The Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a) to (k) ("CJA"), was amended on January 25, 1998 to require that the amounts paid to court-appointed attorneys must be made publicly available upon the Court's approval of the payments. Although the amendment to the statute expired on January 24, 2000 pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(d)(4), a corresponding guideline in Guide to Judiciary Policies and Procedures, Volume 7 (Appointment of Counsel in Criminal Cases), Section A (Guidelines for the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act and Related Statutes), Chapter 5, continues the requirement pursuant to Judicial Conference policy. The Court may disclose an unredacted copy of a payment voucher submitted by defense counsel, or it may release a redacted copy of a voucher, indicating only the amounts approved for payment according to categories of services listed in the statute. The extent of disclosure depends on whether the case is pending and on whether the Court determines that certain interests (listed below in part B.1) require redaction of detailed information on the voucher. Upon Court approval of a voucher claim, payment information will be released as follows:
A. BEFORE OR DURING THE TRIAL: After redacting any detailed information provided to justify the expenses, the Court will make available to the public only the amounts approved for payment, divided into the categories set forth in subpart (d) (4) (B) (ii) of the CJA.
B. AFTER THE TRIAL IS COMPLETED: The Court shall release either redacted or unredacted vouchers as follows:
1. If trial court proceedings have been completed and appellate review is not being pursued or has concluded at the time payment is approved: The Court will make an unredacted copy of the payment voucher available to the public unless it determines that one or more of the interests listed below justify limiting disclosure to the amounts approved for payment in the manner described in part A. The interests that may require limiting disclosure include:
(a) the protection of any person's Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination;
(b) the protection of the defendant's Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel;
(c) the defendant's attorney-client privilege;
(d) the work product privilege of the defendant's counsel;
(e) the safety of any person; and
(f) any other interest that justice may require, except that the amount of fees shall not be considered a reason justifying any limited disclosure under 18 U.S.C.
2. If appellate review is being pursued at the time payment is approved: The Court will release only the amounts approved for payment in the manner described in part A unless it finds that none of the interests listed above in part B.1 will be compromised.
If counsel believes that any of the interests listed above in part B.1 justify limiting disclosure to the amounts approved for payment, counsel should submit to the Court a written request, identifying the interests at risk and the arguments in support of providing protection, AT OR BEFORE THE TIME A CLAIM FOR PAYMENT IS MADE. Failure to do so could result in the public release of unredacted copies of your vouchers without further notice.
This constitutes notice as required under 18 U.S.C. § 3006A (d) (4) (E). Additional notice will NOT be provided before any payment information is made available to the public.
Last modified at 12/22/2009