We posted here on PRACDL's proposal to the US District Court for improvement of the Court's Mentoring Program for new CJA Panel Members. The Court had approved PRACDL's Mentoring Program proposal, with a few minor changes, as a pilot program, see Memorandum, but needed to amend the CJA Plan to implement it. The Circuit Executive's Office has now given the green light to the amendment and, at a CJA Committee meeting held yesterday, Hon. Aida M. Delgado-Colón announced the Court's selection as Mentors (from a list of PRACDL volunteers submitted earlier). These are the following:
- Jorge E. Vega-Pacheco
- Rachel Brill
- Linda Backiel
- Tom Lincoln
- Mariángela Tirado-Vales
- Juan R. Acevedo-Cruz
- Epifanio Morales
- Esther Castro-Schmidt
The attorneys required to participate in the mentoring program have to participate in a number of "events" --most mandatory, and some optional. These range from in-court events (preliminary hearings, arraignments, bail/detention hearings, suppression hearings, jury selection, trial, and sentencing hearings) to out-of-court events (client interviews, witness interviews, working on various types of motions, etc.).
The idea is that the attorneys will interact with their mentors both prior to and after the particular events, rather than simply being asked to attend events without any interaction with the attorney involved.
Attorneys may use several different mentors. It is up to them to coordinate with the mentors as to particular events/tasks. When more than one mentor is used, which is the most likely scenario, the mentors will have to meet to make evaluations to the Court's CJA Committee.