Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 715, the Chief Judge, with approval of the
Court, may appoint a Senior Staff Attorney, who, with the approval of
the Chief Judge, may appoint necessary staff attorneys and secretarial
and clerical employees. The Senior Staff Attorney is the director of the
Staff Attorney's Office.
The Staff Attorney's Office assists the Court by conducting research into
specific areas of law as determined by the Court, and communicates its work
product to the Court by way of written memoranda of law. This work encompasses
both substantive and procedural issues. The substantive areas of the law
include, but are not limited to: habeas corpus petitions (28 U.S.C. §§ 2241, 2254); motions to vacate,
set aside, or correct
sentences (28 U.S.C. § 2255); civil rights actions (42 U.S.C. § 1983, Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388, 91
S.Ct. 1999, 29 L.Ed.2d 619 (1971)); motions to withdraw as counsel pursuant to Anders v.
California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967); Title VII employment
discrimination actions; direct criminal appeals; social
security appeals; black lung actions; bankruptcy; tax law; agency review, and immigration law.
Additionally, a specialized unit within the office assists the Court in the initial review of
all appeals filed for the purpose of determining jurisdiction. Another specialized unit presents substantive motions
to the Court for the determination of in forma pauperis status, certificates of appealability, transcripts at government expense,
and motions to withdraw/substitute counsel.
While all Court staff serve "at the pleasure of the Court," attorneys generally are appointed
for two year terms.
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