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CJA Administration

  1. In order to facilitate the prudent administration of CJA funds:
    1. Absent leave of court, as soon as it may be reasonably anticipated that the total unpaid attorney compensation (i.e., the amount typically inserted on CJA 20, sections 15 & 16 combined) will exceed the statutory maximum as provided in 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(d)(2), counsel shall submit an ex parte proposed attorney compensation budget in camera. The budget shall also contain the following:
      1. an explanation as to
        1. why the case is "extended" or "complex" (see Guide to Judiciary Policy, Vol. 7, Pt. A, Ch. 2 § 230.23.40(b)),
        2. why the excess payment is necessary to provide fair compensation (see § 230.23.40(c)), and
        3. to the extent CJA counsel is seeking compensation for a partner or associate, the tasks, number of hours, hourly rate, and total expenditure for each partner or associate; and
      2. a proposed budget that outlines the anticipated future attorney compensation that will be incurred until the resolution of the case.
    2. Counsel should submit an ex parte amended proposed budget in camera as soon as it may be reasonably anticipated that the estimated attorney compensation will exceed the proposed budget submitted under I.A.
  2. To facilitate the judicious administration of CJA funds with regard to experts and other services:
    1. All attorneys appointed to provide representation under the Criminal Justice Act, 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, must request, under subsection (e) of the Act, prior court authorization to obtain investigative, expert, and other services necessary for adequate representation, to be paid from funds appropriated for the administration of the Act if the total combined costs will exceed the limitations set forth in § 310.20.30 of the CJA Guidelines. To obtain prior court authorization, counsel must submit an ex parte detailed expert budget worksheet, see link below, indicating:
      1. why the service is necessary;
      2. the expert’s hourly rate; and
      3. the estimated cost of services.
    2. The Court requires that counsel seek prior authorization in each instance expert services are required. The Court may disallow any claim for expert services that has not received prior authorization, particularly those that exceed the case maximum.
    3. Once prior authorization from the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has been obtained, counsel will be notified by an ex parte order entered on the docket.
    4. Authorizations by the Court for expert services should be viewed as “not to exceed” agreements between the CJA attorney and the expert. Appointed attorneys should advise the expert that the Court has only approved the amount authorized and that, if the expert is going to need to exceed the approved amount for any reason, the attorney will have to seek additional approval from the Court. If counsel anticipates exceeding the original amount approved, counsel should justify the request by submitting an amended total budget that explains why additional amounts are (1) necessary to provide fair compensation for services above the initial amount sought or (2) necessary because of circumstances of an usual character, complexity or duration. Approval must be obtained from the court before any further service is provided. Counsel is advised to proactively manage their expert’s costs by monitoring ongoing costs and making the expert aware that the court-approved amounts are considered “not-to-exceed” agreements.
    5. The final CJA 21 is submitted for payment ex parte via eVoucher. Counsel should not pay any expert service provider directly.

Note: The court does not control nor can it guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of this information. Neither is it intended to endorse any view expressed nor reflect its importance by inclusion in this site.