The criteria (PDF file will open in new window) for placement on a Court of Appeal Indigent Defense Panel for non-capital appeals is available on the Court-Appointed Counsel Program homepage (link will open in new window).
Step 1: An application to join the CCAP panel is available below in a PDF version. Be sure to include the resume and required additional statements (see items 1 and 2 on the bottom half of the application). And submit copies of two sample appellant's opening briefs and the corresponding respondent's briefs — these will not be returned. If you are not able to submit actual appellate briefs as writing samples, please be sure that any substitute writing samples are documents designed for persuasion, such as memoranda of Points and Authorities, and not merely documents such as contracts, complaints, wills, and similar documents. Your sample documents will not be returned to you.
PRINT APPLICATION (PDF file will open in new window)
If you would like a printed-blank version of the application mailed to you, please call: (916) 441-3792
2407 J Street, Suite 301
Sacramento, CA 95816
Applicant questions may be directed to the Supervising Attorney, Panel Administration: Florence Hoffman
You ultimately will be notified whether or not your request to join the panel is granted. Review of your application may not occur for several weeks after we receive it, and a delay of about two months at this stage is not unusual as we review and act upon applications only when we determine that there is a need to add attorneys to the existing panel. For example, applicants can be admitted, depending upon their experience and the quality of their writing samples, and depending upon our needs (such as our ratio of panel attorneys to caseload, concentrations of attorneys in certain counties and at certain levels of experience, the need for attorneys with certain areas of expertise, and the amount of assistance we can provide to panel attorneys). However, if you have heard nothing within six months of submitting your application, we encourage you to check on its status by emailing the Supervising Attorney, Panel Administration: Florence Hoffman
Also, even if you are accepted to the panel, it may be a while before your name comes up in the rotation for cases. These delays do fluctuate, but we want you to be aware this process may take some time.
If you are accepted onto the panel, please understand that there are several policies which you must become aware and to which you must adhere. The online CCAP panel manual outlines only a portion of those policies. Panel E-news announcements are the best source (which you can opt for in your website Modify My Profile) for announcements from CCAP to apprise panel attorneys of changes in policies as well as new policies. (Because you must accept emails from CCAP, this may require an adjustment in your email "anti-spam" settings to recognize and accept CCAP emails.) Many of these policies are formulated by the Courts of Appeal. Others are established by CCAP in order to carry out its function for the Courts of Appeal. Many of the policies require you to consult with CCAP and/or provide CCAP with various copies of pleadings and other documents related to the appeal prior to the documents being filed with the Courts of Appeal. You will be expected to comply with the policies. Failure to adhere to the policies and procedures could result in your removal from the panel. You are also subject to removal from the panel if the quality of your performance falls below an acceptable level. Please understand that admission to the panel does not establish nor imply any right, contractual or otherwise, concerning whether you will be offered any appointments at all, nor the frequency with which appointments may be offered, nor the types of appointments (e.g., the nature of the case, "assisted" basis, "independent" basis) that may be offered.
Compensation for counsel's appointed-case services is based on statewide guidelines for compensation, which are based upon the estimate of time reasonably required by an experienced appellate attorney. (A copy of those guidelines is included in the application PDF document above.) Although CCAP makes a recommendation based on its evaluation of the work performed, the Appellate Indigent Defense Oversight Advisory Committee (AIDOAC) and the Courts of Appeal monitor CCAP's compensation review process. It is not unusual for further cuts to be imposed by the reviewing body. Nor is it unusual for counsel to go uncompensated for some of the time spent on providing the services rendered.
The hourly rate is currently $85, $95, or $105, depending on the type of case and the type of appointment. For more specific information, see our rates page.
Thank you for applying. We look forward to hearing from you.