Bonnie Hoffman serves as NACDL’s Director of Public Defense Reform and Training. She focuses on addressing the needs of both public defense systems and the attorneys who provide representation to those accused. Overseeing NACDL’s commitment to public defense, Bonnie assists full-time public defenders, private assigned counsel, and contract counsel by developing and delivering training programs and materials, as well as working with local, state and national leaders to address reforms in our nation’s public defense delivery systems.
Bonnie is a career public defender. For 21 years prior to joining NACDL, she served as a public defender in Loudoun County, Virginia. Representing adults and juveniles charged with misdemeanor and felony offenses from drunk driving on a farm tractor to murder; her practice included both trial and appellate cases.
Bonnie is a graduate of the National Criminal Defense College. She earned her law degree George Mason University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia. She served as chair of NACDL’s Federal Indigent Defense Task Force. The Task Force’s report, Federal Indigent Defense 2015: the Independence Imperative, highlighted the systemic problems in our nation’s federal public defense system and identified Seven Fundamentals of a Robust Federal Indigent Defense System. She was the primary author of “Gideon’s Champions,” a series of articles published in The Champion highlighting issues and challenges facing public defenders through the profiles of individual state and federal defenders from across the country.
Over her career Bonnie has served on numerous committees and work groups associated with public defense, the criminal justice system, and special populations including the Virginia Supreme Court’s Special Committee on Discovery Rules, Virginia’s Model Jury Instruction Working Group on Eyewitness Identification, and Loudoun County’s Disability Response Team and Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative Collaborative.
In 2013, Ms. Hoffman received the Robert C. Heeney Award, NACDL’s most prestigious honor. This award is given annually to a criminal defense attorney who best exemplifies the goals and values of the Association and the legal profession. Ms. Hoffman was the first active state public defender to receive this award.
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.