In 1964, the Criminal Justice Act (CJA), 18 U.S.C. § 3006A, established a comprehensive system for appointing counsel to represent any person financially unable (‘indigent’) to obtain adequate representation in a serious federal criminal prosecution. At or shortly after a indigent defendant's initial court appearance, either a Federal Public (or Community) Defender’s (FPD) office, or a lawyer from a court’s CJA attorney panel, may be appointed.
So long as the person remains indigent, the appointment of that attorney continues on appeal unless the lawyer is granted permission by the court to withdraw. In that instance, another FPD office or a member of the Tenth Circuit’s appellate CJA attorney panel will be appointed to handle the appeal.
Counsel appointed on appeal under the CJA to represent an indigent client may be compensated for time spent that is reasonable and necessary for adequate representation, and reimbursed for expenses reasonably incurred. 18 U.S.C. § 3006A(d)(1)