Assistant Federal Defender Selected As A United States Magistrate Judge

It is official for Sarah Merriam. Here is a link to the press release on her appointment.
Press Release

Courtroom Technology

The District Court has created a new technology section to showcase and provide information on the electronic courtrooms.

This new section adds details about courtroom technology and where it can be located in each of our district's courtrooms. In addition to the new details, a downloadable PDF has been made available for each courtroom.

This new section can be accessed from the main website under the "For Attorneys" section or directly through this link: http://www.ctd.uscourts.gov/courtroom-technology

CJA Quarterly Newsletter

Audrey Felsen has published the June edition of the CJA Panel Quarterly.
Click to download Volume III Number 12

2015 AFD Position Announcement

The Office of the Federal Defender for the District of Connecticut has an opening for a temporary Assistant Federal Defender from January 2015 for six months with the possibility that the position may become permanent. The Federal Defender operates under authority of the Criminal Justice Act, U.S.C. § 3006A, to provide defense services to indigent persons in federal criminal cases. The position is at will and not covered by the Civil Service Act.

Click to view complete description

Support Court Training Event

There is a training event being held August 28, 2014 at 3:30 PM in room 137 at the New Haven courthouse. The material for the session is available on the Training page (login required).

Support Court Article on NPR

If you are interested, Lucy Napathanchil from All Things Considered on NPR ran a story this morning on Support Court. She came to a couple of support court sessions in Hartford, and then she followed up by interviewing clients and judges.

Here is a link to the article: http://wnpr.org/post/support-courts-offer-second-chance-defendants

CJA Quarterly Newsletter

Audrey Felsen has published the June edition of the CJA Panel Quarterly.
Click to download Volume III Number 11

CJA Quarterly Newsletter

Audrey Felsen has published the March edition of the CJA Panel Quarterly.
Click to download Volume III Number 10

NHCCC Lockdown

New Haven Community Correction Center (Whalley Jail), is in a facility Lock-Down effective today Monday March 3, 2014 through Thursday March 7, 2014. The will inform us as soon as the facility Lock-Down is complete.
They will not be able to accommodate any privileged phone calls at this time. They also will be very limited with Privileged/Professional visiting space, but expect long delays.
Please inform your staff, or any effected third parties.

CJA Quarterly Newsletter

Audrey Felsen has published the December edition of the CJA Panel Quarterly.
Click to download Volume III Number 9

Office Schedule

In the event of a government shutdown on October 1, 2013, the federal Judiciary and the Federal Defender Office will remain open for business for approximately 10 business days. On or around October 15, 2013, the Judiciary will reassess its situation and provide further guidance.

CJA Tech Training Postponed

The tech training sessions scheduled for October 8,9 & 10 are being postponed due to low registration and a schedule conflict with the CJA e-Voucher training.

New dates and times will be posted on the website and sent out to this list. We are looking to offer these some time in the spring of 2014.

CJA Quarterly Newsletter

Audrey Felsen has published the latest edition of the CJA Panel Quarterly.
Click to download Volume III Number 8

CJA Training

There will be a CJA Seminar on September 20 at 2 pm in the Jury Assembly room in the New Haven Courthouse. Jerry Tritz, who does case budgeting and excess voucher review in the Second Circuit, will address you on how to get paid, how to avoid common voucher mistakes, what to expect with the new electronic voucher system, what is appropriate to include in your vouchers (and what is not), how to bill for an associate, how to handle billing in large discovery cases, and other payment related questions. He will try to answer questions you have.

87 Chief District Judges put Congress on notice

Including the territories, there are 94 U.S. District Courts. The Chief Judges of 87 of them sent a letter dated August 13, 2013, to Congress detailing the impact that flat funding of the last few years, followed by sequestration, is having on the Judiciary's ability to carry out its constitutional and statutory responsibilities. Identical letters were sent to the House and Senate leadership, and key members of the House and Senate Judiciary and Appropriations Committees.

The substance of the letter reads this way: Read the full article at Hercules and the umpire

Senators Hear About the Courts and Sequestration-CSPAN Video

The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Bankruptcy examines the impact of the sequester on the justice system. Chair Chris Coons (D-DE) hears from an appeals judge,...

Video avaiable on CSPAN

More Sequestration Articles

Here are links to two additional articles on how sequestration is impacting the federal defender offices.

Justice Sequestered via the New York Times

Sequestration's Biggest Victim: The Public Defender System via the Huffington Post

Federal Defender Sequestration Article

A letter to the Connecticut Law Tribune by our Federal Defender, Terence Ward, discussing the effects of sequestration on the Federal Defender Offices was published today. Please read the full article by following the link below.
Opinion: Federal Public Defender's Office Hit Hard By Cuts

Additionally, here is the editorial piece from the July 8 issue of the Connecticut Law Tribune discussing the sequestration effects on the Federal Defender Office.

Editorial:The Injustice Of Sequestration

Multi-Track Federal Criminal Defense Seminar

Registration is now open to federal defender staff and CJA Panel attorneys for the FY 2013 Multi-Track Federal Criminal Defense Seminar being held August 8-10, 2013 in Buffalo, NY. As with all of our training programs, there is no registration fee. The program will begin Thursday morning, August 8th and end by mid-afternoon on Saturday, August 10th. A limited amount of financial assistance is available to qualifying CJA panel attorneys to cover a portion of travel costs. A financial assistance application is available on the training page of the our web site, www.fd.org, where interested people can also register. Please make your staff and CJA panel aware of this training opportunity, which has received excellent reviews in the past.

Please visit: http://www.fd.org/navigation/training-events/combined-fdo-panel-attorney-programs

The Multi-Track Seminar offers in-depth instruction in a variety of areas of federal criminal practice. This year the tracks will be:

Forensics, including, among other topics, an Overview of the Law Since the NAS Report; DNA for Dummies; Ballistics; Toolmark Evidence; Arson; Reading the Medical Examiner's Report; Eyewitness Identification; and Hair and Fiber Evidence.

Mental Health and Mitigation, which will cover identifying, developing, and understanding mental health and mitigation, including relevant changes in "to-be published" DSM-5 that practitioners may encounter in their practice, and with an emphasis on the importance of mental health symptoms and history, all of which are critical to the effective representation of clients throughout a case.

Digital Age Litigation - What Do All the Advances Mean? - which will focus on the digital aspects of federal criminal litigation, including GPS, pinging, Fourth Amendment issues, and electronically stored information.

Fundamentals of a Federal Criminal Case, which is designed as an overview for new (and not so new) federal CJA practitioners; this program addresses topics that are essential to defending clients in federal criminal cases, including the basics of working up a federal criminal case, release issues, sentencing guidelines, and beyond.

For questions about the substance of the seminar, please contact Frank Draper at Frank_Draper@ao.courts.gov; for questions about logistics, please contact Jenna Shepard at Jenna_Shepard@ao.uscourts.gov.

Idaho Federal Defender Wants to Drop Case Due to Sequestration

A federal public defender in Idaho wants a judge to find another lawyer for an Uzbek national charged with aiding a terrorist group and training others in how to build and use a weapon of mass destruction.

Read the full article on NPR

CJA Quarterly Newsletter

Audrey Felsen has published the latest edition of the CJA Panel Quarterly.
Click to download Volume III Number 7

CJA Training on Support Court/ Pretrial Diversion

Just a reminder that there will be a CJA Training on Support Court including a discussion of its three current forms -- (1) as part of pretrial diversion; (2) post plea, pre-sentence; and (3) post conviction. This program will also cover pretrial diversion procedures generally.

The program will be June 11 and start at 3:00 pm in Room 137 of the New Haven Courthouse (141 Church Street, New Haven). The presentation will not be long, but there will be time for discussion and questions. I have reserved the room from 3-5 pm.

Training materials are available on the training page. Login is required to access the materials.

Federal Courts Ask for Emergency Funding

Federal courts officials have asked the White House for emergency funding, saying the judiciary does not have the budget flexibility to absorb the large mandatory budget cuts that have caused furloughs in the nation's federal public defender and court offices.
Continue reading at the Legaltimes blog.

CT Federal Defender Offices Feel Budget Cuts

The Federal Defender offices in CT have also been impacted by the sequestration budget cuts.

Read full article at the New Haven Register

Federal Defender Retires to Avert Layoffs

Western Missouri's top federal public defender has resigned, saying he did so to prevent laying off other lawyers in his office who also defend poor clients.
Ray Conrad, who has led the federal public defender’s office since 1980, blamed his earlier-than-planned retirement on the federal sequester, which has left his office short of the resources needed to defend clients charged with crimes in federal court.

Continue to original article at the Kansas City Star

Budget Cuts: The Devastating Impact On Indigent Federal Criminal Defense

Sequestration has resulted in substantial cuts to the Defender Services budget for fiscal year 2013, which ends September 30th. Congress has passed a spending measure that will finance the government for the remainder of FY 2013, but it keeps in place the drastic cuts resulting from sequestration. As a result, federal defender offices (FDOs) nationwide must slash their costs by approximately 10%. The only way for most FDO's to implement the 10% cut is through office-wide furloughs. In some instances, lay offs have occurred. The budget cuts also impact CJA panel attorneys, who likely face the suspension of voucher payments for at least two weeks at the end of the fiscal year.

Read more at Defender Services site ...

CJA Quarterly Newsletter

Audrey Felsen has published the latest edition of the CJA Panel Quarterly.
Click to download Volume III Number 5

2013 Mileage Rates

The General Services Administration has announced an increase in the reimbursement mileage rates for privately owned automobiles, airplanes, and motorcycles.

AO Memo on 2013 Mileage Rates