The Defender Services Office (DSO) of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts assists in administering the Defender Services Program under the Criminal Justice Act (CJA), the law governing the provision of federal criminal defense services to those unable to afford representation. The Training Division of DSO provides substantial training and other resource support to Federal Defender Organization (FDO) staff and CJA panel attorneys. The Training Division has seven principal tasks:
- Providing substantive information on federal criminal law and procedure, publications, training materials and other online resources to CJA panel attorneys and FDO staff through the Training Branch websites, www.fd.org and www.capdefnet.org.
- Designing, implementing and teaching at national and local training programs for CJA panel attorneys and FDO attorneys, paralegals, and investigators.
- Delivering training programs to FDO attorneys, paralegals and investigators through an interagency agreement with the Federal Judicial Center (FJC) and assisting in the design of those programs.
- Working with contractors on the planning and implementation of federal death penalty and federal capital habeas corpus training for FDO staff and CJA panel attorneys.
- Providing guidance and information to members of the CJA panel and FDO staff on CJA cases regarding all aspects of criminal law and procedure through our hotline (800-788-9908).
- Implementing the Supreme Court Advocacy Program, which arranges moots, performs legal research, provides substantive and strategic advice, or editing and writing drafts of merits briefs, to CJA panel members and FDO attorneys representing CJA-eligible defendants in the United States Supreme Court.
- Providing advice and consultation on litigation support tools, services and processes to federal courts, federal defender organizations, and CJA panel attorneys.