The United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia maintains a CJA (Criminal Justice Act) panel of highly qualified attorneys who accept appointments to criminal cases when the Federal Defender Program is unavailable for any reason to be appointed to represent a criminal defendant. Each district has a designated panel representative who serves as a liaison on panel issues with the district court. The current CJA panel representative is Leigh Finlayson whose contact information is below.

Leigh Burton Finlayson
931 Ponce De Leon Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

Joining the CJA Panel If you are interested in becoming a member of the CJA panel for the Northern District of Georgia, please check the Northern District of Georgia website for more information and to obtain an application. You should be aware that membership on the panel requires federal criminal litigation experience as well as attendance at appropriate CLEs to demonstrate proficiency and interest in federal criminal defense. If you would like to observe federal criminal proceedings, contact the Federal Defender and ask for the duty /backup duty attorney to find out when there are hearings or trials. This can help you to develop the knowledge/skills needed to make a successful application to the CJA panel. For more information on the Northern District of Georgia Criminal Justice Act:

CJA Panel Training, Events and Blog Upcoming training, events and case highlights can be found on our blog at:

Weekly Attorney/CJA Panel Roundtable Meeting The Federal Defender Program hosts a brown bag roundtable to discuss cases and issues every week. CJA panel attorneys who want to brainstorm specific ideas or legal issues on appointed cases are welcome to join us at the roundtable. Please let us known if you plan to bring a case question and send over a brief summary of the question or issue for discussion. Contact the office at 404-688-7530 and ask to speak with the duty or backup duty attorney to arrange to come by. We would love to help! This is also a great resource for attorneys who are preparing to argue a case before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in an appointed case. We will moot you. Call to arrange a time and send over briefs.