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Case Budgeting Attorney

Case Budgeting Attorney

Office of the Circuit Executive 

United States Courts

Judicial Council for the Eighth Circuit 

Vacancy Announcement


Position:                           CJA Case Budgeting Attorney


Salary Range:                  (CL-31) $111,952 - $181,982 per annum in St. Louis, MO, for a

                                          full-time position of 80 hours per pay period.


Opening Date:                  7/18/2023


Closing Date:                    Extended until position is filled.


Position Overview:

The Circuit Executive of the Eighth Circuit is seeking applicants for a Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Case Budgeting Attorney. The position will be either full-time or half-time.  The position will be headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, or at another courthouse within the Eighth Circuit. The CJA Case Budgeting Attorney is supervised by the Circuit Executive of the Eighth Circuit.

Position Duties and Responsibilities:

Work with circuit judges, district judges, magistrate judges, federal defender staff, district court staff, CJA panel attorneys, and Administrative Office staff to develop budgets in complex, “mega,” multi-defendant, and death penalty cases, including federal direct death prosecutions and capital habeas corpus.  Conduct reviews of budgeted cases and assist in modification when required.

Assist judges with oversight of expenditures in capital cases, including review of pre- and post-authorization cost estimates and monitoring expenditures.  Review funding orders and make recommendations to judges as to the reasonableness of the request and whether requested rates are consistent with CJA guidelines.

In conjunction with counsel and the assigned judge, oversee the preparation of a budget for each phase of capital cases, capital habeas cases, and mega-cases addressing attorney time, paralegal time, experts, investigation, discovery organization, and other costs.

Develop and participate in training programs to educate the courts and CJA panel attorneys on best practices, federal defense work, case budgeting principles, means of cost-containment, and CJA procedures.  Conduct case management conferences in complex criminal cases and multi-defendant criminal appeals.

Review vouchers submitted by attorneys, experts, and other service providers for reasonableness, accuracy, and compliance with guidelines.  Consult with judges about issues or proposed reductions.  Meet with CJA panel attorneys to resolve disputes on vouchers.

Develop, disseminate, and promote materials, best practices, and policies to assist in CJA case-budgeting specifically, cost containment, and effective management generally, in all CJA panel attorney representations.  Provide guidance, consult with courts, and panel attorneys regarding questions, problems, and issues.

Monitor the application of the CJA plans of the district and appeals courts and develop circuit-wide guidance to ensure the effective use of resources and the establishment of a culture of cost containment, fiscal responsibility, and accountability consistent with high quality representation and the best practices of the legal profession.

Maintain and analyze a central database of budgets and expenditures to monitor compliance with budgets, provide a means of comparing budgets and expenditures, and furnish information as requested.

Perform other duties as assigned.

Qualification Requirements:

Applicants must possess (1) a Juris Doctor degree (or equivalent) from an accredited law school; (2) membership in good standing in the bar of a state; (3) a minimum of five years’ experience consisting of criminal defense or habeas representation, including extensive experience and knowledge of billing practices and staff management; (4) a thorough understanding of the Criminal Justice Act, criminal law and procedure, and criminal litigation and habeas corpus strategies and processes; and (5) a strong commitment to high-quality CJA representation and the right to counsel.

Qualified applicants must also possess excellent academic credentials; outstanding written and oral communication skills; the ability to analyze fees and budgets and to write clear and concise reports; the ability to work amicably and professionally with judges, attorneys, and court executives; the willingness and skill to develop training programs for CJA counsel, and the ability to develop creative and practical solutions to case management and budgeting issues.


Benefits include paid federal holidays, paid vacation and sick leave, participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), and Thrift Savings Plan (401k).  Benefits also include optional participation in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB), Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI), Flexible Benefits Program, and Dental and Vision Insurance.  Limited telework options are available. 


Interested applicants may apply by submitting (1) a completed application for judicial branch employment, form AO-78 ( (2) a detailed resume, and (3) a cover letter electronically at

Only those interviewed will be notified of the selection outcome.  The court reserves the right to modify the conditions of this job announcement or to withdraw the announcement without written notice to applicants.  Travel expenses for interviews cannot be reimbursed.

Please note that this position is covered by the Fair Chance Act and requires that applicants provide criminal history information prior to receiving any conditional offer of employment.  All information provided by applicants is subject to verification and background investigation.  Applicants are advised that false statements or omission of information on any application materials may be grounds for non-selection, withdrawal of an offer of employment or dismissal after being employed.

Pursuant to the Immigration and Reform Act of 1986, selection is contingent upon providing proof of being legally eligible to work in and for the United States.  Employees are required to use Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) for payroll deposit.


and committed to equity and inclusion in its hiring practices.

Additional Info

Job Type : Full-Time

Education Level : Doctoral

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