Dear CJA Panel Attorney:
Beginning the week of Monday, September 21, the Clerk's office will begin piloting a new program of random attorney assignment to CJA panel attorneys during certain duty weeks. The goal of the system is to ensure random and even appointment among all lead panel attorneys in the Eastern Division. You will be informed at the beginning of any duty week to which this new process applies; the week of Monday, September 21 being the first such week.
During weeks when this new process applies, you should be prepared to receive and accept CJA appointments by e-mail (see a copy of the draft e-mail you will receive below from the Clerk's finance office to determine your availability for appointment). The e-mail will show you the details of the appointment. After reviewing the case you should hit "reply all" and put "accept" or "decline" in the subject of your e-mail, as well as in the body of your e-mail.
You should only decline those cases where there is a direct conflict of time with the next appearance or where there is a client conflict with the defendant. If you do not have a conflict but are experiencing a high volume of cases, you will be asked to provide a time period (this period should be 5 days or longer) where you will be removed from random appointments. (See the attached form for requesting a holding period.) If you decline the case, please state with specificity the reasons for your denial so that your responses can be reviewed for future applications to the CJA panel.
Once you accept the case, you will receive an e-mail notifying you of your appointment and you may proceed as normal with the case at that point; you will be using the eVoucher system to document your expenses thereafter.
Please contact the Clerk's office in the same manner as you would for other CJA related questions, if you have any questions or concerns about this new process.