This page is meant to provide useful information for attorneys who are members or who are interested in becoming members of the Criminal Justice Act panel (“CJA panel”).
The CJA panel consists of attorneys who are authorized to be appointed to represent indigent defendants in federal criminal cases in which the Federal Public Defender’s Office cannot appear (generally because of a conflict). The Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa have separate panels with substantially similar procedures for becoming members. The districts also have separate lists of attorneys for the individual courthouses in each district (Cedar Rapids and Sioux City in the Northern District, and Des Moines, Davenport, and Council Bluffs in the Southern District).
Additionally, each district has recently implemented a training CJA panel. Attorneys on the training panel will represent indigent defendants under the direct supervision of experienced mentor counsel. After excellent service on the training panel, attorneys will be eligible to advance to the regular CJA panel. The training panel is designed to attract qualified but less experienced attorneys to indigent criminal defense, ensuring high-quality representation for indigent federal defendants in the years to come.
The CJA Plan for each district spells out the various rules relating to service on the CJA panel. Those rules cover, among other matters, the process for selection of panel attorneys, the appointment of CJA counsel in individual cases, and the compensation of CJA counsel. Appendix II to each plan provides the rules related to selection for and service on the training CJA panel.
If you have any questions about the CJA panel, the training CJA panel, or any other CJA-related matter, please contact Federal Defender Brad Hansen.