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eVoucher Tips and Tricks

  • Remember to go to the Claim Status tab as your first step in voucher entry! Change your "Start Date" to the first day you had services or expenses in the case and click on Save at the bottom of the Claim Status tab. This will help you avoid any error messages about Service and/or Expenses being out of the Voucher Start and End Dates. Make sure your "End Date" is the date of the last services performed and click on Save at the bottom of the page prior to submitting your voucher. If you do not do so your End Date defaults to the day the voucher is submitted and it is incorrect.
  • Always get a SIGNED, detailed invoice from your service providers. You will have to attach the invoice in the Documents section when you complete the CJA 21. The signature on the invoice replaces the necessity of the signature of the service provider on the CJA 21 itself.
  • If you have used a service provider in your case, please note that fact in the Public/Attorney Notes section on the Confirmation tab of your CJA 20 – that way we will know there is a CJA 21 associated with your voucher and we can look for it and process it at the same time as your CJA 20.
  • If you plan on using an associate for any work in your CJA case you must notify the CJA Supervising Attorney or the CJA Technician so that an Associate Appointment can be entered in eVoucher. Please remember to use associates sparingly and only for specific tasks that you as the appointed attorney would have otherwise have had to do (i.e. legal research, drafting of motions etc.). Under no circumstances should an associate’s time represent a majority of the time billed on a voucher. There can be no duplicative time billed by the appointed attorney and the associate (client visits, trial time etc.). The total attorney compensation for a voucher, including associate time, should remain within the statutory case compensation maximum unless there are extraordinary circumstances. The associate time will be calculated at the $90/hour associate rate.
  • All time must be billed in tenths of an hour (six minute increments).
  • Attach your completed CJA 26 in the Documents tab of your CJA 20 if your voucher exceeds the statutory maximum for the case! (currently $11,500 for a felony, $2,500 for supervised release and $3,300 for a misdemeanor). Explain why the case was "extended" and/or "complex" – which are the standards for exceeding the case compensation maximum.
  • You must get advance approval using an AUTH for any service provider or combination of service providers over $800. The system will not let you submit a CJA 21 for a service provider over $800 without having and using a previously approved AUTH!
  • Complete the Payment Claim status questions regarding previously received compensation on the Claim Status tab prior to submitting your voucher. If these questions are not completed prior to submission the entire voucher has to be rejected back to you because only the attorney has access to those radio buttons and the questions must be answered.
  • If the voucher is being submitted in an untimely manner (outside the 45-day submission deadline) you must provide a written statement as to why in the Public/Attorney Notes section on the Confirmation page OR attach a separate written statement in the Documents section. Failure to provide a reason will delay processing of the voucher until an explanation of good cause is received.
  • Suggestions for common entries and their categories:

    • In-court time for your defendant only (scheduled start to actual end—check daybook entry on the docket) (bill in In-court services)
    • Wait time in court (In Court Other)
    • Initial appearance hearings (In Court Other)
    • Talking on phone; client meetings; PSR interview (Interviews/conferences)
    • Plea negotiations (Interviews/conferences)
    • Reviewing discovery, documents on CM/ECF, files (Obtaining and Reviewing Records; NOT "Research")
    • Reviewing the PSR (Obtaining and Reviewing Records)
    • Reading letters (Obtaining and Reviewing Records)
    • Legal research (Legal Research/Brief Writing)
    • Legal memorandum/motion drafting (Legal Research/Writing)
    • Composing sentencing memorandum (Legal Research/Writing)
    • Travel time (Travel Time)
    • Writing letters to the client or others (Investigative/other)
    • Reading or writing emails (Investigative/other)
    • Attending hearings for co-defendant/s (Investigative/other, Do NOT bill on "in-court" time)
    • Wait time at jail for meeting with client (Investigative/other)
    • Preparing for a hearing or client meeting, going to the crime scene, preparing an AUTH for a service provider etc. (Investigative/other)
    • PLEASE include at least a minimal explanation as to:

      • the purpose of each conference/call and who was involved – especially if they are numerous. It can be as simple as review discovery, prepare for hearing, discuss/review plea, review draft PSR etc.
      • Legal research being performed (career offender status, charging statutes, Guidelines etc.)
      • Discovery being reviewed (type and volume)
  • Sample entries: "reviewed 200 pages of wiretap transcripts" NOT "reviewed discovery"; "met with client to review PSR" NOT "client meeting"; "researched application of safety valve" NOT "legal research"
  • Avoid terms like "copy, print, fax, download or file" in service entries as these are examples of secretarial-like work that is not compensable under the CJA Guidelines.
  • Always enter travel time separately from the meeting/conference or court attendance. Individual eVoucher service type categories are required for each.
  • Counsel may not submit claims for reimbursement for PACER charges because PACER is available free of charge to CJA Panel member attorneys.
  • You can print a copy of your voucher or save the voucher as a PDF document by clicking on the "Form CJA 20" on the left-hand side of the screen in the Reports section when you are in a voucher.
  • Your eVoucher password will expire every 180 days. If you have forgotten your password, or if you receive a message when logging in that it has expired, you can reset your own password by clicking on the "forgot your login?" link below the login area. Enter your username and/or email address and click "Recover Logon." You will receive an email to reset your password. Your eVoucher account will be locked if you enter your password unsuccessfully 3 times in a row. If you suspect you have locked yourself out you will have to contact the CJA Supervising Attorney or the CJA Technician to unlock it.