Hourly Compensation Rate

There is a maximum hourly panel attorney compensation rate for capital cases. [18 U.S.C. § 3599(g)(1)] The Judicial Conference is authorized to increase the rate annually by an amount not to exceed the federal pay comparability raises given to federal employees. Newly established rates become effective only if funded by Congress and will apply with respect to services performed on or after the effective date of the statute. [Guide, Vol. 7, § 630.10.10]

Click here for current information about the hourly capital panel attorney rate.

No Statutory Attorney Case Compensation Maximum

There is no statutory case compensation maximum for appointed counsel in capital cases. There is also no statutory provision for the chief judge of the circuit to review and approve the amount of attorney compensation in capital cases. [Guide. § 630.10.20]

In capital cases, appointed counsel may, with prior court authorization, use the services of attorneys who work in association with them, provided that the use of such additional counsel (at a reduced hourly rate) diminishes the total cost of representation or is required to meet time limits. [Guide, Vol. 7, § 620.10.10(c)]. See the Guide, Vol. 7, § 230.53.10(b) regarding the use of services of non-affiliated attorneys (with prior court authorization). The appointed counsel includes and itemizes those attorney hours on the Form CJA 30.

Death Eligible Cases Where Death Penalty is Not Sought

If, following the appointment of counsel in a case in which a defendant was charged with an offense that may be punishable by death, it is determined that the death penalty will not be sought, the court should consider the questions of the number of counsel and the rate of compensation needed for the duration of the proceeding. See the Guide, Vol. 7, § 630.30.20 and § 630.30.30 for factors the court should consider. Continue to use the Form CJA 30 and Form CJA 31 through completion of the representation.