I write to you today on behalf of NACDL first to wish you and your loved ones and colleagues good health during this challenging time. Times like this remind us to be especially attentive to the most vulnerable members of our communities, especially the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions. As many of you know, NACDL has publicly expressed grave concern about the level of preparedness of America’s prisons, jails, and other detention facilities to confront the spread of the virus, as reflected in this March 4, 2020, Statement. NACDL will remain vigilant concerning the safety and welfare of the approximately 2.3 million individuals currently incarcerated in the United States. In this regard, I am pleased to share a template for a motion to challenge the continued pre-trial confinement of at-risk clients. This template is predicated upon a model motion that was graciously provided by our brilliant colleagues at the Federal Defenders of New York. This template can be adapted to other federal jurisdictions, and may also serve as a guide for similar applications in state venues. The template is available on our website. Additional useful resources are provided by the Justice Collaborative.
We know that the various health-related precautions are causing challenges for you, your clients, and your practices. NACDL will continue to share helpful resources as they become available. Additionally, I urge you to utilize the various NACDL listserves to seek guidance from your colleagues – as the NACDL membership family is often the best source of wisdom.
Effective Monday, March 16, 2020, NACDL’s professional staff will, for the most part, begin telecommuting to further the social distancing that experts say is a vital part of containing and mitigating the coronavirus. You should expect that the support you receive as members, and the work that the staff does in furtherance of NACDL’s mission and vision, will continue unabated. Staff is all equipped with remote access to our network, their files, and the Association’s telecommunications systems. We will continue to serve you, our members and our lifeblood, with the same level of attention and professionalism that you have come to expect.
We have, of course, cancelled public programs through March. We are assessing other programs on a weekly basis. Naturally, if national or local regulations make it impossible or imprudent to conduct the program, we will cancel. If you have registered for an upcoming program, we will provide regular updates.
This period in our history will pass. And there will be lessons to learn at all levels of society. Here at NACDL, we have taken steps to prepare for such a public emergency, and we are implementing those steps now. Liberty’s Last Champion is here and will be here for you throughout this period and beyond.
Thank you again for your service to the profession and stay well,
Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence: A Trial Strategy Guide
NACDL’s Pattern Cross-Examination for DNA and Biological Evidence will assist criminal defense practitioners in scoring points when cross-examining forensic experts in cases involving DNA and biological evidence. This resource contains thousands of questions that will help defense lawyers cross-examine challenging witnesses without reinventing the wheel with each new case. It includes pattern questions that can be used to dominate prosecution DNA experts and level the playing field at trial.
Cross-Examination of the Analyst in Drug Prosecutions (2nd Ed.) By James M. Shellow
Now in its second edition with some new material, James M. Shellow’s book offers what its title promises: ways of thinking about cross-examining the forensic analysts in drug cases. But the book is so much more than that. It offers a look inside the mind of one of the finest cross-examiners and defense lawyers the United States has produced in the last seventy years. This small book can inspire and direct you in making big changes in the way you defend your clients and think about the entire project of trying any case.
Justice For All, Justice Now White T-Shirt (Women’s)
This custom, vintage-faded NACDL t-shirt is 50% polyester, 25% cotton, and 25% rayon weighing 5.2 oz. and is lightwieght, flexible and soft, providing maximum comfort. It features the "Justice For All, Justice Now" slogan and Lady Liberty image on the front, with the NACDL logo on the back. Currently available in both men's and women's sizes in both black and white colors. View the full line-up of colors and sizes on our online store, as well as our other popular and best-selling t-shirt designs at: nacdl.org/store.
Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection - CD-ROM
NACDL’s Drug Cases Resource Materials Collection is the sweeping culmination of every single article of written materials ever published from each installment of NACDL's annual "Defending Modern Drug Cases" seminar. Totaling over 12,000 pages, this vast collection includes 12+ years of motions, briefs, reports, outlines, transcripts, case citations, scholarly articles, powerpoints and other written commentaries. This collection provides trial strategies and tactics you can immediately apply to your current cases.
Mental Illness & the Law: Addressing and Litigating Behavioral Health Disorders in Criminal Cases
Whether it is insanity, impairment, a disorder, or adolescent brain development; mental health and intellectual competence issues affect pretrial supervision, trial and sentencing, and your chances of successfully advocating for your impaired client. This training provides ideas and proven solutions to assist you in advocating for your client during trial, whether it be insanity defenses, jury selection, cross of expert witnesses, persuasion, or mitigation at sentencing.