CJA Resources


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”).

Basic Information

The CJA panel consists of attorneys who are authorized to be appointed to represent indigent defendants in federal criminal cases in which the Federal Defender office has a conflict.  The Eastern and Southern Districts of New York have separate panels with different procedures for becoming members.  The districts also have separate lists of attorneys for the two courthouses in each district (Brooklyn and Cental Islip in the EDNY, and Manhattan and White Plains in the SDNY).

The “CJA Plan” for each district spells out the various rules relating to service on the CJA panel.  Looking for the perfect MBA application essay? Here we are to give you exactly what you need. All your requirements and needs will be met by all means. No more hesitation, call the professionals right now if the quality is what you need! Those rules cover, among others, the process for selection of panel attorneys, the appointment of CJA counsel in individual cases, compensation of CJA counsel, and the use of experts and other services in CJA cases.

The CJA plans and additional information about applying to the panels can be found at the websites of the two districts.

For the EDNY, go to:  https://www.nyed.uscourts.gov/criminal-justice-act-info

For the SDNY, go to:  http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/cja.php

Federal Defender Sponsored Training Programs

Fighting Juvenile Transfers: From Legal Challenges to Mitigation Presentation
September 27, 2017

For a detailed agenda and training materials, click here
For additional materials, click here


Alternatives to Incarceration: POP, SOS and STAR Courts
July 26, 2017

For a detailed agenda and training materials, click here


Sentencing Guidelines
Update
June 15, 2017

Followed by an update on Johnson and crimes of violence.

For a detailed agenda and training materials, click here


Recognizing and Confronting Bias: A Defender's Guide
May 12, 2017

Roughly three-quarters of federal defendants in our districts are people of color.  Regardless of our own race, we all carry biases that may affect our representation.  In addition, we need to be familiar with the biases that many of our clients face from others in the criminal justice system and consider ways to combat them.  We have two outstanding speakers who are widely considered national experts on the topic:  Song Richardson, law professor at UC Irvine, and Jeffery Robinson, Deputy Legal Director at the ACLU.

For a detailed agenda and training materials, click here

Defending a Capital Case: Strategies and Lessons for All Cases
March 27, 2017

Is the de facto moratorium on federal capital cases in this area over?  What will it mean to defend a potential capital case in the age of Trump and Sessions?  How can lessons from potential capital cases help you in your non-capital casework?  As our districts see an increasein big gang cases that include potential capital charges, even attorneys who are not on the Capital Case Panel may find themselves handling potential capital charges.  This program will focus on what to do when you are assigned a potential capital case and will contain insights that will be useful in your non-capital practice as well.

We will review how to assemble a diverse, effective team and how to develop your budget when you are assigned a potential capital case.  We will examine current DOJ capital case protocol, including pre-indictment “fast track” review of whether DOJ will seek the death penalty, as well as new challenges to the federal death penalty such as the litigation in United States v. Donald Fell in the District of Vermont.  We will discuss how to proceed ex parte on expert and investigative appointments. Finally, we will highlight the role of the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project and local and national training opportunities. 

For detailed agenda and training materials: click here


The Write Stuff: A Training Program on Effective Writing and Storytelling Techniques

February 23, 2017

Do your sentencing submissions all begin “I write on behalf of my client”? Does the factual background portion of the submission begin with your client’s birthday? Do you feel like judges have a hard time understanding who your client really is? Do you wish your sentencing submissions read more like a New Yorker article and less like a Presentence Report? Then this CLE program is for you.

For detailed agenda and training materials: click here


How Do I Tell If All Is Not Well?: Indentifying, Evaluating & Representing Defendants with Mental Health Issues

October 24, 2016

A panel of experienced mental health and legal professionals will be presenting and taking questions at the Eastern District of New York courthouse to help attorneys identify and work with clients with intellectual difficulties and mental health issues. Attorneys will receive two credit hours (see below), but social workers, interns, and paralegals are also welcome to attend. 

For detailed agenda and training materials: click here
For additional bibliography: click here


Unraveling DNA Evidence

October 7, 2016

The attorneys of the DNA unit of the Legal Aid Society are the city’s foremost experts in litigating the limits and admissibility of DNA evidence prepared by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. In this CLE, they will provide a simple, practical guide to unraveling DNA evidence. The program will focus on the basic issues raised by DNA evidence, such as the presence of multiple contributors of DNA and transference of DNA, as well as the limits of DNA evidence. The program will cover the procedures followed by the New York Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in analyzing DNA samples and the documents created during the process that attorneys should obtain in discovery.

For detailed agenda and training materials: click here


Criminal Practice in the Information
Age
June 6, 2016

The CJA Committee for the Eastern District of New York, together with Federal Defenders of New York, Inc. present a program on the challenges of criminal practice in the information age. Our panel presentation will cover issues such as seizure and forensic search of smartphones and other mass storage devices; continuing quandaries of location tracking; the application of Fourth Amendment doctrine, warrant rules and statutes to new technology; and “cybercrimes” as traditional fraud and theft charges in new contexts. 

For detailed agenda and training materials: click here

Fighting Sentencing Enhancements in a Post-Johnson World
April 14, 2016

Since last fall’s CLE program on Johnson v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 2551 (2015) and Descamps v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2276 (2013), courts around the country have weighed in on the effect of Johnson when it comes to categorizing offenses as crimes of violence for the purpose of the Armed Career Criminal Act; 18 U.S.C. 924(c); and United States Sentencing Guidelines provisions covering Career Offenders, gun possession, and illegal reentry. In this CLE, four attorneys from the Federal Defenders of New York will walk us through the current legal landscape on these issues, including the proposed amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines. They will present strategic arguments that counsel can make in challenging whether prior offenses, such as various degrees of robbery in New York State, and current offenses, such as brandishing a gun in connection with a conspiracy to commit a Hobbs Act Robbery, constitute crimes of violence.

For detailed agenda and training materials: click here

 

Challenging "Crimes of Violence/Violent Felonies" after United States v. Johnson
November 6, 2015

A Training program on The Law and Practice of applying the Supreme Court’s Decisions in United States v. Johnson and Descamps v. United States.

For detailed agenda: click here


"Bail me out:" A CLE Program on the Law and Practice of Release from Custody in Federal Criminal Cases
January 16, 2014

For detailed agenda and training materials: click here


Pre-Trial Advocacy: Programs, Benefits, & Improved
Outcomes
Co-sponsored by the Second Circuit Judicial Council
June 7, 2013

For detailed agenda and training materials: click here


Demystifying the BOP: Time Computation & Designation Procedures, Primary Jurisdiction, and Undischarged Time Under 5G3.1

December 7, 2012

For detailed agenda and training materials: click here


Non-Capital Sentencing Mitigation

Co-sponsored by the Second Circuit Judicial Council
June 18, 2012

This half-day program focused on effective sentencing advocacy and featured three parts: 1) a view from the bench with Second Circuit Judge Denny Chin, District Judge Deborah Batts (SDNY), and District Judge John Gleeson (EDNY); 2) Developing Mitigating Information with the Federal Defender’s Director of Social Work, Heidi van Es and Private Investigator Ed Webster; and 3) Presenting Mitigation with
Paula Xinis, Esq.

For detailed agenda: click here
For program materials: click here


Adobe Acrobat Pro Training

Co-sponsored by the Second Circuit Judicial Council

March 15 and 16, 2012. 

These two all-day trainings were organized by Jerry Tritz, the Second Circuit CJA Case Budgeting Attorney.  Each day was dedicated to a different version of Adobe Acrobat Pro, an invaluable tool for attorneys needing to organize e-discovery.


Capital Case Training
Co-sponsored by The Training Branch of the Office of Defender Services and The Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project
December 2, 2011

This all-day training covered the basics of representing clients accused of federal capital crimes.  Because counsel in non-capital cases are increasingly facing the possibility of superseding capital charges, all CJA counsel are encouraged to be familiar with the basics of capital case work.

For detailed agenda: click here

Useful Links

Second Circuit Blog:  http://blog.federaldefendersny.org/

This blog is maintained by Federal Defender attorneys and provides summaries of recent Second Circuit cases relating to federal criminal law.

Federal Defender website:  http://www.fd.org/

The website of the Office of Defender Services Training Branch covers a wide variety of topics useful to federal criminal practitioners.

Sentencing Law and Policy blog, a.k.a. “Berman’s Blog”:  http://sentencing.typepad.com/

This blog run by Professor Doug Berman is a great resource for all things related to sentencing.

The Sentencing Resource Counsel Project:  http://www.src-project.org/

The SRC Project's website makes available a large number of documents and materials from the public record of the USSC that are not currently available on its website and are otherwise difficult to obtain.

 Immigrant Defense Project:  http://immigrantdefenseproject.org/

The IDP is a non-profit organization dedicated to immigrants’ rights.  One of its core missions is to assist criminal defense attorneys representing non-citizen clients.  They have a hotline that anyone can call for assistance:  212-725-6422.

 United States Sentencing Commission website:  http://www.ussc.gov/

The USSC site is particularly helpful in gathering statistics and keeping up to date about changes in the Guidelines and proposals for future changes.

 Bureau of Prisons website:   http://www.ussc.gov/

        You may use this site to find federal inmates and to learn about specific facilities.

 Families Against Mandatory Minimums:  http://www.famm.org/

If you are interested in policy and advocacy related to mandatory minimum sentences, this is one of the leading organizations.  The site also provides useful statistics.