Criminal Justice Act
The Criminal Justice Act (CJA) of 1964 provides for for furnishing representation in federal court for any person financially unable to obtain adequate representation in accordance with the CJA. For more information, please refer to the CJA Plan.
I would like to express my gratitude for your willingness to accept appointments for those individuals who cannot afford legal representation. Our office has compiled the information below which will guide you through the voucher process and expedite your payment. You may refer to the links contained on these pages for detailed information and instructions related to CJA policies and procedures. We ask that you review this information prior to beginning case work. Thank you for serving the Eastern District of Texas. David Maland, Clerk of Court

  1. IMPORTANT INFORMATION: To ensure timely processing of all CJA vouchers please verify all information is correct prior to submitting your expenses for payment. Our office will review voucher form types, hourly rates, compensation maximums, mileage rates, signatures, and receipt attachments. All individuals performing services are required to register with DUNS and System Award Management (SAM), therefore, review the link below associated with this requirement. Failure to properly fill out your vouchers will delay your payments. For further guidance please read the "Do's"" and "Don'ts" and review the Quick Links for additional information on CJA guidelines and policy.

Background

In accordance with the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the federal judiciary has historically appointed counsel in federal criminal proceedings for those unable to bear the cost of representation. The enactment of the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) of 1964 and its subsequent amendment in 1970 established a comprehensive system for appointing and compensating lawyers to represent financially eligible defendants in federal criminal proceedings. Each district court, with the approval of the judicial council of the circuit, is required to have a plan for furnishing representation for any person financially unable to obtain adequate representation in a federal criminal case. Each district's plan must provide for representation of eligible persons in the circumstances set forth in 18 U.S.C.§3006A(a)(1) and (2) and specify how such representation will be delivered. For more information, please refer to the CJA Plan.

Application

If you are looking to apply to be a member of the CJA panel of attorneys, please read the Instructions for Submitting a CJA Application and submit a CJA Panel Application.

CJA Panel Members

To view the listing of CJA panel attorneys see the Current List of CJA Panel Members (January 2014).

  1. Register for DUNS/System Award Management (SAM)
  2. Always include TIN number on voucher. You will be sent a 1099 form.
  3. Check hourly rates.
  4. Maintain accurate and detailed records.
  5. Itemize expenses daily using court approved worksheets.
  6. Check the mileage rate table for current rates.
  7. Submit claims for services providers on CJA 21 or CJA31.
  8. Submit vouchers no later than 45 days after final disposition of case.
  9. In non-capital cases, submit a CJA 26 stating the nature and complexity of the case for amounts over statutory maximums.
  10. If overnight travel is required, seek approval from the court.
  11. Travel expenses must be itemized. A separate receipt is needed for airfare, hotel, car rental, meals, etc.
  12. ALWAYS get prior authorization for service provide fees over $800. [Guide, ยง 310.20.20]
  13. Ask questions, we are here to help you.

  1. Accept payment from the defendant.
  2. Forget the TIN number on vouchers.
  3. Forget to obtain prior approvals. It may affect your payment.
  4. Assume the hourly rates are the same over different time periods.
  5. Forget to identify in-court and out-of-court hours.
  6. Claim expenses for service providers on a CJA 20/30.
  7. Claim any office overhead such as secretarial help, maintenance, etc.
  8. Claim expenses related to printing briefs.
  9. Forget to sign service provider vouchers as required by the plan.
  10. Claim alcoholic beverages, entertainment, parking, fines, or personal expenses.
  11. Discard any time or expense records related to your voucher. It is subject to audit for 3 years after final approval.
  12. Use the per diem rate. Expenses must be itemized.
  13. Forget to obtain separate receipts for all travel expenses.
  14. Use Travelocity, Priceline, or similar services for travel. These companies do not provide itemized receipts.
  15. Incur expenses on behalf of another attorney working on the same case. You will not be reimbursed.
  16. Wait to submit your voucher because it will cause your payment to be delayed.