The FCDO’s Appeals Unit handles all appeals arising from cases in which our office was appointed in district court, litigating in both the Court of Appeals for Third Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. The Unit also handles appeals on appointment by the Third Circuit when CJA counsel appointed in district court is unavailable to continue on appeal, and when other defender offices within the circuit have a conflict of interest. The Appeals Unit occasionally represents circuit defender offices appearing as amici curiae before the Third Circuit.
In addition to these direct representations, the Appeals Unit is heavily involved in training and case consultation for our Trial Unit, for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania CJA panel, and nationally. Unit attorneys currently serve on the Advisory Committee on Third Circuit Model Criminal Jury Instructions, the Defender Supreme Court Resource and Assistance Panel, and the Amicus Committee of the National Association of Federal Defenders. The Unit endeavors to coordinate Third Circuit appellate litigation on issues of broad impact, and to that end encourages CJA counsel to contact our office regarding such matters.