Overseeing the delivery of criminal defense services to indigent people in Boston area courts since 2001

SLJ Policies

I. General Requirements: The following general requirements apply to all SLJ attorneys. In addition to any policies and rules established by SLJ, a SLJ attorney must also comply with all applicable policies, standards, and performance guidelines promulgated by CPCS.

A. Annual Contract. Attorneys must sign an annual contract for accepting criminal case assignments agreeing to accept cases in compliance with the policies, standards, and performance guidelines promulgated by SLJ and CPCS.

B. Bar Membership. An attorney must be a member of the Massachusetts Bar in good standing for the general practice of law, including both civil and criminal law.

C. Two County Limit. An attorney must not be a member of more than one bar advocate program in addition to SLJ.

D. Insurance Requirement. An attorney must at all times maintain malpractice insurance in an amount of not less than $100,000/$300,000 with a deductible of not more than $10,000. Panel attorneys must provide proof of such coverage to SLJ and must notify SLJ of any lapse or change in coverage that affects the attorney’s ability to satisfy the insurance requirement.

E. Office Requirements. An attorney must maintain an office suitable for meeting with clients.

  1. The office must be easily accessible by public transportation to the court or courts in which the Attorney accepts assignments.

  2. The attorney must have a telephone number with voice-mail capability and a system for accepting collect telephone calls from clients in custody.

  3. The attorney must have his or her telephone number listed with directory assistance.

  4. The attorney must maintain business cards that contain the address of the office at which the attorney meets with clients and the attorney’s phone number.

  5. The attorney must be able to receive mail at the office.


IIAssignment of Counsel

A. Duty Attorneys. SLJ schedules members of its panel to be present in Suffolk County Courts daily in order for the Courts to assign them to represent indigent criminal defendants.  The attorneys assigned to accept criminal case assignments in the court on any given day are referred to as the “duty attorney” for that particular day.

  1. Duty attorneys are expected to be present in the first session of the assigned court on the assigned day when the court begins business for the day, and are required to remain in the first session at any time while the court is in session unless the the judge presiding over the first session releases the attorney from duty.
  2. SLJ attorneys shall not schedule any evidentiary matter, pre-trial conference hearing, trial or other matter which will cause the attorney to be absent from the first session on a day which has been designated a duty day. Single session courts are not subject to this policy.

B. Scope of Representation. When a duty attorney is assigned as the attorney for a defendant, he or she shall represent that defendant throughout all proceedings in the court requiring an assignment, beginning with arraignment, including bail review, and continuing through trial. However, when the attorney has not been certified by CPCS to handle the case, the attorney may represent the defendant for the purposes of bail only. 

  1. When an attorney is assigned a bindover felony or youthful offender case for the purposes of bail only, he or she must inform SLJ as soon as practicable that the case needs to be reassigned, providing SLJ with the defendant’s name, the docket number, the charges, the next court date, the purpose of that court date, the jail at which the defendant is being held, and the bail status. SLJ will then reassign the case to a superior court certified attorney. If the client requests a bail review before the case is reassigned, the original attorney is required to administer that action.  
  2. New counsel should be appointed by CPCS to handle any appellate matters. The attorney assigned for trial must advise the client of his or her post-conviction rights and act to protect those rights in strict accordance with CPCS performance guidelines. (See CPCS Assigned Counsel Manual, Chapter 4, subsection A-1-VIII.)

C. Case Limits. SLJ attorneys shall accept no more than 10 criminal case assignments at one duty day and no more than 25 criminal case assignments in a month. These limits do not include cases assigned for the purposes of bail only.


IIIDuty Day Scheduling

A. Scheduling Data. In compliance with its contract with CPCS, SLJ requires each of its panel attorneys to specify in the annual contract whether the attorney for the contract period wishes to have (1) Duty days as regularly scheduled in rotation by the Contractor in any court in the county for which the attorney is certified, (2) a designated number of duty days in designated courts, or (3) individual case assignments depending on the attorney’s current caseload. 

  1. Attorneys who wish to have duty days regularly scheduled in rotation will be assigned duty days in the courts to which they are assigned.
  2. Attorneys who wish to have a designated number of duty days will be contacted by SLJ staff when there are open duty days in the court to which they are assigned in order that the attorney may elect to cover those open duty days.
  3. Attorneys who wish to have individual case assignments will be contacted by SLJ staff when there is there is a particular case that needs assignment of counsel by SLJ.

B. Scheduling Procedure. SLJ uses a computer database application that creates duty day calendars for each court by rotating among the attorneys assigned to the court. Duty day calendars are created and distributed quarterly. Quarters will begin in January, April, July, and October. SLJ will send panel attorneys their duty day assignments no later than 45 days in advance of the next quarter.  

  1. In accordance with its contract with CPCS, SLJ will distribute duty day assignment letters via email. 
    1. When a panel member can show that he or she cannot receive duty day assignments via email, SLJ will send notification via either U.S. Mail or fax.  In order to receive duty day assignments by means other than email, an attorney must request alternate notification in writing and explain the reason for requesting non-email notification.
    2. Panel Attorneys must notify SLJ by means of fax, email or other writing of any address, telephone, fax and e-mail changes. Additionally, an attorney must submit any address changes in writing to CPCS with the attorney’s signature.
  2. If an active panel attorney has not received his or her duty day assignments by the 45th day before the next quarter, it is that attorney’s responsibility to contact SLJ and obtain his or her duty day assignments.

C. Accepting or Declining Duty Days. Within 30 days of the date that duty day assignments are distributed, every active panel attorney must confirm by email, fax, or U.S. Mail that he or she has received his or her duty day assignments. If an attorney fails to confirm receipt of the assigned duty days within 30 days, SLJ will cancel the days assigned to that attorney and reassign those days to other attorneys. Those attorneys who wish to decline any or all of the duty days assigned to them must do so within 30 days of the date the duty day calendars are issued. Attorneys must contact the SLJ Scheduling Coordinator by email, fax, or U.S. Mail and specify the dates and courts of the duty days that they wish to decline.

D. Duty Day Replacements. Unless an attorney declines a duty day assignment within the 30-day period specified in paragraph F, the attorney is expected to be present in court on his or her assigned duty days or find a replacement duty attorney to cover the assigned duty day.

  1. A replacement duty attorney must be an attorney on the SLJ panel.
  2. If, in the event of an emergency, an attorney cannot attend an assigned duty day, the attorney must contact SLJ as soon as it becomes apparent that he or she will be unable to appear. SLJ will attempt to find a replacement.
  3. An attorney who switches an assigned duty day with another attorney or an attorney who finds his or her own replacement to cover an assigned duty day, must notify SLJ immediately so that the court can be timely notified.

E. Emergency Replacements. Last minute duty day cancellations are accepted when there is an emergency and must be reported to SLJ and to the specific court immediately. SLJ will find a replacement if there is an emergency.

F. Unexcused Absences. Any attorney who accrues two unexcused absences within the Fiscal Year (July 1 - June 30) will be removed from the active panel list and have their future duty days cancelled. SLJ defines an unexcused absence as an unattended duty day where the Attorney does not notify SLJ or the court prior to the scheduled date. After the first unexcused absence, SLJ will issue panel members a written warning.


IV. Attorney Oversight

The following procedures governing Attorney oversight are subject to SLJ’s contract with CPCS, and if there is any conflict between these procedures and the contract with CPCS, the contract shall govern.

A. Supervising Attorneys. SLJ, in cooperation with CPCS, employs supervising attorneys to monitor and evaluate panel attorneys’ performance, provide technical assistance and training to panel attorneys, and investigate complaints regarding the performance or conduct of assigned counsel

  1. Performance Evaluations. Supervising attorneys shall routinely conduct performance evaluations of panel attorneys. Panel attorneys shall cooperate fully and promptly with all performance evaluations.
    1. During the course of a Performance Evaluation, the panel attorney shall provide the Supervising Attorney with the files from the attorney’s last 3 jury trials and at least 3 additional files.
    2. During a performance evaluation, the supervising attorney will consider each of the following categories and provide the panel attorney with suggestions as to how he or she might improve his or her performance in each area: File Management, Client & Court Relations, Pretrial & Motions Practice, Research, Investigation, Trial Preparation, Trial Skills, Sentencing, Post-trial,Overall Performance
    3. After conducting a performance evaluation, the Supervising attorney will prepare a Performance Assessment Report in which he or she rates the attorneys performance in each of the areas identified above. The Supervising attorney shall provide a copy of the report to the panel attorney, to CPCS, and to SLJ.
    4. Unsatisfactory performance evaluations shall be referred to the Evaluation and Standards subcommittee of the SLJ Board of Directors for consideration of whether steps should be taken to address the deficiencies identified in the performance assessment report.
  2. Complaint Investigation. Supervising attorneys shall investigate complaints regarding attorney performance in a manner consistent with the procedures set forth below.

B. Attorney Complaint Procedure. The purpose of the Attorney Complaint Procedures is to provide a prompt and efficient procedure for the investigation and resolution of complaints regarding attorney performance relative to their participation in the Suffolk Lawyers for Justice (SLJ) program. No portion of these procedures or process constitutes a contract between the Attorney and SLJ. SLJ may refer any complaint to any state or federal agency required by law or ethics. These procedures are subject to and consistent with SLJ’s contractual obligations with the Massachusetts Committee for Public Counsel Services.

  1. Complaint. A complaint is all written and oral complaints regarding the conduct and/or performance of a SLJ panel attorney as it directly relates to the ability of the attorney to provide services to indigent clients that are a violation of the canons of ethics, the standards established by SLJ, the CPCS Performance Guidelines and Standards, or any complaints regarding the performance and/or conduct of an attorney accepted into the SLJ program.
  2. Requirements for Filing Attorney Complaints
    1. All complaints including oral complaints must be submitted in writing unless waived by the Co-Chair of SLJ for good cause. Complaint forms provided by SLJ may also satisfy the writing requirement.
    2. Each complaint shall identify the specific conduct or performance complained of, stating the circumstances under which the conduct or performance occurred, including date, time, place and witnesses if any.
  3. Complaint Investigation Procedure. Every communication received by SLJ staff which the SLJ Director determines to be a complaint as defined above shall be investigated in accordance with the following procedures.
    1. The SLJ Program Director shall assign all complaints to a SLJ Staff Attorney, who shall promptly investigate the complaint.
    2. If the complaint alleges neglect for failure to communicate with the client in a pending case, the staff attorney shall complete the investigation within 15 days of intake, except for extension for good cause as determined by the Co-Chair or his/her designee and subject to the agreement of CPCS.
    3. The staff attorney shall complete the investigation of all other complaints within 30 days of intake except for extension for good cause as determined by the SLJ Co-Chair or his/her designee and subject to the agreement of CPCS.
    4. If SLJ receives a complaint that involves conduct that significantly impedes the ability of the participating attorney to provide proper client representation, the SLJ Co-Chair or his/her designee may immediately act to summarily suspend the participating attorney and reassign any pending cases and assigned duty days. In such cases the SLJ Co-Chair shall immediately notify CPCS of the complaint and assign the case to a SLJ Staff Attorney for investigation.
    5. Upon completion of the investigation, the SLJ Staff Attorney shall submit a report to the SLJ Co-chair or his/her designee, CPCS and the SLJ Evaluation and Standards sub-committee with a recommendation for resolution. A quorum of five sub-committee members is necessary to take action on any formal complaint.
    6. An attorney may be temporarily suspended from the SLJ program at any time if the sub-committee or SLJ Co-Chair determines that the circumstances warrant such action until an investigation and/or complaint procedure is completed.
    7. In all cases in which the SLJ Evaluation and Standards sub-committee determines that some action is necessary, the attorney shall be provided with a written statement, a copy of the complaint and any other documents the sub-committee deems relevant by first class mail and certified mail return receipt requested.
    8. The attorney shall have 20 days from the receipt of the notice of the complaint to provide a written response and to submit any relevant supporting documents he/she may wish. The attorney may also request a hearing before the SLJ Evaluation and Standards sub-committee if he/she contests the complaint and findings and recommendations of the sub-committee. If the attorney fails to submit a written rebuttal to the complaint, fails to cooperate fully with the investigation or fails to contest the sub-committee’s recommendation, such inaction or failure shall constitute a waiver of the right to file a response or obtain a hearing regarding the complaint and or the findings and recommendations of the sub-committee unless good cause is shown. The ruling of the sub-committee will remain in effect pending the outcome of a hearing or appeal, subject to independent action by CPCS.

C. Hearing Procedures. Hearings conducted by the Evaluation Committee of the SLJ Board of Directors, whether in response to a complaint or a poor performance evaluation, will be governed by the following procedures, unless the committee in its discretion elects to follow different procedures in an individual case.

  1. Summary of Issue. The SLJ Staff Attorney or the Chair of the Evaluation Committee or his/her designee shall provide a concise oral or written summary of the issue before the committee, whether it be a complaint investigation or poor performance evaluation.
  2. Right to Obtain Counsel. The attorney may represent himself/herself or be represented by counsel.
  3. Response of the Panel Attorney. The attorney may make a brief oral statement or present a concise written statement in response to the SLJ Staff Attorney or SLJ Co-Chair or his/her designee.
  4. Evidence. In addition to the investigation report or performance evaluation and the statement of the panel attorney, the Evaluation Committee has the discretion to receive other relevant evidence.
    1. The sub-committee reserves the right to limit the length of the attorney’s presentation or exclude witnesses or evidence not deemed to be relevant, authentic or material.
    2. The attorney, the SLJ Staff Attorney or SLJ Co-Chair or his/her designee may submit affidavits in lieu of live witness testimony. The sub-committee reserves the right to exclude such affidavits it deems not to be relevant or require that the affiant appear at a subsequent time if necessary.
    3. All documents, names and addresses of witnesses (with a brief statement of their intended testimony) and affidavits that the attorney intends to rely on at the hearing must be submitted within five business days prior to the hearing or be deemed waived.
    4. Rules of evidence shall not apply to the hearings. The sub-committee reserves the right to limit evidence, exclude evidence or witnesses not deemed to be material or relevant.
  5. Decision. The attorney shall be notified in writing by first class, certified mail, return receipt requested of any action taken by SLJ or the sub-committee.
  6. Appeals. An Attorney may appeal the findings and recommendations of the Evaluation Committee within 10 days of receiving a decision from the Committee. All appeals must be in writing, must be received in the SLJ office by the 10thday following the attorney’s receipt of the decision, and must clearly state the grounds or reasons for the appeal.
    1. All appeals regarding factual findings or newly discovered evidence will be directed to the evaluation subcommittee which in its discretion may make its decision based on the written submissions or may request the appearance of the attorney before the subcommittee.
    2. All appeals regarding termination from the SLJ Bar Advocate program will be submitted to the full SLJ Board which will consist of the written submissions by both the attorney and the Evaluation Subcommittee

D.   Sanctions. When the Evaluation Committee determines that a panel attorney has violated performance standards established by CPCS or SLJ, it may impose appropriate sanctions. These sanctions include, but are not limited to, the sanctions listed below:

  1. Special Conditions. The committee may require that to continue to participate on the panel, an attorney must accept and comply with conditions devised by the panel to address the identified deficient performance.
  2. Suspension. The committee may suspend an attorney from the program for a specified period of time and may condition his or her return to the program on the completion of certain conditions.
  3. Termination. The committee may permanently terminate an attorney from the program. All recommendations to permanently suspend or terminate an attorney from the SLJ program will be presented to the full SLJ Board of Directors for final decision.


V.  Continuing Education Requirement

A.  Mandatory CLE Each fiscal year, every SLJ Panel Attorney must attend no less than 6 hours of Continuing Legal Education in the field of criminal law. All SLJ sponsored seminars will count toward the 6-hour requirement. Seminars sponsored by other organizations will also count toward the requirement so long as the focus of the training is some aspect of criminal law.

B.  Jury Skills Training. SLJ will conduct a jury trial skills training program before October 15 of each year. Attendance at the program is mandatory for any SLJ panel attorney who does not try a jury trial to a verdict between July 1 of the year preceding the program and the date of the program. This requirement is in addition to the six hours of CLE training required of every SLJ attorney. Attendance is mandatory and SLJ will excuse an attorney from the requirement only in the limited circumstances provided below. An attorney seeking to be excused from the Jury Trial Training requirement must, upon request of the SLJ program director, provide documentation to substantiate that an exception is applicable.

  1. An attorney who tried at least six trials to verdict within the previous 5 years, may be excused from attending the jury skills training program.
  2. An attorney who attended the CPCS Zealous Advocacy Training in the previous fiscal year may be excused.
  3. An attorney who did not try one jury trial to verdict in the previous fiscal year, but did satisfy the Jury Trial Training requirement for another bar advocate program may be excused.
  4. An attorney who cannot attend the program because of a reasonably unavoidable conflict may be excused by the express consent of the SLJ Board of Directors or the Board’s designee provided the attorney makes a written request to be excused and agrees to comply with any conditions of the consent set by the board.
    1. The written request to be excused from the jury skills training program must be received at the SLJ office no later than 15 days before the scheduled date of the program.
    2. The written request must specify the conflict which will prevent the attorney from attending the program and why the conflict is reasonably unavoidable.

C.  Notification. Panel members will be notified by email when CLE programs are scheduled. The dates and times for upcoming CLE programs will also be posted on the organization’s website and included in the organization’s newsletter. Attorneys required to attend the annual jury trial training will be notified of this fact via email. An attorney who has shown that he or she cannot receive duty day assignments via email, will be notified of the annual jury trial training skills program via fax or U.S. Mail. (See III (B)(2)).

D.  Reporting Requirements. SLJ’s annual contract with each participating attorney shall include a form for the attorney to report his CLE and Jury Trials for the previous year.

  1. Jury Trials:Each panel attorney upon submitting his or her annual contract shall provide SLJ with a list of criminal cases tried to a jury verdict in the preceding year, including the name, court and docket number for each case.
  2. CLE: To show compliance with the SLJ CLE requirement, each panel attorney upon submitting his or her annual contract shall specify six hours of training in criminal law taken in the previous fiscal year.


VI. RESOURCE ATTORNEY PROGRAM: SLJ provides mentoring to its panel attorneys by assigning Resource Attorneys to supplement in individual cases the advice and assistance provided by the SLJ Supervising attorneys.

A. Resource Attorney Qualifications and Selection: SLJ will maintain a list of Resource Attorneys compiled in accordance with the following rules:

  1. To serve as a Resource Attorney, an attorney must be certified to accept Superior Court and/or Youthful Offender case assignments.
  2. To serve as a Resource Attorney, an attorney should accept at least 50 case assignments per year originating in the district court, though the 50-case requirement may be waived in certain instances.
  3. SLJ staff, in consultation with its supervising attorneys, will select Resource Attorneys from among the qualified attorneys on the panel.
  4. Resource Attorneys may be added at any time, but SLJ shall conduct a review of the Resource Attorney list biennially at which time attorneys will be added and removed from the list.

 B. Responsibility of Resource Attorneys: The role of the Resource Attorney is to provide technical assistance and advice to participating panel attorneys as needed in individual cases.

  1. So that participating attorneys will not hesitate to avail themselves of the resource attorney program, SLJ expects and encourages Resource Attorneys to bill for the time spent advising and assisting participating attorneys that SLJ has assigned to them.
  2. When an attorney is newly admitted to the panel and assigned to a Resource Attorney, the Resource Attorney should make a reasonable effort to personally meet with the new participating attorney in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 5 and as otherwise needed.

 C.  Compensation for Resource Attorneys: Resource Attorneys will be compensated in accordance with CPCS policy. 

  1. Resource Attorneys will be paid at a rate established by CPCS. SLJ expects the hourly rate to be the same as paid for Superior Court cases.
  2. Resource Attorneys shall bill for their services as specified by CPCS.
  3. Resource Attorney services shall be limited to 5 hours per quarter per attorney assisted
    1. Upon request by either the Resource Attorney or the Participating Attorney, SLJ may authorize 10 hours per quarter in individual cases.
    2. For a Resource Attorney to exceed 10 compensable hours per quarter for a single participating attorney, permission from CPCS is required.

D.   Assignment of Resource Attorneys: Subject to the availability of sufficient numbers of resource attorneys, SLJ will assign a Resource Attorneys as follows

  1. Every Panel Attorney who is neither Superior Court or Youthful Offender Certified will be assigned a Resource Attorney.
  2. No Resource Attorney will be assigned more than 20 participating attorneys.
  3. SLJ will try to pair participating attorneys with a resource attorney who routinely takes cases in a court to which the participating attorney is assigned.
  4. When an attorney is admitted to the SLJ panel and assigned a Resource Attorney, SLJ shall notify the new participating attorney in writing of the name, address, telephone number, and email address of the resource attorney and shall simultaneously issue a NAC to the assigned Resource Attorney.

E.   Utilization of Resource Attorneys by Participating Attorneys: Participating attorneys are expected to avail themselves of their assigned resource attorney.

  1. SLJ expects all panel attorneys who are neither Superior Court nor Youthful Offender certified to refer to their assigned Resource Attorneys for case preparation advice and assistance in individual cases.
  2. An attorney with no previous criminal jury trial experience shall schedule a personal meeting with his or her assigned Resource Attorney within 3 months of the attorney’s first duty day at which the attorney and the resource attorney should review specific cases that have been assigned to the attorney.
  3. An attorney with no previous criminal jury trial experience shall schedule a personal meeting with his or her assigned Resource Attorney in advance of his or her first jury trial.


VII.  Standards of Practice: Grounds for Disciplinary Action, Suspension or Removal

A. Panel members are expected to represent their clients in accordance with the highest standards of the legal profession.  

  1. Scheduling other matters on assigned duty days: SLJ attorneys shall not schedule any evidentiary matter, pre-trial conference hearing, trial or other matter which will cause the attorney to be absent from the first session on a day which has been designated asa duty day. Single session courts are not subject to this policy.
  2. Client Visits: A Panel Lawyer must meet with clients outside of Court. If a client is incarcerated and cannot attend the office of the Lawyer, a meeting must be made by the Lawyer within 7 days of appointment, but in any event prior to the first scheduled Court appearance. Failure to visit an incarcerated client from the date of appointment to the first scheduled Court appearance will, absent compelling reasons, result in the Lawyer not receiving assigned duty days for three months. After the first Court date, clients should be seen on a reasonable basis. The definition of "reasonable basis" varies from client to client. If such failure to visit incarcerated clients occurs more than once, the Evaluation Committee may take whatever actions it deems appropriate, including, but not limited to expulsion from the panel.  A Panel Lawyer must actively make himself/herself available to meet with clients. In-courthouse meetings do not suffice. If the Lawyer fails to make himself/herself available for meeting with non-incarcerated clients, absent compelling reasons, the Lawyer will not be given assigned duty days for three months. If such failure to meet with clients occurs more than once, the Evaluation Committee may take whatever actions it deems appropriate, including, but not limited to expulsion from the panel.
  3. Pre-trial Conference Reports: Pretrial Conference Reports in both the District and the Superior Court should be utilized by Defense Counsel as a Discovery Tool.  Participation in the Pretrial Conference Report is a responsibility of each and every Defense Counsel.  Counsel is expected to assert significant discovery requests and make material discovery reservations in the Pretrial Conference Report. 

B.  Any of the following circumstances may be cause for disciplinary action:  

  1. Repeated (two or more) instances of performance falling measurably below that which might be expected from an ordinary fallible lawyer, including, but not limited to: demonstrated lack of understanding of the elements of the charges; inattentiveness to the rules of evidence, cross-examination which fails to address significant points of defense; failure to formulate an appropriate case strategy or articulate an adequate closing argument; or failure to protect procedural rights. Constitutional standards for “effective assistance of counsel” shall be instructive, but not determinative.
  2. Violation of any Canon of Ethics or Disciplinary Rule Regulating the Practice of Law adopted by the Supreme Judicial Court, including but not limited to, Canon Seven: “A lawyer should represent a client zealously within the bounds of the law.”
  3. Any of the following circumstances:
    1. Knowingly providing false information to SLJ or to a client.  
    2. Continual failure to comply with any of the procedures for appearing in court and receiving court-appointed cases.  
    3. Unexcused failure to appear or repeated tardiness at scheduled hearings without giving reasonable notice to the client, other parties, and the appropriate court officials.  
    4. To the extent clients are cooperative, repeated failure to provide, prior to trial or hearing date, at least one appropriate in person consultation with clients, including clients in custody.  
    5. Failure to fully explain to the client the progress of the case, his/her options (including the rights and ramifications of presenting a defense and an appeal), and the meaning of the final disposition, including collateral consequences.
    6. Inappropriate, rude or belligerent conduct toward the client.  
    7. Failure to cooperate in a resolution of any complaint brought hereunder.  
    8. Failure to attend at least 6 hours of continuing legal education in criminal law or procedure each year.  
    9. Failure to adhere to and follow any of the standards set forth in the CPCS Performance Guidelines for attorneys representing indigents in criminal cases.


VIII. Leaves of Absence

A. Length of Leave. A Panel Attorney may take a leave of absence for up to one year for good cause.

B. Written Request. Attorney must request the leave of absence in writing indicating the specific reason for the leave and the amount of time requested for such leave. Request should be made no less than 45 days in advance of the requested leave.

C. SLJ Decision. SLJ shall respond in writing within 30 days and indicate the amount of time permitted for a Leave of Absence. The amount of time permitted shall be discretionary with the Board or a designated subcommittee.

D. Return from Leave. When the panel attorney is ready to return from a leave, he or she must notify the SLJ Administrator of the date on which he or she will be prepared to resume participation on the SLJ Panel. Failure to notify the SLJ Administrator of his or her willingness to resume participation on the panel before the date the leave of absence is to expire will result in the attorney being removed from the Panel and require that the attorney reapply to the program if he or she subsequently wishes to resume participation.