Posted: April 26, 2021
Code of Judicial Administration – Comment Period Closed June 10, 2021
CJA03-0415. Auditing (AMEND). The proposed amendments more clearly define the types of audits conducted by the Audit Department, clarify audit procedures, and identify the individuals involved at critical points.
CJA07-0302. Court reports prepared for delinquency cases (AMEND). Replaces a reference to outdated sentencing guidelines with a reference to the new Juvenile Disposition Guide. Removes subjective assessment requirements and aligns the rule with (78A-6-117(j)(ix-x)) regarding probation’s role in victim restitution.
LDA Comment re: Requirements to Be Exempt
This comment is presented by the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association (LDA). Lines 154 through 162 create new requirements that an indigent appellate defense service provider entity (IADSPE) such as LDA must meet to maintain exempt status. Line 161 says that, to qualify for exempt status, the IADSPE “must certify in writing every five years … that the entity has … one or more supervising attorneys who are on the appellate roster.” We believe that this requirement is unnecessarily burdensome. IADSPEs such as LDA are full-time public defender offices with dedicated appellate divisions. The supervising appellate attorneys in those entities have extensive experience in indigent appeals. That is why the exemption exists. IADSPEs carry a high caseload on a fixed budget funded by taxpayers. Requiring supervising appellate attorneys to qualify for the Appellate Roster every five years would take important time away from training and supervising appellate attorneys and serving individual clients. If the committee believes it is important to confirm that the supervising appellate attorney at an exempt entity meets the requirements of the Appellate Roster, we suggest line 161 should be changed to say that the IADSPE “must certify in writing every five years … that the entity has … one or more supervising attorneys who meet the qualifications set forth in paragraphs (b)(3)(A)-(F),” which would mirror the language about mentors at lines 117-118.
LDA Comment re: Makeup of the Committee
This comment is presented by the Salt Lake Legal Defender Association (LDA). On line 36, it is not clear what “paragraph (2)(b)” refers to. We think it probably refers to proposed subsection (b) (subsection (2) in the current rule). If so, we understand the proposed amendment to make it so that only one attorney “skilled in handling criminal” cases would be included on the committee. We believe the rule should maintain the current language, which calls for “two criminal defense appellate attorneys: at least one of whom is currently practicing in the area of indigent criminal appeals for an indigent defense provider entity [(IDSPE)].” We believe there should continue to be a permanent seat on the committee for an appellate attorney from an IDSPE. The proposed amendment makes “the Chief Appellate Officer or designee of the Indigent Defense Commission [(IDC)]” a permanent voting member of the committee. This is a change from the current rule, which names the “Director or designee of the [IDC]” as a non-voting member. But we don’t believe making the IDC’s representative a voting member is an adequate replacement for an appellate attorney working for an IDSPE. The viewpoint of the Chief Appellate Officer and the IDC is different than the viewpoint of an appellate attorney working for an IDSPE. We believe it is important to maintain that viewpoint on the committee, especially if, as proposed in lines 148-162, the committee is going to start requiring IDSPEs to meet requirements to maintain exemption.