Recruitment Notice for Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Trial Attorney Panel

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The Criminal Justice Act Trial Attorney Panel

Pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act of 1964 (18 U.S.C. § 3006A), as amended, the United States District Court for the Central District of California, with approval of the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit, has placed in operation a plan for furnishing representation for any person financially unable to obtain adequate representation in criminal cases prosecuted in this district. As part of that plan, the Court established the CJA Trial Attorney Panel which is comprised of private attorneys who are eligible and willing to be appointed to provide representation under the CJA. The Court is committed to fostering diversity and cultural inclusion on the CJA Trial Attorney Panel. Private attorneys from the CJA Trial Attorney Panel shall be appointed in cases in which the Office of the Federal Public Defender has a conflict of interest or is otherwise unable to accept appointment. CJA Trial Attorney Panel members may serve in the Western (Los Angeles), Eastern (Riverside), or Southern (Santa Ana) Divisions.


Attorneys who serve on the CJA Trial Attorney Panel must be members in good standing of the State Bar of California and of the federal bar of this district and have demonstrated experience in, and knowledge of, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Federal Rules of Evidence, the Sentencing Guidelines and the Local Rules of Court. Qualifications for membership on the CJA Trial Attorney Panel are determined by the Court. Generally, the Court considers the amount and substantive area of state court experience (strong criminal law experience required), and state and federal court trial experience (five federal trials preferred). Specific qualifications are contained in the Procedures for the CJA Trial Attorney Panel for the Central District of California.

For applicants who meet the qualifications for panel membership generally, but who lack sufficient federal trial and courtroom experience, a mentorship program may be available. The selected attorney will be assigned to work with an experienced federal criminal defense attorney from the Office of the Federal Public Defender or CJA Trial Attorney Panel on one or more cases. Unfortunately, there are no funds available to compensate the selected attorneys for their time and expenses. This program is designed to provide the opportunity to obtain trial and other federal criminal litigation experience with expert mentoring and supervision.

Application Process

Interested persons should complete the application, which can be found under the “Criminal Justice Act” section of the Court’s website at Applications will be reviewed by the CJA Trial Attorney Panel Defense Advisory Committee, which will make recommendations to the Court for approval. Applications and supporting documents should be submitted to the CJA Office on or before June 3, 2024, at


Brian Karth
District Court Executive/Clerk of Court
April 17, 2024