Position Information

Position Information
Criminal Justice Act ("CJA") Panel
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington (“WAED”) is seeking attorney applicants for its Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”) Panel and its Mentorship Program. The Sixth Amendment states: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury … and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.” In a landmark case, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held that, in criminal cases, states are required under the U.S. Constitution to provide an attorney to defendants who are unable to afford their own attorneys. Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963).

Enacted in 1964, the Criminal Justice Act (18 U.S. Code § 3006A) established a comprehensive system for appointing and compensating legal representation for accused persons who are financially unable to retain counsel in federal criminal proceedings. The act provides that each United States district court, with the approval of the judicial council of the circuit, shall place in operation throughout the district a plan for furnishing representation for any person financially unable to obtain adequate representation. Representation under each plan shall include counsel and investigative, expert, and other services necessary for adequate representation. The Eastern District of Washington’s current CJA Plan is available HERE.

The act also provides that lawyers furnishing representation under the plan shall be selected from a panel of attorneys designated or approved by the court, and that private attorneys shall be appointed in a substantial proportion of the cases. The WAED CJA Plan provides that attorneys who serve on the CJA Panel must maintain an office in the WAED or Northern Idaho. Attorneys must have knowledge of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Federal Rules of Evidence, the United States Sentencing Guidelines, the Bail Reform Act, and the local criminal rules and procedures. In general, candidates should possess strong litigation experience and skills; practiced law for at least three years; and tried at least two felony jury cases to verdict in either state or federal court. Application forms for membership on the CJA Panel are available online HERE.

The WAED also maintains a Mentorship Program which allows mentees the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience in the practice of federal criminal defense, with the goal that the mentee will successfully apply to become a member of the CJA Panel. Mentors are experienced and respected members of the CJA Panel who have been approved to mentor attorneys who have less experience, particularly in federal court. The mentor is the primary attorney and, therefore, is responsible for the representation to both the CJA client and the court. The mentor trains and supervises the mentee during each stage of the assigned federal criminal case. The mentee is appointed as co-counsel and is expected to appear and argue as counsel for the defendant, with the mentor present. Mentees are given access the court’s electronic fee payment system (“eVoucher”); training is provided by the court’s CJA Clerks. The mentee hourly rate is slightly lower than the CJA Panel member rate. Mentees are also given free access to PACER and will have an account with the court’s electronic document filing system (“CM/ECF”). Mentees typically serves in the training capacity for one year or through one jury trial, whichever comes first, unless the court determines that the mentee needs additional training or experience. Applications for the Mentorship Program available online HERE.

For additional information please visit the court’s website HERE.
Position: Criminal Justice Act ("CJA") Panel
Organization: United States District Court Eastern District of Washington
Location: Spokane,  WA 
United States
Salary: 0
Posting Start Date: 6/26/2024
Date Posted: 6/26/2024
Status: This listing expires on: 8/25/2024
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Organization Information
United States District Court Eastern District of Washington
P.O. BOX 1493

Spokane,  WA 99210
United States
(509) 458-3423
Darrel J. Gardner