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Attorney Newsletter April 2022

April 8, 2022

CJA Payments. The statistics are in for CJA payments during calendar year 2021. Last year, we processed 319 CJA 20 attorney vouchers and spent more than $2.5 million in attorney payments. This represents a 4.2 percent reduction from similar payments in calendar year 2020. Comparing our payment data to the Federal Public Defender’s appointment statistics, CJA panel attorneys received approximately 28-percent of all appointments.

Comments sought regarding reappointment of magistrate judge. Magistrate Judge Veronica Duffy’s current term of office expires on October 15, 2022. A panel will consider reappointing her to a new eight-year term. The Court is seeking comments from members of the bar and public. Comments should be emailed to the Clerk at by May 14, 2022.

Jury Selection. From time to time, people ask how jurors are selected in federal court. Each district adopts its own plan for the random selection and service of grand and petit jurors consistent with 28 U.S.C. § 1861. The Jury Plan for the District of South Dakota is available on the court’s website.

Under the plan, the clerk manages the jury selection process, maintaining a separate master and qualified jury wheel for each of the district’s four divisions. All jurors are selected at random from the list of registered voters provided by the office of the South Dakota Secretary of State. The master jury wheel must be refilled every four years between January 1 and July 1 of the year following a presidential election and may be refilled sooner. Names are selected by a randomized process through an electronic data processing system called Jury Management System or JMS. This is the first step in a two-part process.

Those who are selected are asked to complete a questionnaire. The questionnaires are reviewed to determine whether a person is unqualified or exempt from jury service. All qualified and nonexempt names are then placed in the qualified jury wheel (the second step), which is used to randomly summon grand and petit jurors.

The presiding judge may grant an excuse from jury service upon request if jury service will create an undue hardship or extreme inconvenience and the excuse is not inconsistent with the Jury Selection and Service Act.

Friday, April 8, 2022