Office of the Federal Public Defender

Eastern District of Texas

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

United States District Court Eastern District of Texas

Office of Defender Services Training Branch Contact Our Offices


Origin of Federal Public Defender Offices

 The United States Supreme Court established an indigent defendant's right to legal counsel in Federal Courts in 1938. Johnson v. Zerbst, 304 U.S. 458 (1938). To satisfy the requirement, federal District Judges appointed lawyers for indigent defendants, without pay or even reimbursement for expenses. The appointed lawyers were often inexperienced in criminal law. The Criminal Justice Act of 1964 (CJA) was enacted to provide payment for appointed lawyers and to create a core of full-time Federal Public Defenders, with skills equal to those of federal prosecutors. In response to the Criminal Justice Act, the federal judiciary created the Federal Defender Services program. Approximately 85 percent of all criminal cases prosecuted in federal courts require appointed legal counsel. The Defender Services Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States Footnote provides overall policy direction and guidance of the program, and the Defender Services Division provides administrative and program support.


Geographical Information about the Eastern District of Texas

 

The Eastern District of Texas contains 43 counties and covers in excess of 50,000 square miles. There are seven divisions within the district. There are a total of nine District Judges and six Magistrate Judges. The Federal Public Defender's Office has fully staffed operations in Beaumont, Sherman, Frisco, and Tyler, Texas. Division cities within the Eastern District of Texas are Beaumont, Lufkin, Marshall, Paris, Sherman, Texarkana, and Tyler. The Eastern District also has a courthouse in Plano Texas as a place to hold court for the Sherman Division.


Announcement

of

Electronic CJA Voucher Processing System

 

Texas Eastern recently accepted an invitation to participate in the pilot testing of the new Electronic CJA Voucher Processing System (eCJA VPS) currently under development (see attached September 12, 2011 memo and article from The Third Branch.) This application will replace the current paper-based process with a paperless system. It is expected to expedite voucher submission, review and payments, and reduce errors. Our participation in the pilot will begin during the summer of 2012, The new system likely will be tested on a select group of panel attorneys.

 


CJA RATES, CASE MAXIMUMS AND REMINDERS

 

Memo detailing hourly rate, case maximums, and reminders for CJA panel attorneys. Click Here

 


Criminal Justice Act Information Page
For the Eastern District of Texas

 


Padilla v. Kentucky – Supreme Court case on right to counsel

 

On March 31, 2010, the United Supreme Court issued its Sixth Amendment right to counsel decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, 599 U.S. __ (2010). The Court held that, in light of the unique severity of deportation and the reality that immigration consequences of criminal convictions are inextricably linked to the criminal proceedings, the Sixth Amendment requires defense counsel to provide affirmative, competent advice to a noncitizen defendant regarding the immigration consequences of a guilty plea, and, absent such advice, a noncitizen may raise a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. Click on the links to review a discussion of Padilla and it’s implications for defense counsel, and a practice guide.

 

Padilla Reference

 

Padilla Practice Advisory

 


Recent Developments in Federal Search & Seizure Law

 


http://or.fd.org/S&SUpdate.2010.pdf

 


Position Announcement
CLERICAL ASSISTANT
(Temporary, Intermittent)


The Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Texas is now accepting
applications for a temporary, intermittent Clerical Assistant located in Tyler, Texas. Position
requires a knowledge of office clerical practices such as filing, telephone usage, general
office equipment usage, word processing (knowledge of Windows and WordPerfect
preferred), record keeping and sorting. Applicants must be a high school graduate or
equivalent.

 


 

 


Useful Reading

 

Selected Guideline Decisions for the Fifth Circuit - PDF Adobe Reader required

 

Selected Guideline Decisions from the Supreme Court - PDF Adobe Reader required

 

Practice Tips for Post-Booker Cases - PDF Adobe Reader required

 

An Introduction to Federal Sentencing 9th Ed. - PDF Adobe Reader required

 

Information for Federal Criminal Defendants - PDF Adobe Reader required

 


TRAINING ANNOUNCMENTS

 

The Training Branch of the Office of Defender Services will present several workshops during the FY 2011. The following link will direct you to the www.fd.org training programs web page, http://www.fd.org/odstb_TRAINING.htm#panel. Financial assistance is available to qualified individuals. Please also note that further information, registration forms and financial assistance applications for training workshops can be found on www.fd.org.

 

 

 

Useful Links

USSC Booker Resource

 

CJA Forms

 

CM/ECF - District Court Electronic Filing System

 

Federal Court Districts of Texas and Divisions of the Eastern District of Texas

 

Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manuals and Amendments

 

Federal Public Defender
Northern District of New York

 

 

*The Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Texas is not responsible for the materials on the links provided.

VENDOR and SERVICE PROVIDER INFORMATION

Please review the Vendor and Service Provider Information page for information and requirements on providing services or products to the Eastern District of Texas.


FDO & PANEL ATTORNEY PROGRAMS


SENTENCING ADVOCACY WORKSHOP
LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA | March 06-08 2014

CRIMINAL HISTORY IN SENTENCING– DESCAMPS, ITS CHANGES, AND WHERE THE SUPREME COURT MAY GO NEXT
April 22 2014 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM EST

CRIMINAL HISTORY IN SENTENCING– DESCAMPS, ITS CHANGES, AND WHERE THE SUPREME COURT MAY GO NEXT (REPEAT)
April 24 2014 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST

TRIAL SKILLS ACADEMY
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA | April 27-May 02 2014

SENTENCING ADVOCACY WORKSHOP
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA | June 19-21 2014

FUNDAMENTALS OF FEDERAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA | July 31 2014

MULTI-TRACK FEDERAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE SEMINAR
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA | July 31-August 02 2014

LAW & TECHNOLOGY SERIES: TECHNIQUES IN ELECTRONIC CASE MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP
TAMPA, FLORIDA | September 18-20 2014

 


The Office of the Federal Public Defender, Eastern District of Texas, operates under authority of the Criminal Justice Act of 1964 (CJA), 18 U.S.C. § 3006A. It provides defense services in federal criminal cases and other covered matters to individuals who are financially unable to obtain adequate representation. A person’s eligibility for defender services is determined by the federal court. Defender organization attorneys may not engage in the private practice of law.

 

Last updated on -March 2014