The Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Central District of California (FPD-CDCA) provides an unpaid mentoring program for a limited number of panel applicants who meet all panel qualifications but do not yet have sufficient federal court experience and expertise to qualify for membership on the panel. Acceptance into the program is not a guarantee of a future position on the panel, but the program should help mentees obtain the skills necessary for future panel membership. Participation in the mentorship is for training purposes; accordingly, mentees will not be compensated for the time spent participating in the program.

While the mentoring program will be individualized to some extent based on the mentee’s particular experience, it is anticipated that all mentees will be required to do the following:

  1. Second chair four district court felony cases with an experienced DFPD, as selected by the FPD-CDCA. The DFPD will be the counsel of record and serve as first chair. All case assignments will be made as close to the initial appearance as reasonably practicable. During the pendency of these cases, the mentee will be expected to be present for all substantive court appearances and to take on some of the responsibilities associated with preparing the cases under the supervision of the first chair.
  2. Attend and observe two complete felony trials if no such trial opportunity is available as part of the four-case assignment.
  3. Second chair at least four sentencing hearings.
  4. Complete self-study using the FPD-CDCA’s seven training videos on:
    • Initial interview and bail;
    • Discovery issues;
    • Drug offenses/mandatory minimum/851/RICO and VICAR;
    • Sentencing guidelines;
    • Supervised release and other violations;
    • Ethics; and
    • 2012 Sentencing Resource Council update by Jennifer Coffin.
  5. Complete self-study of an additional two training videos of their choice, in consultation with their mentor, from the following options:
    • Fraud;
    • Offenses-child pornography;
    • Weapon Offenses;
    • Use of Experts; and
    • Representing clients on appeal.