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Cardone Recommendation Study: Study Design

All adopted interim recommendations will be evaluated.  Some key aspects of the evaluation are detailed below.

Stage One (2020)

The first stage of evaluation will involve two different data collection methods. 

  1. Create baseline court profiles for all 94 district and 12 appellate courts, including information about criminal filings, federal defender and panel attorney appointments, information about the defender office, information about the CJA plan and the CJA panel membership, voucher submission and review, etc. Information will be collected for the years 2017-2020 and will be updated yearly as the evaluation goes forward. 
  2. Conduct interviews with key stakeholders (in the AO and in the courts), along with site visits relevant to each of the Judicial Conference approved interim recommendations.  Though no travel was planned for March, we are exploring virtual meetings should restrictions on travel continue due to COVID-19.  Teleconferences have been substituted for in-person interviews and continue, though at a slower pace than originally anticipated.

Stage Two (2021)

The second stage will examine the routinely collected data and information regarding voucher payments as well as budget and staffing of Federal Defender offices and the Defender Services Office of the AO. 

  • Voucher Payments: Patterns in voucher payments will be identified in a random sample of payments made before and after the implementation of the new eVoucher program.  Contact with attorneys/service providers will be made to determine if cuts were made before submitting the voucher to the reviewing authority or by the reviewing authority itself.  Comparisons between the pre-implementation data and experiences will be made to that of the new eVoucher data, once a sufficient amount of information has been collected. 
  • Budget/Staffing: Examination of the impact of any changes made to the work measurement formulas will be undertaken as they occur, as well as any proposed changes that were not implemented.

Stage Three (2022)

In the third stage, follow-up interviews will take place with stakeholders to determine if the status of the implementation of the interim recommendations has changed, and to assess any new issues with implementation.

Relying on a random sample of CJA attorneys who have received payments in the past three years,  detailed information will be gathered regarding their experiences litigating under the CJA, including payment of vouchers (presumptive caps, cuts – either self-cuts or on review), and the process for navigating the appeal of voucher cuts. 

Final Report (2023)