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CJA Panel Information

CJA Panel Information

The Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel for the Western District of Texas consists of private attorneys who accept appointed cases from the Magistrate or District Judges. CJA counsel are reimbursed for their representation by the United States District Court, according to rates set by Congress. Funds for investigators, experts, and other defense-related staff are also reimbursed by the Court. Click here for current CJA rates. Effective May 27, 2010, CJA Service Provider Compensation Maximums for Capital and Non-Capital Cases increased.

Del Rio CJA Plan (Application included) - filed January 4, 2011. El Paso CJA Plan and El Paso CJA Panel Application - Amended Plan filed December 13, 2011. Midland/Odessa & Pecos CJA Plan (Application included) - filed May 3, 2010. San Antonio CJA Plan and San Antonio CJA Panel Application - Amended Plan filed December 12, 2012. If needed, additional Instructions for Application. Standing Order regarding Reimbursement of Attorneys in the CJA Plan Mentoring Program (San Antonio Division only) Waco CJA Plan and Waco CJA Panel Application - filed December 15, 2008.

NOTE: If you have questions about panel membership, please contact John Convery, the Western District of Texas CJA Panel Representative, at 210- 738-9060. For administrative matters, you may contact Wendy Branham, Judicial Assistant, at 210- 472-6363.

CJA Panel Resources

Click to open/close resources

There are CJA Panel Committees in Austin, El Paso, and San Antonio but the Austin Division does not have a CJA Plan.

Office of Defender Services Training Branch

The Office of Defender Services Training Branch in Washington, D.C. provides support to panel attorneys in CJA cases. The Branch has special expertise in federal criminal law and procedure, including guideline sentencing. The hotline telephone number is 800-788-9908. The branch website includes a page for panel attorneys, which offers CJA forms and instructions, current CJA rates, an overview of procedures pertaining to appointment under the CJA, and other information. This website also includes Volume VII of the Guide to Judiciary Polices and Procedures. The Guide provides guidelines for the administration of the CJA and related statues provided pursuant to approval of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

Western District Of Texas US District Court Website

This website offers information, forms, and worksheets regarding the CJA Panel Attorney Payment System, CJA Forms used for the appointment of and claims for counsel, experts, court reporters, and other services providers under the CJA.

CJA Panel Attorney Representatives

Each federal judicial district has a CJA panel representative. As the representative of all panel attorneys in the district, the CJA panel representative acts as the point of contact between panel members and other components of the judicial branch with respect to the CJA program. The CJA panel representative for the Western District of Texas is John A. Convery of San Antonio, who may be reached at 210-738-9060.

Telephone and E-Mail Consultations, Motion Preparation Assistance, and Law Libraries

Panel attorneys are encouraged to consult with the defender organization on any aspect of a CJA case. Inquiries may be directed by telephone or e-mail to individual attorneys. For contact information see our office directory. Requests for assistance with preparation of court motions are also welcome. The San Antonio,El Paso, Del Rio, and Austin offices of the federal defender organization have federal criminal practice law libraries including statute services, case reporters, manuals, and treatises. Panel attorneys may use these library materials for research and preparation in a CJA case. Materials may not be removed from the library.

Moot Courts for Appellate Arguments

The appellate section in the San Antonio office will conduct a moot court (practice argument) for any panel attorney who is preparing to argue a CJA case before the Fifth Circuit or U.S. Supreme Court. Contact the appellate section to make arrangements for moot courts.

Defender Supreme Court Resource and Assistance Panel (DSCRAP)

DSCRAP is a panel of federal defenders assisting court-appointed counsel engaged in Supreme Court litigation: brainstorming issues, preparing and finalizing petitions and merit briefs, coordinating amicus curiae, and conducting moot courts prior to oral argument. Panel members have vast experience as counsel of record in hundreds of cases before the Court, briefing dozens of cert grants and arguing in many individual cases.


A resource for Defender staff and CJA panel attorneys when facing cases with large volumes of discovery and/or electronic discovery. The page defines litigation support, provides contact information for the National Litigation Support Team, and contains links to an Initial Discovery Assessment Checklist, Recommended E-Discovery Practices for FPD/CJA Attorneys, and a Guide for CJA Panel Attorneys on Obtaining Litigation Support Resources.