It's time to panic. You have a law school reunion next year, and you need a zinger to let those Order of the Coif members know that you haven't been resting on your laurels since you last saw them. You may not have clerked for the Supreme Court, but your federal criminal law practice makes Perry Mason look like Vinny Gambini.
Why not apply for the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals's Criminal Justice Act or Capital Appellate Panels?
The CJA and Capital Appellate Panels are comprised of attorneys who are eligible and willing to accept appellate appointments from the Fourth Circuit. Members of the CJA Appellate Panel are appointed in criminal cases when new counsel must be appointed on appeal, and members of the Capital Appellate Panel are appointed in capital cases when new counsel must be appointed on direct appeal or on collateral appeal.
The annual application period for the CJA Appellate Panel and the Fourth Circuit's Capital Appellate Panel is currently open; the deadline for applications is September 1, 2011. Attorneys with experience in federal criminal law and appellate procedure are invited to apply for membership.
Here are the critical details and requirements:
- To be considered, an appellate panel applicant must be a member of the bar of the Fourth Circuit in good standing and have demonstrated experience in, and knowledge of, federal criminal law and appellate procedure and the Sentencing Guidelines.
- To be considered for membership as second-chair counsel on the Capital Appellate Panel, an attorney must satisfy the qualifications for CJA Appellate Panel membership and have an interest in capital representation.
- To be considered for membership as first-chair counsel on the Capital Appellate Panel, an attorney must have an interest in capital representation and must have been admitted to practice in the Fourth Circuit not less than 5 years and have had not less than 3 years experience in the handling of appeals in the Fourth Circuit in felony cases.
To apply, submit three copies of the completed questionnaire, your résumé, and an appellate brief you have prepared with a copy of the court opinion, or other writing sample to:
Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
1100 East Main Street, Suite 501
Richmond, VA 23219
To access the application and instructions online, visit the Fourth Circuit's website.
Guaranteed with membership: prestige, cases, meetings, and the opportunity to drop the phrase, "it's just like I was telling the Capital Appellate Panel" into cocktail party conversation.
Oh, and the chance to help someone.
- Plan for the Composition and Administration of the CJA Appellate and Capital Appellate Panels (Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals)
- Fourth Circuit Blog (FindLaw's Fourth Circuit Blog)
- Fourth Circuit Case Summaries (FindLaw's Case Summaries)