FDAP Panel Member:
We write with several updates and with information about an upcoming training opportunity related to COVID-19.
Panel Training – Friday April 17 at 10 a.m. – Appellate Practice in a Pandemic
On Friday, April 17th at 10 a.m., FDAP will hold a 1-hour online Zoom training for panel members to address issues of concern during the pandemic. Topics will include claims, records, withdrawing from a case, contacting FDAP, using our COVID-19 templates to help your clients, and an “ask us anything” portion. The training will presented by Jonathan Soglin and other FDAP staff attorneys. We will provide instructions for logging into the training next week. (We expect to provide MCLE credit; that too will be confirmed early next week.)
Second Interim Claims
We have received approval from the Judicial Council for panel attorneys to submit more than one interim claim in certain cases in which multiple interim claims were not previously permitted. The new policy is not effective yet, but will be soon. Details are being worked out and we will share them with you very soon. We hope this change will provide some financial relief.
Substitutions Due To Pandemic-Related Hardships
The shelter-in-place order has created particular challenges for some practitioners, including parents with young children. Please let your consulting attorney know if illness, childcare, or homeschooling responsibilities affect your ability to handle a case. The First District Court of Appeal has historically been fairly liberal in granting requests to withdraw, and we would expect that to continue during these extraordinary times. In considering a need to withdraw, keep in mind the procedural posture of your case. If the case is far along (e.g. post-briefing), we might encourage the attorney to maintain the appointment as there will likely be little to do in the near-term.
If you are considering moving to withdraw, first confer with your FDAP consulting staff attorney. If after that consult you intend to go forward with a request to be relieved, you will write a letter to the Court, but send the letter to FDAP. FDAP, not the panel attorney, will then transmit the request to the Court with our recommendation. If you are facing a serious situation requiring withdrawal from multiple cases, please contact Assistant Director Brad O’Connell or Executive Director Jonathan Soglin.
Updated Resources on FDAP’s Pandemic 2020 page
Be sure to regularly review the FDAP 2020 Pandemic Information and Resources page, which we are continuously updating. The page contains information about FDAP operations, court policies, practice resources, financial assistance, information for our clients and their families and briefing templates for seeking early release. There is an expanded FAQ on financial hardship, noting various new government programs (SBA loans, student loan relief, etc.)
We hope you and your families continue to stay safe.