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Claim Guidelines

 
Guidelines for Appointed Counsel Compensation



   
Expenses

 

HOURS ITEMS PRIMA FACIE ALLOWANCE ORDINARY RANGE
1. COMMUNICATIONS WITH APPELLANT AND/OR TRIAL COUNSEL

Includes letters, calls, interviews with appellant and trial counsel, including such communications that concern a Wende brief, a habeas investigation, or oral argument.  Communications with other persons (such as family members) may also be compensable on this line, if that person is used as a translator or conduit for communication with the client. Consultation with FDAP should be included in Item 21, below, and communications with co-appellate counsel, the Court or the Attorney General's Office, etc. should be included in Item 23, below. 

2.5 hours 3.5 hours
2. TIME REQUIRED TO REVIEW RECORD

Includes time spent reading and reviewing the record and taking notes on facts and issues.

1.0 hour for each 50 pages of record 1.0 hour for each 50 pages of record
3. EXTENSION(S) OF TIME 0.3 hours 0.5 hours
4. MOTIONS TO AUGMENT

Indicate the reason if multiple motions to augment are necessary.  Include 32.1(b) letters in Item 5, below.

0.5 hours 1.5 hours
5. OTHER MOTIONS

(i.e., Rule 32.1(b), abandonment, Fares motion, etc.)

reasonable time reasonable time
6. OPENING BRIEF

Usually 1.0 hour is recommended for preparation of a Wendebrief in addition to compensation for the Statement of the Case and Facts.

If you use an argument which is substantially based on the same argument used in a prior case, you must inform us of that fact on the "Prior Briefing Form", and explain what new work you've done.

Factors considered in evaluating the complexity level of an issue include:

(a) whether the issue involves factual or legal complexities, novel or unsettled law, or conceptual intricacies;

(b) the number of necessary cited authorities;

(c) the length of the argument; and

(d) the level of complexity found by the respondent and/or Court.

Statement of Case and Facts 1/3 of time to review record, up to 7.0 hours 1/2 of time to review record,
up to 10.0 hours
Low Simple < 2.5 hours < 4 hours
Simple 2.5 hours 4 hours
Simple to Average > 2.5 to < 5.5 hours > 4 to < 8 hours
Average 5.5 hours 8 hours
Average to Complex > 5.5 to < 9 hours > 8 to < 13.5 hours
Complex 9 hours 13.5 hours

HOURS ITEMS PRIMA FACIE ALLOWANCE ORDINARY RANGE
7. UNBRIEFED ISSUES

Describe each issue in sufficient detail to assist the evaluator in assessing complexity.

Low Simple < 0.2 hours < 0.5 hours
Simple 0.2 hours 0.5 hours
Simple to Average > 0.2 to < 0.5 hours > 0.5 to < 2.5 hours
Average 0.5 hours 2.5 hours
Average to Complex > 0.5 to < 2.5 hours > 2.5 to < 5.0 hours
Complex 2.5 hours 5.0 hours

8. REPLY BRIEF

Work in considering a reply brief should be claimed on this line, even if no such brief is filed.

1/3 of hours awarded for AOB 1/3 of hours awarded for AOB
9. SUPPLEMENTAL BRIEF

Includes letter briefs.

same as Opening Brief same as Opening Brief
10. REVIEW OF OPPOSING BRIEF

Includes briefs of Attorney General and all other adverse parties where appropriate.  Each must be identified.  Assign review of co-appellants' briefs to Item 22, 23, or 24, below.

After substantive brief 1 hours 2.5 hours
After Wende brief 0 hours 0 hours
11. PETITION: HABEAS CORPUS

Issues will be evaluated using the standards in Item 6, above. Work in preparation for (including investigation) relating to a habeas petition should be claimed on this line, even if no petition is filed. Be sure to follow the 2014 AOC-approved instructions for reporting habeas time on claim forms

8.0 hours 12.0 hours
12. PETITION: REHEARING 4.0 hours 6.0 hours
13. PETITION: REVIEW (OR ANSWER)

Little compensation will be approved for a petition for review that simply "recycles" all or part of the AOB.  (See Cal. Rules of Court, rules 28 and 29.)

5.5 hours 10.0 hours
14. PETITION: OTHER

Issues will be evaluated using the standards in Item 6, above. Compensation for petitions for writ of certiorari may require pre-approval from the project. Check with the project.

reasonable time reasonable time
15. PETITION: READ RESPONSE reasonable time reasonable time
16. PETITION: REPLY TO RESPONSE 1/3 of hours awarded for petition 1/3 of hours awarded for petition
17. ORAL ARGUMENT

Includes letters waiving or requesting argument, preparation, actual time in argument before the Court, and necessary waiting time in the courtroom. Indicate if argument is telephonic or video-conferenced. Preparation for oral argument should be claimed on this line (not line 24) even if the ultimate decision is to waive argument.

5.0 hours 7.5 hours
18. TRAVEL

Time is compensable where the distance exceeds 25 miles one-way from counsel's office, and where counsel cannot reasonably work on the case while traveling. Travel to see clients must be pre-approved. Compensation is based on the most economic means of travel reasonably available. Indicate destination, purpose, and time.

19. REVIEW OPINION After substantive brief 1.0 hours 1.5 hours
After Wende brief 0.2 hours 0.2 hours
20. REVIEW SUPERIOR COURT FILE

Includes review of exhibits.

1.0 hours 2.0 hours
21. CONSULT WITH PROJECT on 'assisted' case 1.0 hours 4.0 hours
on 'independent' case 0.5 hours 2.0 hours
22. ADMINISTRATIVE TASKS 1.0 hours 1.0 hours
23. OTHER COMMUNICATIONS

Communications with the client or trial counsel are claimed on line 1. Claim on this line all other communication, e.g. with the court, opposing counsel, the client's family when not serving as a translator or conduit for communication with the client.

reasonable time reasonable time

24. OTHER SERVICES

All miscellaneous services other than communication.

reasonable time reasonable time

EXPENSES ITEMS STANDARDS
1. PHOTOCOPY

Do not include time spent or cost of copying cases or statutes (including in-house, through a computer service, or at a library). Extensive copying of the file and/or transcripts for the client is normally not compensable, except for short transcripts in Wende cases. Check with the project first if copying exceeds 200 pages.

actual cost, up to $0.10 per page
2. BRIEF BINDING, ETC. actual cost, if reasonable (After May 1, 2004, brief binding will be compensated only for original and court service copies. Single-stapling other copies is sufficient.)
3. POSTAGE/DELIVERY

Include actual cost of ordinary means of delivery. Explain any unusual circumstances in the case, other than appointed counsel's personal needs, that justify use of express mail, messenger or attorney service, personal delivery, or any other extraordinary means of delivery.

actual cost, if reasonable
4. TELEPHONE

Do not include regular service charges or local calls.

actual long distance cost; if reasonable
5. TRAVEL EXPENSES

Actual necessary expenditures, with the limitations described in the Travel Guidelines for Court-Appointed Counsel in the Courts of Appeal (AOC, July 2010).

In addition to the limitations described in the AOC document (see link above) ...

Note for Travel from Out of State: For attorneys traveling from outside California, pursuant to AOC guidelines (see link above) only the portion of travel from the California border is compensable. The First District Appellate Project uses as a guideline for out of state air travel:

A) Travel from east of California: the guideline is either the cost of roundtrip airfare from Reno to San Francisco or the actual roundtrip airfare, whichever is less;

B) Travel from north of California: the guideline is either the cost of roundtrip airfare from Medford, Oregon, to San Francisco or the actual roundtrip airfare, whichever is less.

6. COMPUTER RESEARCH

For work performed after November 1, 1999, includes only cost of research that requires access to unique materials that are outside of a basic fee plan (i.e., California, 9th Circuit, and U.S. Supreme Court cases are considered part of a basic fee plan) and is supported by documentation. Include explanation of need. Do not include regular monthly fees for on-line computer research service or for Shepardizing cases within the basic plan.

actual cost for necessary extraordinary research
7. PARALEGAL/CLERKS

Itemize hours, hourly rate, and activity. Paralegal and law clerk work is expected to reduce the time an attorney must spend. Thus, if attorney time is over Guidelines for a specific activity, no paralegal or law clerk expense for that activity will be approved.

$25 per hour
8. TRANSLATOR/INTERPRETER

Translator or interpreter fees may require pre-approval by the project. See our general claims information. Do not include costs of translating briefs or other pleadings, for which the Court does not compensate.

actual cost, up to local prevailing rate
9. MISCELLANEOUS

Itemize and explain costs of experts, investigators, certification fees, etc. Do not include administrative or overhead costs such as secretarial work or library upkeep. Payment for experts and investigators may require pre-approval by either the project or the Court of Appeal. FDAP's policy for experts and investigators requires the panel attorney to submit a written request to their FDAP buddy if services will not exceed $900. If the amount will exceed $900, the attorney needs to send a request directly to the Court of Appeal (speak to your FDAP buddy first). Experts® fees may not exceed $125/hour and investigators® fees may not exceed $65/hour without pre-approval by the Court of Appeal.

reasonable cost

 

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