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Case Budgeting

Courts are encouraged to use case budgeting in CJA representations that appear likely to become or have become extraordinary in terms of potential cost.  Guide to Judiciary Policy, Vol. 7A, §§ 230.26, 640.  These cases include non-capital “mega cases” in which attorney time is expected to exceed 300 hours, or total expenditures are expected to exceed $38,000 for appointed counsel and services other than appointed counsel, for an individual CJA defendant. Budgeting is also encouraged for capital prosecutions and capital habeas corpus proceedings. The goal of case budgeting is to ensure that defense counsel will receive the resources necessary to represent the accused effectively, while at the same time providing the court with sufficient information about the resources needed to enable it to assess and monitor the expenditure of public funds.

Courts and attorneys are encouraged to contact the Case Budgeting Attorney if they believe a case may be eligible for budgeting.

Renee Hurtig Edelman
Case Budgeting Attorney for the Third Circuit
Office of the Circuit Executive
(267) 232-0210
Additional information regarding case budgeting and CJA matters may be found in the following documents:
Obtaining Computer Hardware, Software, or Litigation Support Services
The CJA Guidelines provide that appointed counsel must consult the National Litigation Support Team (“NLST”) for guidance before counsel seeks approval for any computer hardware or software with a cost exceeding $800, or for the utilization of computer systems, litigation support products, services, personnel, or experts with an expected combined cost exceeding $10,000.  Counsel must inform the court in writing of the NLST’s advice and recommendation regarding counsel’s proposed expenditure.  Guide to Judiciary Policy, Vol. 7A, § 320.70.40(a)(2).
The NLST is a project of the Defender Services Office.  It serves as a consultant and resource center for appointed counsel and federal defender offices regarding all aspects of litigation support, including discovery review and courtroom presentation techniques and technology.  The NLST also provides direct support in appropriate cases, and administers the Coordinating Discovery Attorney program.
The contact information for the NLST is:
Sean Broderick, National Litigation Support Administrator
(510) 637-1950
Kelly Scribner, Assistant National Litigation Support Administrator
(510) 637-1952
Alex Roberts, National Litigation Support Paralegal
(510) 637-1955
Kalei Achiu, National Litigation Support Paralegal
(510) 637-1950
Questions also may be directed to Renee Hurtig Edelman, Case Budgeting Attorney.