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CJA Panel Training: ZEALOUS REPRESENTATION OF MATERIAL WITNESSES
The Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”) provides for the appointment of counsel in criminal cases to persons who are financially unable to obtain adequate representation. 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a). In the Southern District of Texas, in cases where the Federal Public Defender has not been appointed to represent a defendant who is entitled to the assistance of appointed counsel, individual defense attorneys are chosen from a federal panel. The Federal Public Defender is charged with assuring that members of the CJA panel are familiar with federal criminal practice.

The Material Witness Statute, 18 U.S.C. § 3144, authorizes the detention of any person alleged to have testimony that is material to a criminal proceeding. The Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”) provides for the appointment of counsel to material witnesses in custody who are financially unable to obtain adequate representation. 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(a).

Although hundreds of material witnesses are ordered detained by courts in the Southern District of Texas each year, practices vary by division and court-appointed lawyers report receiving little or no guidance as to how best to represent their clients. In practice, zealous material-witness attorneys must confront structural and practical resistance, balance stakeholder needs, and navigate challenges created by their clients’ detention and immigration status.
Taught by a panel of current and former defense, civil rights, and private-practice attorneys, this seminar will explain and explore the law and practice of material witness representation. Attendees will develop a deeper understanding of the role of material witness counsel and be equipped with helpful materials and opportunities for further learning and engagement.

Nov 22, 2022 12:00 PM in Central Time (US and Canada)

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