Trial Panel Mandatory Training

Members of the CJA trial panel are required to complete eight hours of continuing legal education in the area of criminal law each year. The Office of Defender Services and the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California (FPD-CDCA) provide a wide variety of training programs that are available to panel members at no cost. Many of the training programs offered by the Office of Defender Services and FPD-CDCA qualify for California’s MCLE requirements. The FPD-CDCA is an approved MCLE provider for the State Bar of California.

In addition, panel members are required to attend one annual meeting of the entire CJA Trial Panel. This meeting addresses issues concerning the administration of the panel, and provides training for panel members.

Appellate Panel Mandatory Training

The FPD-CDCA organizes an annual all-day Appellate Practice Seminar that is mandatory for all CJA appellate panel members and open to other CJA attorneys. Our office also will arrange moot courts for any panel member who so requests and will insist, to the extent possible, on moot courts for any panel member arguing a case of exceptional significance to criminal defendants or habeas petitioners, or before an en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit or the United States Supreme Court.

Capital Habeas Panel Mandatory Training

Members of the Capital Habeas CJA panel must provide certification of their attendance at an approved CLE event to the FPD-CDCA by December 31st of each calendar year. The CLE event may include local Central District training (provided by the Court and the FPD-CDCA) or a state or national capital habeas training, including the annual Capital Case Defense Seminar put on by California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and the California Public Defenders Association, the Annual National Federal Habeas Training presented by the Habeas Assistance and Training Counsel and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, or any similar program.

Free Software Training

Members of the CJA panel also benefit from free training offered by the FPD-CDCA Litigation Support Department in the latest legal software applications. Our Litigation Support team offers training on tools to help manage and organize discovery, as well as programs designed to help with in-court presentations. Our training program will help panel members learn and develop the skills necessary to confidently use these programs. The CJAnet intranet portal accessible by current CJA members also provides tip sheets for all programs taught by our office.

The software programs taught by our office include:

  • Microsoft Office (Word, Excel and PowerPoint)
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • CaseMap (document and information management database)
  • Summation (document management database)
  • dtSearch (file indexing and search tool)
  • ISYS (file indexing and search tool)
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Trial Director (in court digital evidence presentation software)
  • Multimedia programs (including audio and video conversion and editing tools)