The Federal District Court Criminal Justice Act Board will accept applications for approximately (30) positions on the present District Court panel list for appointment to indigent cases in Boston.

In June of 1993, the Federal District Court approved a list of (94) attorneys to serve staggered terms on the panel for Boston. The District Court regularly reviews and revises the list of private attorneys and annually approves a list of attorneys to fill the vacancies of those CJA panel members whose terms have expired. Appointments for approximately one-third of this group will expire on December 31, 2015.

The District Court maintains three separate panels for appointments from the Boston, Springfield and Worcester offices and an additional panel for habeas representations. The District Court is soliciting qualified attorneys to add to the existing Boston panel.

Anyone who is interested in becoming a member of the Boston panel should submit an application and writing sample to the Clerk’s Office by emailing a copy of the application and writing sample as separate pdf files to by October 2, 2015.

A panel member must meet the following minimum criteria:

  1. Be a member in good standing of the bar of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the bar of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
  2. Be registered for the Court’s electronic case filing system – CM/ECF which became mandatory on January 1, 2006.
  3. Have at least five years experience as a member of the bar.
  4. Have sufficient experience to furnish high quality representation to criminal defendants in the District Court.
  5. Be familiar with (a) the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure; (b) the Federal Rules of Evidence; (c) the Bail Reform Act of 1984, as amended; and (d) the Federal Sentencing Guidelines; and (e) such other statutes and rules as may be enacted from time to time with respect to criminal cases in the District Court.
  6. Demonstrate an interest and experience in the practice of criminal law, or have other equivalent experience.
  7. For Boston panel attorneys, agree to take part in the duty day system by accepting at least two duty days per year.
  8. Agree to accept appointment in the full range of CJA cases (other than attorneys who are only members of the habeas or specialized panel).
  9. Agree to attend continuing legal education programs.

In developing a recommended list, the Board intends to focus on demonstrated ability to provide able representation. While it is expected that most of those recommended for the CJA panel will have prior experience in criminal cases, such experience is not essential. For attorneys who lack criminal defense experience in Federal Court, the Board operates a mentoring program.

From among those considered to be well-qualified, the Board will seek to recommend a CJA panel which is sensitive to the diversity of the defendant population it will be serving. The Board encourages people from all backgrounds to apply and is especially interested in receiving applications from attorneys with Spanish language skills.

The application can be obtained by downloading it from the court’s web site at The application is PDF fillable for your convenience and must be typewritten.

The CJA Board consists of: Jessica Hedges, Chair, Vincent A. Bongiorni, Victoria M. Bonilla, Roberto M. Braceras, Patricia Garin, Edward P. Ryan, Jr., John Salsberg, Kathy B. Weinman, William M. White, Jr., and Federal Defender Miriam Conrad.

United States District Court liaisons to the CJA Board include: District Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV, Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley and Christine L. Karjel, Financial Manager.

The completed application and writing sample must be submitted by email as separate PDF files on or before October 2, 2015 to Please label the PDF files [LAST NAME]-[FIRST NAME]-Application and [LAST NAME]-[FIRST NAME]-Writing Sample. It is no longer necessary to mail hard copies to the Clerk’s Office.