Monday, February 24, 2014

Getting Schooled

Well, not in that sense, necessarily, but we wanted to make sure you were all aware of some national training opportunities. Usually sponsored by Defender Services, these are top-quality programs at places you actually want to go to. Most are free and fill up quickly.

Here is a partial list from


    PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - June 19 - June 21, 2014 
    The Sentencing Advocacy Workshop focuses on a vital area of federal practice that has evolved since the Supreme Court declared the federal sentencing guidelines were advisory and no longer mandatory. Since approximately 97% of federal criminal cases continue to the sentencing phase, participation in the Sentencing Advocacy Workshop should not be missed. The Sentencing Advocacy Workshop teaches a comprehensive approach to sentencing where participants are trained to develop persuasive, fact-based, sentencing theories, and are provided with the advocacy skills necessary to advance their theories both in writing and during sentencing hearings. Presentations and demonstrations at the workshop include client relations and interviewing for mitigation, brainstorming the facts of the case, developing persuasive theories and themes, storytelling at sentencing, persuasive writing, and persuasive presentation. The workshop consists of plenary sessions and small group breakout sessions. In the small group sessions, participants will use pending cases of their own to brainstorm facts, develop theories and themes, practice storytelling, persuasively write part of their sentencing memorandums and discuss how best to conduct sentencing hearings.

    Enrollment for this program is limited to 72 federal defenders and federal panel attorneys who have not participated in this workshop in the past. Registration is scheduled to open in mid-March 2014.

    Early registration is encouraged.


    MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - July 31 - July 31, 2014 
    The Fundamentals of Federal Criminal Defense Seminar is a program specifically designed with the new federal practitioner in mind. If you are new to the world of federal criminal defense, this program will introduce you to subjects essential for effective representation of clients in federal criminal court.  Attendees will have the luxury of learning, asking questions and working with other participants who are also new to this difficult area of practice.  The program provides a rare opportunity for new CJA panel attorneys, and those seeking to join the panel, to hear a dynamic group of attorneys and legal professionals speak on a wide variety of  topics.  The Fundamentals of Federal Criminal Defense Seminar runs concurrently with the Multi-Track Criminal Defense Seminar and both programs are located in the same hotel.  Fundamentals participants are thus encouraged to attend the second and third day of the Multi-Track program on Friday and Saturday, August 1-2, 2014.  For more details about the Multi-Track Federal Criminal Defense Seminar, see the program's description on  To attend both seminars, individuals must enroll separately in both Fundamentals and Multi-Track.


    MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - July 31 - August 02, 2014 
    The Multi-Track Federal Criminal Defense Seminar offers in-depth instruction in a variety of substantive areas of federal criminal defense practice.  The program consists of related sessions, or tracks, which are grouped together allowing attorneys to select areas of practice that they feel best meet their training needs.  The design of the program allows attorneys to attend two entire tracks on Thursday and Friday and a third track on Saturday.  In addition to the tracks, the program includes an additional four to six substantive plenary lectures that cover more general areas of federal criminal practice.  The tracks for the August 2014 Multi-Track Seminar will be announced 3-4 months before the program.  In the past, tracks have included such areas as forensics, immigration, guns, drugs, sentencing, computer crimes, fraud, mental health issues and the use of experts.  Registration for the program will open in April 2014. 


    TAMPA, FLORIDA - September 18 - September 20, 2014 
    In the digital era, knowledge about managing, reviewing and analyzing electronic discovery or voluminous discovery is a critical skill for criminal defense attorneys.  In fact, the first principle of the national joint electronic discovery protocol developed by representatives of the Department of Justice, Federal Public Defenders, CJA panel attorneys and the Defender Services Office reflects this trend in the law: “[l]awyers have a responsibility to have an adequate understanding of electronic discovery.”  (See, ESI Protocol)

    The Law & Technology Series: Techniques in Electronic Case Management (TECM) Workshop exposes FDO and CJA panel attorneys to the legal, strategic and technological considerations involved with electronic and/or voluminous discovery.  This two-and-a-half-day program uses a combination of plenary presentations and small group, hands-on instruction.  Besides gaining an understanding of the legal, practical, and technological considerations in these types of federal criminal cases, participants will learn basic and advanced features of three litigation support software programs (Adobe Acrobat Pro, dtSearch, and CaseMap/TimeMap suite).  Attendees will better understand how legal litigation support programs work, and how to coordinate thoughtful work-flow processes with co-counsel, staff and potential vendors.  They will also improve their overall ability to master case information, in order to better prepare a defense.

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