Office of the Circuit Executive

Judicial Council - Judicial Conference

· Roles and Functions

The Office of the Circuit Executive was created by statute to provide professional administrative staffing to circuit councils, which are composed primarily of judges engaged full-time in deciding cases.


The Office of the Circuit Executive (OCE) provides administrative support to the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit and its various committees. It also provides direct services to all the judicial court units in the circuit. All OCE responsibilities flow from directives of the Judicial Council or the Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit. The OCE is organized around the council's core functions.


· Mission Statement

The Office of the Circuit Executive is committed to providing professional support to the judicial council and courts of the Ninth Circuit, and to ensuring the highest level of public trust in the administration of justice. This support includes identifying needs; conducting studies; proactively developing and implementing innovative policies; providing training, public information and human resources support; coordinating building and automation projects; and advising the judicial council on procedural and ethical matters.


· Circuit Executive: Role and Responsibility Set by Statute

The Judicial Council of each circuit may appoint a circuit executive. In appointing a circuit executive, the Judicial Council shall take into account experience in administrative and executive positions, familiarity with court procedures and special training. The circuit executive shall exercise such administrative powers and perform such duties as may be delegated to him by the circuit council. The duties delegated to the circuit executive of each circuit may include but may not be limited to:


(1) Exercising administrative control of all nonjudicial activities of the court of appeals of the circuit in which he/she is appointed.


(2) Administering the personnel system of the court of appeals of the circuit.


(3) Administering the budget of the court of appeals of the circuit.


(4) Maintaining a modern accounting system.


(5) Establishing and maintaining property control records and undertaking a space management program.


(6) Conducting studies relating to the business and administration of the court within the circuit and preparing appropriate recommendations and reports to the chief judge, the circuit council and the Judicial Conference.

(7) Collecting, compiling and analyzing statistical data with a view to the preparation and presentation of reports based on such data as may be directed by the chief judge, the circuit council, and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.


(8) Representing the circuit as its liaison to the courts of the various states in which the circuit is located, the marshal's office, state and local bar associations, civic groups, news media, and other private and public groups having a reasonable interest in the administration of the circuit.


(9) Arranging and attending meetings of the judges of the circuit and of the circuit council, including preparing the agenda and serving as secretary in all such meetings.

(10) Preparing an annual report to the circuit and to the Administrative Office of the United States Courts for the preceding calendar year, including recommendations for more expeditious disposition of the business of the circuit.


All duties delegated to the circuit executive shall be subject to the general supervision of the chief judge of the circuit.


(1) Each circuit executive shall be paid at a salary to be established by the Judicial Conference of the United States not to exceed the annual rate of level IV of the Executive Schedule pay rates under § 5315 of Title 5.


(2) The circuit executive shall serve at the pleasure of the Judicial Council of the circuit.


(3) The circuit executive may appoint, with the approval of the council, necessary employees in such number as may be approved by the Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.


(4) The circuit executive and his staff shall be deemed to be officers and employees of the judicial branch of the United States Government within the meaning of Subchapter III of Chapter 83 (relating to civil service retirement), Chapter 87 (relating to Federal employees' life insurance program), and chapter 89 (relating to Federal employees' health benefits program) of Title 5, United States Code.


· OCE Staffing


Executive Unit

Provides staff support to Ninth Circuit Judicial Council. Implements the policies of the Judicial Council and other policy-making bodies in the Ninth Circuit. Serves as liaison to the Judicial Conference of the United States, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, and the Federal Judicial Center. Works with chief judges and court unit executives throughout the Ninth Circuit on critical issues. Oversees the financial and operational functions of the Office of the Circuit Executive.


Office of Workplace Relations

Implements all aspects of the Employment Dispute Resolution (EDR) Policy and related policies throughout the circuit. Serves as contact for employees who experience or witness workplace misconduct and wish to discuss or report such misconduct. Conducts investigations. Works with local EDR coordinators throughout the circuit. Consults with judges and Court Unit Executives on workplace environment issues and concerns. Provides guidance on workplace environment policies and procedures. Coordinates training for judges and employees. Collects and analyzes data and compiles periodic reports regarding implementation of the EDR Policy.


Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Unit

Reviews excess CJA payment and funding requests from attorneys and service providers in the Ninth Circuit. Develops and reviews budgets of high-cost criminal and death penalty cases. Provides guidance on CJA policy and procedures. Assists the courts with implementation of recommendations from the 2017 Report of the Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Criminal Justice Act (Cardone Report) on CJA Policy and Procedures. Works with the Standing Committee on Federal Public Defenders and coordinates the appointment process for federal public defenders.


Legal Affairs Unit

Provides legal advice to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Council, the chief judge, and the circuit executive; processes judicial misconduct complaints and teaching requests; advises judges and staff on judicial ethics; and monitors legislation.


Human Resources Unit

Manages the selection processes for federal public defenders and bankruptcy judges; consults with other court units on human resources and personnel issues; conducts circuit-wide training; provides information and counseling on employee benefits; develops circuit responses to judiciary policies and AO guidelines; develops OCE policies and procedures on human resources; and serves as staff to the Ninth Circuit Wellness Committee.


Court Operations and Policy Unit

Collects and analyzes data on court workloads, recommends caseload management solutions, coordinates the assignment of visiting judges, coordinates annual staffing requests and pay certifications for senior judges, and makes recommendations on requests for temporary emergency personnel.


Space and Facilities Unit

Provides project management and assistance on all phases of building projects from planning to construction completion including programming, planning, budgeting, and coordination with the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, U.S. Marshals Service and the General Services Administration. Also provides advice and clarification of space policies and guidelines, and disburses funding for tenant alterations.


Public Information, Conference and Education Unit

The Public Information, Conference and Education Unit aligns the Office of the Circuit Executive’s responsibilities for public and media relations and the administration of the circuit conference and education programs.  Public information oversees media relations; community outreach; and print and electronic publications including the Ninth Circuit Annual report, various committee newsletters, and OCE-sponsored intranet and Internet websites.  The Conference and Education Unit plans and conducts the annual Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and lawyer representative activities,  provides circuit-wide educational programs, and meeting management and support services to the courts, committees, and other OCE units.


Information Technology and Telecommunications Unit

Assists court units in planning, implementing and supporting local area networks, provides support in developing and maintaining Intranet/Internet Web services, operates the circuit hub for the national e-mail system, maintains two wide-area network hubs, and provides on-site counseling for various automated systems.


Circuit Information Technology Security Unit

Supports the court units of the Ninth Circuit with operational and strategic cybersecurity expertise, training, and program management. Researches and correlates cyber threats and vulnerabilities and the risk they pose. Aligns and collaborates the national, circuit, and court unit cyber defense efforts to maximize the capabilities of court units and the effectiveness of court unit resources.


· OCE Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Office of the Circuit Executive
P.O. Box 193939
San Francisco, CA 94119-3939

Physical Address:
James R. Browning U.S. Courthouse
95 7th Street
Suite 429
San Francisco, CA 94103
Telephone:(415) 355-8800

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