Attorney Appointments to Capital Appeals and Habeas Corpus Proceedings

The California Supreme Court maintains a panel of attorneys who are qualified for appointment to capital appeals and Habeas Corpus Proceedings. Attorneys interested in joining this panel should examine the California Supreme Court’s website, which sets forth the qualifications for panel appointment (Rules of Court 8.605) and describes how to apply. Applications should be directed to Robert Reichman, the Automatic Appeals Monitor at the California Supreme Court, not to CAP.

CAP does, however, maintain a compilation of material for review by attorneys seeking appointment by the California Supreme Court in Automatic Appeals and/or Habeas Corpus proceedings. Although the actual documents can not be posted here because of copyright restrictions, the following link is to an index of these materials: CSC Library. Please note: Citations in the index are linked to, who will charge the user's account for on-line access.

Appointment to Non-Capital Appeals

Attorneys who are interested in appointment to non-capital appeals should contact one of the Court of Appeal projects that serve the six Appellate Districts of California. Interested attorneys may apply to as many of these panels as they wish, although a logical first step is to apply to the project which serves the area in which the attorney practices and resides. The five projects which serve the six Appellate Districts are: First District Appellate Project, California Appellate Project Los Angeles, Central California Appellate Program, Appellate Defenders Incorporated, Sixth District Appellate Program (Central California Appellate Program in Sacramento serves both the 3rd and 5th districts.) CAP’s office in Los Angeles (CAP-LA) contracts to serve the Second Appellate District for non-capital appeals only. CAP-LA does not deal with any capital cases, and neither do any of the other Court of Appeal projects. The CAP-SF office assists only in capital appeals.

Inmate Communications With CAPSF

Many non-capital inmates seeking assistance on their appeals, or on habeas corpus, contact CAP-SF. We refer almost all of these inquiries to the various Court of Appeal appointed counsel projects. The San Francisco office of the California Appellate Project (CAP-SF) assists only in the representation of persons who have been sentenced to death in California.

Non-Capital Appellate Assistance on Non-Capital Appeals or Habeas Corpus

Inmates seeking appellate assistance in non-capital appeals or habeas corpus should contact the Court of Appeal appointed counsel project serving the county in which the trial occurred (for state appeal proceedings, see link above), or the Office of the Federal Defender within the federal district serving that county (for federal habeas corpus proceedings).

News Media Communication

Because the death penalty is an issue of public concern, the news media often contact CAP for information about specific cases or for general background information about capital punishment. CAP's policy is not to comment on specific cases, but to refer inquiries to the appointed counsel in that case. CAP may be able to provide some general information about the death penalty, but our resources are limited and other entities may be better equipped to address those inquiries. Persons inquiring should consider contacting such sources of information as the California Supreme Court, the Death Penalty Information Center, Death Penalty Focus of California or California Attorneys For Criminal Justice, as appropriate to the inquiry.

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