted in an ex parte application to the court and will not be disclosed except with the consent of counsel for the defendant or as required by law or court order.

Requests for payment for investigative, expert, or other services must be claimed on CJA Form 21.

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 Subpoenas

Court-appointed attorneys are required to file a motion for the issuance of a witness subpoena or subpoena duces tecum.  Once the motion is granted, the Clerk's Office will prepare the subpoena and forward it to the U.S. Marshals Service for process of service.

The Clerk's Office will not issue subpoenas that require witnesses to travel in excess of 100 miles, or pay for the travel expenses for a witness, unless the court-appointed attorney seeks prior approval from the Judge assigned to the 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 click here:

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Ex Parte Applications

Counsel is not required to serve opposing counsel with ex parte applications.  Therefore, a Certificate of Service is not required.  The ex parte application will not be placed under seal without an order entered by the Judge assigned to the case.

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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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Voucher Review

In the event that a CJA Panel Attorney is contacted by the Court regarding a potential voucher reduction, the CJA Panel Attorney should first attempt to resolve the voucher dispute with the presiding judge. If after making a bona fide effort to resolve the voucher dispute it remains unresolved to the satisfaction of the CJA Panel Attorney, then after receiving a 10-day notice from the presiding judge, the CJA Panel Attorney may request, in writing, review of the voucher by the CJA Committee. If the CJA Panel Attorney does not submit a written request for review within 10 days of such notice, then the presiding judge may take final action on the voucher. In order to invoke a voucher review, the CJA Panel Attorney must submit the request for review in writing via email to NorfolkNNews_CJA_Committee@vaed.uscourts.gov, which shall include all information and documentation that the CJA Panel Attorney deems relevant to the voucher and concerns raised by the presiding judge.

The CJA Committee will issue a written recommendation to the presiding judge; however, the presiding judge retains final authority to approve vouchers.

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Public Disclosure of Compensation

Compensation and expenses paid to court-appointed attorneys are never disclosed without a court order. If an order is issued, the CJA attorney will be notified prior to the release of any information.

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Who to Contact if You Have Questions

CJA Policies, Procedures, Payment issues and CJA eVoucher:

Angela Farlow, Supervising Deputy Clerk (757) 222-7202
Lisa Tyree, Financial Deputy Clerk (757) 222-7253

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